Media Release — MoCCA and The Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation are proud to announce that, as part of Will Eisner Week, 2012, they will be presenting a panel discussion entitled “Will Eisner: Making the World Safe for Graphic Novels.” The panel will consist of comics legends Paul Levitz (who will also moderate) and Dennis O’Neil, who knew and worked with Eisner, longtime Eisner agent Judith Hansen, and Columbia University Comics Librarian Karen Green. The panel, organized by Will Eisner Week Planning Committee chair Danny Fingeroth, will discuss Eisner’s creative and business accomplishments and legacy, and his continuing impact on the world of sequential art, from the 1930s to the present.
WILL EISNER WEEK is an annual celebration in multiple cities around Eisner’s March 6th birthday, promoting graphic novels, literacy, free speech awareness, and the legacy of Will Eisner. This year WEW is being celebrated with events in locales including New York, Portland OR, Columbus OH, Minneapolis MN, Savannah GA, Los Angeles CA, Pittsburgh PA, San Francisco CA, and Amherst MA. Details can be found at www.willeisner.com.
About WILL EISNER:
Will Eisner (1917-2005) was raised in the tenement Bronx of the Great Depression. He was a pioneer in the creation of comics of the “golden age” of the 1930s and ’40s, achieving immortality with his noir crime fighting superhero, THE SPIRIT, the first character to star in a comics insert distributed in newspapers. At one time or another, just about every comics great of his own and succeeding generations worked with and for Eisner, including Jules Feiffer, Wallace Wood, Jack Kirby, Al Jaffee, and Mike Ploog. When The Spirit ceased publication in 1952, Eisner devoted himself to producing educational and instructional comics. Then, in 1978, Eisner reinvented himself—and the medium—with his graphic novel A Contract with God, the first of a series of works focused, for the most part—with a compassionate yet unsentimental lens—on early 20th century Jewish life in America. Other notable graphic novels included To The Heart of the Storm, A Life Force, and The Name of the Game. At the time of his 2005 death, Eisner was working on The Plot, a comics-form refutation of the resurgent anti-Semitic Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which was released posthumously by W.W. Norton
About the panelists:
PAUL LEVITZ [moderator] has been a comic fan (The Comic Reader, winner of two Best Fanzine Comic Art Fan Awards), editor (Batman), writer (Legion of Super-Heroes), and executive (38 years at DC, including as President & Publisher). He continues as a Contributing Editor, but is now concentrating on his writing. He has received the Inkpot, Clampett Humanitarian, and ComicsPro Industry Appreciation Awards, and serves on the board of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. His Eisner Award-winning book, 75 Years of DC Comics: The Art of Modern Mythmaking, was published by Taschen, and his recent comics writing appears in Legion of Super-Heroes and World’s Finest, as well as collected editions. Among his best-known work is the NY Times Best Selling Graphic Book, Legion of Super-Heroes: The Great Darkness Saga.
DENNIS O’NEIL, one of comics’ most acclaimed writers, worked briefly in journalism, then moved to New York and comics. Denny brought social consciousness to the medium with the groundbreaking Green Lantern/Green Arrow series. His work on Batman— as writer and editor—returned that character to its dark, gothic roots. Denny knew Will Eisner and considered him both a friend and a major influence.
JUDITH HANSEN is a 25-year trade book publishing veteran with companies including Simon & Schuster, NAL, Crown, Doubleday, and the comics and graphic novel publisher Kitchen Sink Press. A former intellectual property lawyer, she brings to the panel considerable agenting and licensing experience, negotiating book, magazine, TV, film and merchandising deals. As VP, Deputy Publisher of the legendary Kitchen Sink Press, she supervised sales, marketing and licensing of comics and graphic novels working with creators including Robert Crumb, Will Eisner, Scott McCloud, Mark Schultz, Eddie Campbell and Alan Moore. Now operating her own enterprise, Hansen Literary Agency, she represents clients including Scott McCloud, Kazu Kibuishi, Gene Yang, Raina Telgemeier, James Sturm and The Center for Cartoon Studies, among many others.
KAREN GREEN is Columbia University’s librarian for Ancient & Medieval
History and Religion; she began the Columbia Libraries’ graphic novels collection six years ago. She writes a monthly column, “Comic Adventures in Academia,” for ComiXology.com and is a member of MoCCA’s Board of Trustees.
Celebrating Will Eisner Week with Paul Levitz, Denny O’Neil, Judith Hansen, Karen Green, Danny Fingeroth
Thursday March 1st