Lakes Festival to Celebrate Will Eisner Centennial

The Lakes International Comic Art Festival recently announced that this years festival will mark the centennial of Will Eisner’s birth with three exciting projects to celebrate the work and impact he had on the comic industry.

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Eisner started supplying strips to comic publishers in 1936, encouraged by his school friend and future Batman creator Bob Kane. He set up a studio with former editor Jerry Iger, employing a staff of comic artists to draw strips for a range of early comic book publishers. The Spirit, Eisner’s most famous and lasting creation premiered in a weekly syndicated Sunday newspaper supplement in June, 1940. Eisner was able to deliver stories to his more mature audience using innovative storytelling techniques, drawing inspiration from cinema and film noir in particular.

After, a stint in the Army during World War II, Eisner continued The Spirit and set up a company producing educational comics, particularly used for training purposes. He produced a number of autobiographical long form comics, helping to popularise the term ‘graphic novel’. He created one of the first major works on comics theory with the publication of ‘Comics & Sequential Art’ in 1985. He continued to produce comics right up to his death in 2005.

The Lakes International Comic Art Festival is commemorating 100 years since Will Eisner’s birth in the following ways:

A broad sheet sized centennial comic, with contributions from contemporary comic greats such as Sean Philips, Ed Brubaker, Jason Latour and many more.

An exhibition at the Brewery Arts Centre of Eisner’s comic artwork from throughout his long career with rare pages and several complete Spirit stories.

A competition for students to illustrate ‘The Spirit of the Lake District’

Full details of these great events are on ComicArtFestival.com

Keep listening to the Podcast, where we will be examining Will Eisner’s life and  his astounding contribution to comic art in future episodes.

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Judgement on Gotham

As we build up to the launch of the podcast we will look at some of our favourite comics from the past. As the show progresses we will no doubt see our tastes change as we read a much more varied selection but for now this is what one of us has enjoyed from the past.

Judgement on Gotham released December 1991

Written by: Alan Grant & John Wagner. Artist: Simon Bisley. Letterer: Todd Klein

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When Judgement of Gotham came out I was into both 200AD and Batman so the combination for me was perfect. I was 13 at the time and essentially it was my boyhood combination of my favourite two characters. I remember the build up to the release as well in 2000AD and upon release I promptly marched myself into Lancaster City centre to find my copy and I was not disappointed.

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As Judge Death jumps into Gotham via a dimensional jump device he faces off against Batman who kills his body and Death runs off into Gotham. Batman then transported into the world of Mega Coty One were he faces off against one of my favourite characters Mean Machine. Dredd soon shows up and captures Batman but Anderson frees him taking him back to Gotham to find Death, Dredd follows and the story continues.

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Every bit of this story is exciting and pulls all the best bits of Batman and Dredd. The art work is stunning and every scene packs a perfect punch of colour and action with the framing bringing every scene out of the comic. Some really memorable scenes stand out too such as Batman punching Dredd or Deaths nightmare.  Classic – Ian