By Joe Eskenazi

Published 11/30/2007

Arts & Leisure

New Jersey Jewish Standard

There really isn’t a literary equivalent to comic book pioneer Will Eisner. As a teenager in the 1930s, he founded a superhero-factory comics company during the medium’s primordial days. And nearly 50 years later, he penned the first successful adult comic book — the “graphic novel.”

It’s as if an aging Johannes Gutenberg had knocked out “On the Road.”

Eisner died in 2005 at 87, but that didn’t hurt his career one bit — seven collections of his work have been released since his death.

Perhaps the most personal is “Life, in Pictures,” a nearly 500-page compendium of five Eisner stories written between 1985 and 2003. Subtitled “Autobiog-raphical Stories,” the book could just as well have been named “Those Anti-Semitic Bastards.” The overtly Jewish Eisner grew up and broke into an obscenely cutthroat comics business at a time when “kike” had not yet been sanitized into “the K-word.”

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