When it comes to the history of comics and cartooning, Will Eisner is undisputedly one of the most instrumental figures in the genre. In the 1930s, Eisner began working as a cartoonist — before reaching 20 years old — and continued working in the industry for seven decades. During that time, Eisner produced the iconic comic series “The Spirit,” was a seminal factor in forming the American graphic novel (“A Contract with God, and Other Tenement Stories”) and was one of the earliest analysts of the comics medium with his book, “Comics and Sequential Art.”
The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum houses some of Eisner’s most significant works, as well as rarely seen selections from Eisner’s creations as a student, his early work as a commercial artist and his comics for the military. Eisner’s entire career will be highlighted in the current exhibition, which showcases his impact on the development of comics.