Will Eisner, R.I.P.
Just received word that Will Eisner passed away, due to complications from his recent heart surgery.
Will was one of the true greats in the comics industry. He was one of its earliest visionaries, telling people in 1940 that comics could be used to educate and could be more than mere escapist entertainment. It took him decades, but he brought that vision to life time and again.
I got to chat with Will now and again at conventions through the 1980s and he was cordial and happy to chat. While still at Comics Scene, I was covering the San Diego Comic Con and was about planning to sit in on an Eisner panel. Cat Yronwode, then the pre-eminent Eisner scholar, was scheduled to conduct the panel but something came up and she turned to me, in a panic, and asked me to cover for her.
I had not met Will in person at that point, but was certainly familiar with his work, starting with reading my first Spirit story in Jules Feiffer