Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Missing Will Eisner

I live no more than 6 miles from where the late Will Eisner created his sublime pen and ink fables. Every week for the past five years I swore I would make my way to the master's studio, and, if welcomed, merely tell Will how much his art, wit, whimsy and soulfulness had moved me over the years. Of course, as is usually the case with such plans, I never did, perhaps because, I reasoned, the awkwardness of the moment might overwhelm the sentiment. Having endured a period of mild public stature myself, I remembered how relieved I was to slip back into anonymity when the opportunity arose. Of course, Will's celebrity was of the best kind; it resided in the art, while the man was able to live a quiet life among the other retirees of Tamarac (though to suggest that Eisner was "retired" in any traditional sense of the word is ludicrous). For me, Jewish and Bronx-raised much like Eisner, his graphic novels remain the counterpoint wherein our two lives touched. Oh, I liked the Spirit, more for its graphic exhilaration than anything else, but it was in stories like "The Neighborhood : Dropsie Avenue " where Will Eisner touched a common current between us. And his life as lived gives me faith that I, too, will be able to spin my tales someday, even when I'm in my eighties.

No comments: