Today when you visit Google’s homepage the usual Google logo has been replaced with a Will Eisner-inspired doodle to celebrate his birthday. Click on the logo and you’ll find a treasure trove of information about the iconic comic book creator.
Eisner was born on March 6, 1917 and died back in 2005. He is perhaps best known for the character The Spirit, which did, for better or for worse, get the feature film treatment, but he also crafted such classic characters as John Law, Sheena: Queen of the Jungle, Black Hawk, Uncle Sam, and countless others.
Eisner is known as the father of the graphic novel and he was one of the founding creators of the actual comic book bringing the art form from Sunday newspapers into what we know as comic books today.
Eisner’s first graphic novel called A Contract with God, published in 1978, remains one of the most influential graphic novels of all time. Eisner crafted these stories as a slice of life based on his own lower class childhood and took advantage of the graphic novel as a way to tell more mature stories. He followed A Contract with God with a series of adult stories that ranged from autobiographical to science fiction. Again, Eisner is credited with helping to advance the comics form from just simple stories for kids to all ages and adult stories with complex characters.
In 1988, the Eisner Awards were formed as a way of recognizing creators in the field of comics. Today these awards, presented yearly at Comic-Con International, are known as The Oscars for the comics industry.
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.
Thank you Google for this little doodle that made us stop and take a minute to celebrate the birthday of one of the men that helped make the comic books we love what they are today.