Upcoming Exhibition

Will Eisner
Graphic Novel Godfather

11.3. — 18.6.2023

2 Will Eisner Life City A Narrative Portfolio 1980 Hintergrund bearbeitet

Will Eisner «Life» aus: «City – A Narrative Portfolio» 1980

Will Eisner (1917–2005) is considered one of the founding fathers of modern comics. Born to poor Jewish immigrants from Austria and Romania, this artist, writer, ‘inventor’ of the graphic novel, theorist and producer grew up in Brooklyn and the Bronx. In 1939, he created ‘The Spirit’, his famous series about a masked gangster hunter. For Eisner, this was mainly about probing the causes of criminality and societal problems. His sophisticated dramaturgy, spectacular perspectives, subjective points of view, unusual cuts and formal experiments were groundbreaking. In 1978, he released a 196-page comic, ‘A Contract with God and Other Tenement Stories’, on the cover of which, he definitively announced a new genre: ‘A Graphic Novel by Will Eisner’. Before his death in 2005, Eisner published several non-fiction books on the subject of ‘sequential art’ and created another 16 highly ambitious graphic novels. Due to his Jewish background, Eisner fought prejudice and anti-Semitism throughout his life. In 2002, he received a lifetime achievement award from the National Foundation for Jewish Culture, adding to his numerous other honours and prizes. Cartoonmuseum Basel presents this major artist for the first time in Switzerland, in a large-scale retrospective with original drawings, historical comic books, photographs and other contemporary documents.


Press conference: 9.3.2023, 11am

Opening: 10.3.2023, 6.30pm

Curator: Dr. Alexander Braun