WILL EISNER, Father of the Graphic Novel, on Screen at the AFI Silver
As part of the 20th Annual Washington Jewish Film Festival, Silver Spring’s AFI Silver Theatre is turning its eye to one of American Judaism’s most under-appreciated additions to the cultural landscape — the comic book — and one of the form’s late grand masters: the incomparable Will Eisner.
On Sun., Dec. 6th, a rarely seen documentary feature chronicling the acclaimed writer and illustrator’s career, Will Eisner: Portrait of a Sequential Artist, will make its Washington debut. After creating one of comic’s most dazzlingly rendered crime-fighters with The Spirit in 1940, Eisner would go onto produce several long-form graphic novels, including one of the country’s first, 1978’s A Contract with God.
In the process, he imbued the “comics” — a term he despised — with a sense of gravity theretofore unknown to a medium ruled by spandex-clad demigods. As Eisner told Time after the publication his Fagin the Jew (itself a refutation of the antisemitic stereotype portrayed in Dicken’s Oliver Twist): “Look at all my books, underlying all of them is the depiction of human beings struggling to survive one way or another.”
Will Eisner: Portrait of a Sequential Artist will screen at 12:15 pm and feature an appearance by director Andrew D. Cooke. General admission to all shows at the Washington Jewish Film Festival, running from Dec. 3rd-13th, is $10. For more information, visit their website here.