-AM- Will Eisner: The Father of the Graphic Novel

Scott’s comments reminded me of some things that annoy me about the Cult of Will Eisner. These are not things that annoy about Mr. Eisner himself or even Scott’s comments. It’s just that thinking on Eisner and the title attributed to him reminds me of just how xenophobic and America-obsessed many aspects of our culture are, especially when it comes to comics.

The Father of the Graphic Novel

Are you fucking kidding me?  How surprising it must be for a Japanese or French comics fan to hear that an American that made his FIRST graphic novel in 1978 is the Father of the Graphic Novel.  Sorry, Asterix, Tin Tin, Lone Wolf & Cub, Lucky Luke, Astro Boy, etc. etc.  Since your graphic novels were not by Will Eisner or American you don’t get to count.  Your creators don’t get to be called the Father of the Graphic Novel.  No, I’m sorry, Gil Kane, even though you beat Eisner by 7 years you’re not important enough, I guess.

The incredible amount of praise that the American comics industry heaps on a very small group of individuals is really sickening.  Eisner, Kirby and Kurtzman.  I’d say it’s even worse than the undue overpraise that the Beatles and Led Zeppelin. At least there are hundreds of other bands that are also getting a shitload of praise.  Hey, and they’re not even all Americans!  And then incredible Americans like Carl Barks who weren’t popular enough in the USA don’t get the credit they deserve.

And I’ve still never read a well-written comic with art by Jack Kirby and I’ve read probably 100 at this point, everything from Ant-Man to Fantastic Four to Devil Dinosaur, Challengers of the Unknown, New Gods, 2001, etc.  No matter how good the art, these are all a real chore to read.  At least Eisner comics are the complete package.  Uhhhhh, end of rant.


2 responses to “-AM- Will Eisner: The Father of the Graphic Novel

  1. miloprometheus

    there’s also this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/It_Rhymes_with_Lust

    And I disagree that reading Kirby is a chore…though I admit his writing is not for everyone.

  2. Well, the element of layouts and design is certainly a storytelling element so in that respect he is a great ‘writer’ but his dialogue is very, very weak but not as corny as Stan Lee’s. I guess he never had the chance to work outside of restrictive corporate editors, unlike Eisner, so we’ll never really know what Kirby could have done if let loose.

    Unfortunately, I get the feeling that the Mirage guys must think that Kirby and Lee were great at dialogue because most Mirage scripts are just about as banal.

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