The 328th meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday,  March 1, 2022 at 7pm EST. ONLINE PRESENTATION VIA ZOOM. Please email comicssymposium@gmail.com to register for this event. Free and open to the public.

Comics and Sequential Art:  Will Eisner, Teacher and Mentor [A Will Eisner Week 2022 event]

Famous for his iconic Spirit character and for his groundbreaking graphic novels, Will Eisner also spent 20 years teaching the art and craft of comics, mostly at New York’s School of Visual Arts. Most important to him was the teaching and mentoring of the next generations of cartoonists; passing along to them the knowledge he acquired over a lifetime in the industry. From those classes emerged Eisner’s three essential textbooks: Comics and Sequential Art, Graphic Storytelling and Visual Narrative, and Expressive Anatomy for Comics and Narrative. Join noted comics creators including Brian Michael Bendis (Ultimate Spider-Man), Emil Ferris(My Favorite Thing is Monsters),Dean Haspiel (The Red Hook), and Jennifer Hayden (The Story of My Tits) will teach lessons out of Will’s textbooks, leavened with their own personal insights. Also, see rare footage of Eisner, himself, demonstrating his artistic principles. Danny Fingeroth, Chair of Will Eisner Week, will moderate.

About Will Eisner:

WILL EISNER (1917-2005) innovated and pioneered comics in two different eras. Eisner helped invent the comics industry in the 1930s and created The Spirit in the 1940s as a heroic crime-fighting figure who appeared in a Sunday newspaper comics insert. The Spirit walked through a world of noir-inflected, urban drama, one suffused with humor and insight into the human condition, a world not afraid to essay the occasional Yiddish in-joke or Bronx social drama vignette. Then, after producing comics for training and education, Eisner, in 1978, re-invented himself—and the comics medium—with his first graphic novel, A Contract With God, followed, until his 2005 passing, with many acclaimed graphic novels and textbooks.

About the Panelists:

BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS is an award-winning comics creator, Amazon and New York Times bestseller, and one of the most successful writers working in mainstream comics. For the last twenty years, Brian’s books have consistently sat on top of the nationwide comic and graphic novel sales charts. Over the years at Marvel entertainment, Brian completed historic runs on titles including Spider-Man (18 years), Avengers (9 years), Iron Man, Guardians of the Galaxy, and X-Men. Moving over to DC Comics in 2018, Bendis had memorable runs on Man of Steel, Superman, and Action Comics. Recently, Bendis has brought his creator-owned Jinxworld imprint over to Dark Horse Comics, where his publications will include his classic Powers (with Michael Avon Oeming) and (with Stephen Byrne).  

EMIL FERRIS is a graphic novelist whose first book My Favorite Thing Is Monsters has been praised by critics since its publication in 2017. Her book—which presents itself as the lined notebook diary of a pre-teen self-avowed werewolf who questions her sexual identity—is set in Chicago in the 1960’s. The book is autobiographically infused as Emil—like her protagonist Karen Reyes—was witness to the highly charged political and social climate of that time. The main character’s obsession with B-movies of the Hammer and Universal varieties and EC horror magazines is evident. Journalists have noted how the book parallels themes of monstrosity and “otherness.” Not only are EC-inspired horror comic covers recreated in ballpoint pen by Emil’s protagonist, but so are many significant paintings that hang in the Art Institute of Chicago. Ferris cites art-making as being critically important to her survival of childhood disability as well as subsequent physical challenges. My Favorite Thing is Monsters has now been published in nine languages and has been honored with numerous awards, among them: The Lambda Literary Award, multiple Eisners, the Ignatz and the Fauve d’or at the Angouleme Festival, France. Emil has exhibited her art extensively in the U.S. and Europe and was most recently honored to teach classes at the Louvre.

Emmy and Ringo award winner, DEAN HASPIEL created Billy Dogma, The Red Hook, illustrated for HBO’s “Bored To Death,” was a Master Artist at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, is a Yaddo fellow, a playwright, and helped pioneer personal webcomics via ACT-I-VATE. Dino has written and drawn many comix for Marvel, DC, Image, Archie, IDW, Dark Horse, Heavy Metal, and LINE Webtoon and has collaborated on comics with Harvey Pekar, Jonathan Ames, Inverna Lockpez, Jonathan Lethem, Stoya, and Stan Lee.

JENNIFER HAYDEN is a New Jersey-based graphic novelist whose Eisner-nominated breast cancer memoir The Story of My Tits was translated into Italian and Spanish and is coming soon in French. She is currently working on a graphic travel novella about France called Le Chat Noir, as well as an anti-cookbook (her first work in color) called Where There’s Smoke There’s Dinner.

DANNY FINGEROTH is the Chair of Will Eisner Week and is an author and historian whose latest book is A Marvelous Life: The Amazing Story of Stan Lee, currently out in paperback from St. Martin’s Press. Legendary cartoonist/screenwriter (and Eisner collaborator) Jules Feiffer has said of the book: “Danny Fingeroth gives us, page after page, rapid and cogent insights into the Marvel world, the comics universe, and Stan Lee as innovator, ring master, high-stakes gambler, con man, and an indefatigable charmer. And visionary, as well.”  Fingeroth was a longtime writer and editor at Marvel, and is the author of Superman on the Couch: What Superheroes Really Tell Us About Ourselves and Our Society and Disguised as Clark Kent: Jews Comics and the Creation of the Superhero.  For more info: www.dannyfingeroth.com

To find out more about WILL EISNER WEEK (and how to plan an event in your community or online), go to: http://www.willeisner.com/