- Full Description
Unearthed as part of a massive collection of pre-WWII newspaper printing plates, these mid-1930s comic strips -- the humorous Uncle Otto (looking very much like Jack Cole's work) and two-fisted agent Harry Karry -- represent the earliest known cartooning of the great comics and sequential art pioneer Will Eisner. In these strips you can see the young Eisner's imagination expanding, as he experiments with the possibilities of serialized storytelling and art. Attractive oblong format, silver embossed cover, cloth binding.
"Virtually unseen before this collection, a little-known part of Will Eisner's earliest pre-Spirit career is unmasked, revealing valuable new insights on his rapidly developing style and storytelling technique." - Denis Kitchen.
By far the longest feature is the sequence of Harry Karry, covering nearly half the book at two strips per page. What begins as a cartoony spoof on adventure strips quickly morphs into a serious noir story, echoing the work of Alex Raymond's Secret Agent X-9 and Eisner's own strips, Espionage and ZX-5 (in Jumbo and Smash Comics) and The Spirit (for the newspapers). This was created even before his best-known early work, Hawks of the Seas. It has all the angle shots, rare perspectives, femme fatale beauties, and two-fisted action of Eisner's coming work.
Harry Karry made its official debut in Wow, What A Magazine #2 in 1936. He was the kind of detective that took the law into his own hands, and wasn't reluctant to shoot opponents dead. He appeared again in #3 & 4, when the title was discontinued. Uncle Otto had a longer life, appearing on the cover of Jumbo Comics #1 and as a regular strip all the way to #32, with more cover cameos. It's suspected Eisner may have had an assistant on the Otto strips here, but that information is lost to history.
The comics collected within document the genesis of one of the most iconic and brilliant cartoonists of all time. Denis Kitchen provides an in-depth introduction to the work and the context in which it fits into Eisner's life and career. We also are treated to an extra introduction by Richard Greene, who talks about finding this rare work among "the mountain " of cartoon printing plates that would eventually come to be known as the "Getsinger Find." A massive number of 1930s-era zinc plates had miraculously survived the scrap metal drives of World War II...disclosing "...the cartooning equivalent of folios of a teenage Shakespeare, or the schoolbook scribbles of a post adolescent Picasso."
- Additional Information
Item Code LOWEH Binding Hard Cover - No Dustjacket Dimensions 11x7 # Pages 72pg Color b&w