Will Eisner, innovator of an increasingly popular literary format, the graphic novel, died yesterday at the age of 87. His most well-known creation was "The Spirit", a hero with no superpowers. Obit here.
Eisner was born in New York on March 6, 1917, published his first comic in 1936 in a publication called "Wow, What a Magazine!" There, he met Jerry Iger, and together they created a comic book outfit that employed, among other artists, Bob Kane, the creator of Batman, and Jack Kirby, one of the creators of the Fantastic Four and several other Marvel Comics heroes. Eisner also had the bad fortune of turning down a comic called Superman by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.
For more information on contemporary graphic novels, here's a
website by librarian Steve Roman of the DeKalb (IL)Public Library.