Latter Days

Will Eisner's SVA Gallery #7, cover
Cover to Will Eisner's SVA Gallery #7 (School of Visual Arts, New York).

In addition to producing a legacy of great work from across different periods of his life — from The Spirit to his graphic novels — Will Eisner also taught cartooning at the School of Visual Arts in New York. Many of today's graphic novelists and industry professionals in North America were students of Eisners.

It's from these years of teaching that Eisner authored three definitive works examining the creative process, Comics and Sequential Art, Graphic Storytelling and Expressive Anatomy.

Throughout the '80s and until his untimely death, Eisner travelled as much as he could, giving lectures and attending conventions, spreading the word about the value and potential of comics as an artform as well as an educational tool. He spent many hours speaking with aspiring cartoonists, encouraging them to persist, to develop their own styles and experiment with the different aspects of graphic storytelling.

In 1988, The Eisner Awards were established in his name. Presented each year at Comic-Con International in San Diego, these awards have grown to become the 'Oscars' of the comic book industry and acknowledge the finest sequential art work of the year. Importantly, the ceremony also features the Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailing Award, honouring retail outlets and their owners.

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Will Eisner has been cited as an inspiration by comics' creators from all corners of the world and from all areas of the art form. As a creator who helped define the very language of comics, his influence will be felt for years to come. He will remain one of the most important and inspirational forces in the comics' field.