In Stores this September: The Lost Work of Will Eisner

TLoWillEisner cover front

Our wonderful backer friends on Kickstarter already know that The Lost Work of Will Eisner is finishing up its printing process and is coming our way very soon.

Well, it’s also making its way into comic shops and bookstores this September, for all those who missed the initial campaign. We’re excited and honored to be bringing these brand “new” Eisner comics onto the shelves that his work helped build.

Diamond Order Code: JUL161747 

If you want to make sure they’ll have it in stock (for yourself or the greater good!), you can print this and bring it to your local comic shop:

Eisner order BW

The same flyer can be downloaded in color here, especially if you’d like to share it online.

We’ll leave you with a peek at one of the shiny advance copies we’ve been cherishing here ourselves…

Eisner proof photo

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EARLY EISNER UNEARTHED: Locust Moon Kickstarting Collection of Comic Innovator’s Beginnings

(not final cover)

(not final cover)

“It’s like finding the notebooks of the boy Shakespeare.”

This was Locust Moon Press Publisher Josh O’Neill’s awe-struck reaction upon seeing the newly discovered artwork of Will Eisner — his earliest known comics, drawn when he was just a young man finding his voice.

The importance of Will Eisner in the history of comics cannot be overestimated. The restless innovator, pioneer of the graphic novel, and creator of THE SPIRIT spent the bulk of the 20th Century pushing the comics medium forward. But despite endless scholarship on Eisner and his many achievements, little is known about his earliest work — until now.

His very first known comics, never-before-seen strips from his teenage years, have recently been discovered among a collection of 1930s printing plates. The multiple Eisner and Harvey Award-winning Locust Moon Press intends to publish these strips in a definitive edition entitled THE LOST WORK OF WILL EISNER, which will highlight the first origins of one of the forefathers of modern cartooning. They launched a Kickstarter today in an effort to fund the production of this historically vital book.

These remarkable and revelatory comics were lost to history until New Jersey artist and antique collector Joe Getsinger re-discovered them, hidden among an enormous lot of 1930s-era printing plates that he purchased on a lark from a friend at a collectors’ poker game.

Printing Plates small -display05

At first Joe didn’t know what he had — but he became fascinated by two strips, UNCLE OTTO by a mysterious Carl Heck, and HARRY KARRY, credited to another unknown artist named Willis B. Rensie. As Getsinger studied the plates and learned more about the provenance of this massive collection, he found that it was linked to Empire Features, a company that provided printing plates to various newspapers for syndication. Eisner & Iger Studios — the partnership between the very young Jerry Iger and Will Eisner to distribute and publish their many fledgling comic books, strips, and magazines — was one of Empire Features’ many customers.

HARRY-KARRY-49x

One day shortly after becoming aware of this connection, Getsinger was looking at a reverse-printed plate and it came to him in a flash: “Rensie” is Eisner backwards. He suddenly knew that what he had here was of extraordinary historical value.

UNCLE OTTO and HARRY KARRY, it turns out, represent the earliest known sequential artwork of Will Eisner — and until now, outside of their titles and a very small smattering of strips salvaged from the few local newspapers that intermittently published them, their contents were almost completely unknown.

Will Eisner Plates-etc-01s

Says Locust Moon creative director Chris Stevens, “In these strips you see Eisner’s imagination expanding, almost in real time. He’s experimenting with the possibilities of serialized storytelling and working through his many influences — there are very distinct E.C. Segar and Alex Raymond phases. By the end of the HARRY KARRY run you see him emerge with a close approximation of the style that brought him success and fame with THE SPIRIT in 1940.”

HARRY-KARRY-09x

In an effort to raise the funds necessary to produce this project, Locust Moon is turning to crowdfunding. This is their first such campaign since their multiple-award-winning sensation LITTLE NEMO: DREAM ANOTHER DREAM lit Kickstarter up and generated over $150,000.

“Will Eisner is the pioneer of the graphic novel and one of the architects of our modern cartooning language,” says Stevens. “This material gives people a chance to see where he started, and how he became what he become. These are the roots of Will Eisner.”

UNCLE OTTO-plate-18x

Locust Moon is seeking $20,000 to fund the publication of a prestige hardcover collecting this unpublished artwork, along with contextual essays and an introduction by historian, publisher, and cartoonist Denis Kitchen. Their Kickstarter campaign is ongoing, and ends on December 10th.

“We want to publish this important document of the genesis of one of the most influential and brilliant cartoonists of all time,” says Locust Moon Editor-in-Chief Andrew Carl. “This book will fill in valuable pieces in Eisner’s biography, and constitute a more complete history of the comics medium.”

“But we can’t do it without you.”

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1576907254/the-lost-work-of-will-eisner

Will_Eisner_San_Diego_Comic_Con_by_Patty_Mooney_2004_s

Will Eisner appeared at 2004 San Diego Comic Con. Photograph by Patty Mooney, Crystal Pyramid Productions, San Diego, California.

The Locust Moon Top 40

40. Unwritten vol. 7

the-unwritten-37

Just when you expect Gross & Carey’s literary-metaphysical magnum opus to start buckling down and wrapping up, it gets headier and wilder.

39. Waking Sleeping Beauty

An absolute love song to the guys who resurrected Disney’s majesty after a muddled, disappointing ’80s. The Howard Ashman stuff is inspiring and tragic.

38. Foxing Quarterly

Art directed by Jim Rugg, this might be the best-looking zine we have ever seen.

37. James Ensor

11-Ensor_StAnthony

The powerful works of this turn-of-the-century Belgian expressionist can be seen at the MoMA. The combination of tiny, obsessive detail with big, broad gestures reminded us of our own David Proch.

36. TCAF

We’re headed north again as the Time Machine travels across the border. Now if we could just find our passports…

35. Print Show

Instead of featuring one particular artist, in May we’re filling the gallery with beautiful low-priced prints from our books and our friends. Our buddies sure do make some pretty pictures here…

34. IDW’s Spirit Artist’s Edition

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Now that’s the spirit! Continue reading

good this week

the colonized #1 : i have no idea if this book is good as i haven’t had a chance to read it yet. but i dig the drew moss art, although i do wish books like this weren’t produced so slickly; this book would look a lot better on old school paper with old school lettering&colors–the slickness here undercuts the vibe.  but this book looks like fun, and i’m looking forward to reading.

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gi joe: the cobra files #1 : so good it’s hard to believe it’s a g.i. joe book. mike costa & antonio fuso  do psychological espionage through the filter of the real american heroes. there’s not much difference between the heroes & villains.

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will eisner’s the spirit artist’s edition : ding ding ding.

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spongebob comics #19 : a particularly excellent piece of comics-making on a near-monthly basis. i’d love to see rob woods and box brown do strips in here.

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mind mgmt hardcover volume #1 : a mind fuck of a modern masterpiece. i have to think it reads better in big chunks than it did month-to-month — and it was pretty stellar reading once a month. the whole package here is a winner, from material to package to price — 20 bucks for a really well-put together hardcover. highly recommended.

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