mordicai caeli (mordicai) wrote,
mordicai caeli

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Kimota Blues. (91)

The Dreamer by Will Eisner.

No one suspects that
Wonder Man is Fred Carson!
(Also, Superman.)

Here is I guess my confession: I don't "get" Will Eisner. No, really-- not at all. The Spirit? Just doesn't do it for me. I guess he's an essential bridge between cartooning & what we call "comics," & was instrumental in the adoption of the "graphic novel" as a format? Alright, sure-- so he's like, famous because of his impact on the industry? I guess I can handle that, but it just hasn't clicked with me. It still hasn't-- I feel like it is a blind spot in my understanding of the medium, but I can't seem to fit the puzzle pieces together. The Dreamer is a fictionalized account of Eisner's life & impact on the industry, a half-autobiographical work that breezes through the funnybooks, the Tijuana Bibles, the newspapers, the plagiarism, the mob, all the weird cobbled together bits of wire & string that ended up becoming the comic book scene. Actually, the plagiarism scene is probably the most fictional, since the court records dispute Eisner's self-portrayal. There is a Depression Era desperation to the book, coloured by the fact that you know everything will turn out okay-- I mean, "Billy Eyron" is going to end up having the "Eyron Award" named after him. I just don't know enough of the faces of the early period of comic book history to connect the view-askew version of real world people to their counterparts-- except "Jack King," of course, because Jack Kirby is basically the greatest human. There is a bit where "Jack King" freaks out like a bulldog on some mob goon, & it is perfect because you just know it actually happened. Like-- you know how superheroes fight on rooftops? That is because Jack Kirby had a rooftop apartment, & one day a gang tried to break into his home & Jack Kirby fought them off. There is a reason he always said Ben Grimm was the character most like him. So yeah, I guess that is it in a nutshell-- I read a semi-fictionalized autobiography of Will Eisner & I ended up focusing on a minor appearance by Jack Kirby. I just don't get it!
Tags: books, comics, eisner, haiku

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