Jan. 4, 2005, 6:37 p.m. CST
sweet princes. Goodnight...
Both were visionaries. Both will be missed. I always loved the Queen cover that Freas did and, of course, Alfred E. Newman. But Will Eisner's "The Spirit" became the prototype for the comic book industry. They will be missed. All the best to their families.
Jan. 4, 2005, 6:50 p.m. CST
by The Real McCoy
It's always sad when we see the passing of a legend but even sadder when that legend is still producing amazing work. Eisner, despite his age, wasn't showing any signs of stopping. I was looking foward to reading Dark Horse Comics' new book featuring a LENGTHY transcript of conversation between Frank Miller and Eisner. He still had so much to teach.
Jan. 4, 2005, 6:59 p.m. CST
Not sure that I know Eisner's work, I have a vague memory of a Spirit character wearing a blue suit and hat from my youth here in Mexico City, but I am very familiar with Kelly Freas as I read Analog and other digests of Sci-Fi constantly during my teenage years. Nobody could draw and paint gnomes as well as Freas..... By the way I have a HBK of THE COMING OF CONAN, the Gnome press edition illustrated by Freas...... Thanks for remembering them here......
Jan. 4, 2005, 6:59 p.m. CST
Will Eisner was one of the most inluential artists in the comic industry. The way he used dark/ light area's, radical perspectives and the depiction of psychological/ emotional issues and mood; in one word: brilliant. Frank Miller, Stan Lee are one of the many artists who, admittedly, are admirers of Eisner's work. The strange fact is that although his influance has been undiniable, his recognition by the standard comic consumer wasn't. His most well known and most published work 'spirit', was mainly an underground piece of work. It never took off in the mainstream business. Luckily. It kept him from creative boundaries and this creative freedom helpt him to evolve as the unique artist we all admirer. Aphextwin
Jan. 4, 2005, 7:22 p.m. CST
A few years ago I'd won that ol' Illustrators of the Future contest. I had my work favorably evaluated by Eisner (he was a judge) and I got to meet Freas over a few days while I was in LA... I thought that Freas seemed like a gnome or a goblin, with his short stature, curled mustache and large toothy grin, and his stunning white hair in its big pompadour. He was truly a nice, generous soul, and it was great to meet him in person. Both of them worked hard to inspire younger artists, and I'm sorry to see that both have left the studio this week. Someday I'll be struck by just how much of a gift it was to meet him (and come in contact of sorts with Eisner); but today its like I lost a friend. God Rest Your Souls, Gentlemen.
Jan. 4, 2005, 7:27 p.m. CST
by Jack Ryder
I've meet Eisner several times is Comic-con and he was always very friendly and giving. The first time I had the nerve to approach him was to have him autograph my copy of his sequential art book, He noticed my portpholio and asked if I was an artist too. I said I wanted to be, And he said if I enjoyed drawing, That was the important thing. I only get autographs for myself, not for re-sale, on books that are special to me. And Father Geek, If you curl up with WW11 era Spirits, You'll be enjoying the work of Jack Cole and Lou Fine. Eisner was away most of the war. Still, two greats worth remembering also.
Jan. 4, 2005, 7:46 p.m. CST
by Giant Fish
Esiner's must have been the longest and most influential career of any story-telling artist. He was brilliant. Compare a panel of his from the 40's with any artist of the same era, and nobody whom I can think of comes close in when it comes to dynamic storytelling. He invented so many of the comic-book devices we take for granted today (like streaks to indicate motion). And he produced a page EVERY SINGLE DAY. Eisner is up there in the pantheon is great artists with Harold Foster, Jack Kirby and Carl Barks.
Jan. 4, 2005, 7:48 p.m. CST
Although I am not as familiar with Frank Kelly Freas' work A Contract With God,A Life Force,City People Notebook,Dropsie Avenue,Fagin The Jew,Life On Another Planet,Minor Miracles,New York the Big City,The Dreamer and The Outer Space Spirit are all Eisner books I have enjoyed.Nice tribute,I hope the comics column this week gives out some other works to look out for from both men.
Jan. 4, 2005, 7:51 p.m. CST
Will Eisner went to High School with Bob Kane for cripes sakes.... Eisner's contribution to the art form can NOT be overstated....god bless him.
Jan. 4, 2005, 8 p.m. CST
That's Analog January 1964. His woodcuts are still the standard by which sci-fi art should be measured; close enough to the story to give it weight, impressionistic enough to let the reader use his imagination. Just the best.
Jan. 4, 2005, 8:04 p.m. CST
Every year at San Diego, since I was a kid, I would spend time with Mr. Eisner who was a kind, gracious man. We'd talk about what made a great story and he'd read what material I brought for him to critique. He always gave me sage advice and helped me to become a better writer. The kindest thing he ever did was to sign my Wally Wood/Will Eisner "Spirit" collaboration where Denny Colt went to the moon with a group of scientists and convicts. He signed the phrase to me: "To Denny Colt's alter ego, your friend, Will Eisner." Little did I know, that when I saw him last year, it would be the last time. I will never forget what a great man he was and that the comic world has lost a legend that can never be replaced.
Jan. 4, 2005, 8:41 p.m. CST
Will Eisner was one of the greatest comix creaters ever. There will never be another like him.
Jan. 4, 2005, 9:54 p.m. CST
when talking about Eisner. "I always just assumed he was one of the immortals who would always be with us..."
Jan. 4, 2005, 10:53 p.m. CST
That painting is a lot more interesting in geek history than as a Queen album cover. It was the cover for the Astounding issue mentioned in the story, yes. But the story it portrayed was "Farewell To The Master" by Harry Bates. So what? Hint: you know that robot as "Gort". Another hint: the name of the human was "Klaatu". If you haven't got it yet, go away and never come back to this site. You are not worthy.
Jan. 4, 2005, 11:25 p.m. CST
Good Bye will! Good bye Sand! Goodbye Denny! Goodbye Wildwood Cemetary! Goodbye sweet Ellem! Bye Dolan! P'Gell, Silk Satin and even poor dated and racially stereotyped Ebony White. Goodbye Will! You are the great one who godfathered comics. Say hi to Kirby, Walt Kelly and especially to poor Jack Cole. Signed -The Octopus Cheers!!
Jan. 5, 2005, 1:21 a.m. CST
The Rev and other fucking morons can go to hell, this man touched millions,thousands of whom went on to bring us treasured art and stories. A Comics Patriarch is gone and will never be forgotton...
Jan. 5, 2005, 1:22 a.m. CST
The father of modern comics.
Jan. 5, 2005, 1:48 a.m. CST
by Eugene O
If you've never read Eisner, check this stuff out!!!
Jan. 5, 2005, 9:20 a.m. CST
Fans of Eisner should check out the very recent IDW book "Will Eisner's John Law." Law was a character Will introduced 56 years ago, and a few years ago he let Aussie artist Gary Chaloner revive the character in a really brilliantly done series. The book collects the work of both Chaloner and Eisner's original stuff. Chaloner is still doing John Law, as well as illustrating Tim Byrd's "Doc Wilde" series, juvenile adventures about a contemporary Doc Savage type having adventures with his kids.
Jan. 5, 2005, 9:42 a.m. CST
Eisner can be credited with almost single-handedly inventing the graphic novel and spearheading the underground comics movement that lead to most of today's best work. He actually improved with age, too. I plan to pick up some more of his stuff today.
Jan. 5, 2005, 10:52 a.m. CST
Jan. 5, 2005, 12:33 p.m. CST
..but their legacy will live on forever. Rest in Peace, guys. Job well done.
Jan. 5, 2005, 1:07 p.m. CST
Are you sure about that? I could have sworn the original Analog Dune art was by John Schoenherr. I may be wrong, though. Either way, the passing of Eisner and Freas is a huge loss to comic and fantasy-SF art.
Jan. 5, 2005, 1:49 p.m. CST
The image was used on the cover of Queen's News of the World album which is notable for having We Will Rock You and We Are the Champions.
Jan. 5, 2005, 5:18 p.m. CST
by The Beast
I was a Kubert School graduate, and Joe often spoke of Will Eisner. They were good friends, and grew up in comics together. I felt like I could learn so much just by looking at his stuff. I always hoped that one day I'd get to meet him and talk to him about his life, and comics and what have you, but now I guess all I have is a leagacy of work he left behind and continue learning the way I ALWAYS did, and just by reading. I think I'm just rambling now, but this is a sad day in the world, and ANYBODY in comics, dailies, or illustration these days that's worth a damn, or even the HACKS that tend to become a little more famous than they deserve, owes Will Eisner a debt of gratittude, and a piece of their soul, because all these men and women are copys of copys... and it all comes back to the brains behind storytelling, Will Eisner. I'm going to my room now, and I'm going to read The Dreamer over and over until my eyes fall out. This fucking sucks.
Jan. 5, 2005, 5:22 p.m. CST
by The Beast
The Spirit was more than just a character, he was the spirit of comics, as was Will Eisner. I think that's it now.
Jan. 5, 2005, 6:09 p.m. CST
Kelly I knew from growing up in Virginia Beach. A sweetheart of a guy, a great and generous talent. A year ago I started the New Year with the passing of my grandmother. This year, it pains me almost as much to think that a great fellow isn't around to share his talent and spirit with the world any more. Unfortunately, last year followed the death of one grandparent with another and this year, I was kicked just as hard when I was just as down by the news that Will Eisner was no longer with us. Unlike Kelly, I never met, let alone knew the man. Still - he was my comic book hero. All my other comics came and went over the years, traded, sold, given away. My Spirit sections, gathered and hoarded since I was 8, have always been in my possession along with every reprint I could get. I have the Spirit portfolio, the Contract With God signed first edition, everything I could get that was Eisner. Wow. No matter what happens this year on the good end of things, I hate having to start the year with such a sense of great, great loss.
Jan. 5, 2005, 7:09 p.m. CST
That album cover was one of the first I remember as a child - a waypoint in the journey of building my conscious processes. I remember staring at it for a long time trying to decipher the subtext of the image and building the story that led up to the snapshot in my mind. It was a great awakening for my cognitive senses, and always stops me in my tracks when i see it rendered again. a masterpiece of illustration - what a sorry day this is. nicely reviewed - we've lost a giant.
Jan. 5, 2005, 8:40 p.m. CST
A couple of months ago, to buy a signed limited edition of Eisner's "City People," a hardbound collection of his cartoons on the subject. I never buy stuff like that. I wonder what it would fetch on Ebay today, but on the other hand it will be a great heirloom for my son if he turns out to have a taste for such things.
Jan. 6, 2005, 3:23 a.m. CST
Being in the LA area I not only know of the aforementioned Loscon but have been to several of them. Held every Thankgiving weekend like clockwork, and with equal regularity one would see KElley Freas in the Dealer's Room sitting at one of the tables signing shirts with some of his artwork on them and just generally chatting with anyone that came up to him. It looked like he enjoyed the atmosphere of the event about as much as anyone else and could have been anyone's grandfather. Quite accessible. This last convention (2004), I noticed that he was not in his usual position. New location, I thought, maybe jhe'll be back next year... Now I know why he didn't make it; he must have been ailing even back then. The people over at Lasfs (the group behind the Loscons) have a saying that bdeath does not escape one from membership, and I think that sort of applies here to fandom in general. The big names of Fandom never die, they live on in the work they leave behind them. So long for now, Mister Freas; you'll live again every time we see one of your pictures.
Jan. 6, 2005, 8:35 a.m. CST
Hey all...I'm J. Long time reader/fan of this site. I've hardly ever posted though. I just wanted to say that I'm a current artist for CRACKED Magazine (yes, it's still around) & Mr. Freas was doing the recent covers for it. You probably already know that he used to do some MAD covers back in the day too. Anyhow, this guy was a class act. It is a sad day when a legend like him passes and us hacks have less & less artists like him to look up to. Thanks for the great art Kelly. We'll try to do you proud.
Feb. 10, 2005, 3:44 p.m. CST
Here's a couple links, one for Eisner's John Law, the other for Doc Wilde. http://johnlaw.us.com/ http://www.DocWilde.com
Feb. 10, 2005, 3:46 p.m. CST
Not sure those links came through right the first time; sorry for the double post. Here's a couple links, one for Eisner's John Law, the other for Doc Wilde. http://johnlaw.us.com/ http://www.DocWilde.com
Feb. 10, 2005, 3:55 p.m. CST
I'mgiving it one last try to get the links right... Here's a couple links, one for Eisner's John Law, http://johnlaw.us.com/ and the other for Doc Wilde. http://www.DocWilde.com