James Vance has written comics and written about comics during his career. Most recently, he has been an editor on the W.W. Norton series of Will Eisner graphic novel reissues. So it was interesting to see this blog post on the release of the third of Eisner’s instructional books, Expressive Anatomy for Comics and Narrative:
Will didn’t live long enough to see this one completely finished – there are a few brief bits that were fleshed out by other contributors based on Will’s outline – but it’s still a valuable contribution and quintessential Eisner-as-teacher: chatty, didactic and charming, often all at the same time.
One of my freelance gigs over the past few years has been as copy editor of Norton’s Eisner library, a gig that’s been simultaneously an honor and occasionally just a bit terrifying.
Most of the work that’s been reprinted by Norton was originally published by Kitchen Sink Press (and therefore edited by the near-infallible Dave Schreiner), so the books were already in damned good shape. And I’d gotten a thumbs-up from Will back when I worked on the editing of the original edition of Dropsie Avenue – including a thank-you in the book’s introductory material (and believe me: Will was a gentleman, but he didn’t weasel around with overt gestures if he didn’t mean them) – so I didn’t feel like a complete horse’s ass when it came time to take a red pencil to his stuff. Still, it was Eisner…
For more on the preparation of this book, check out my own interview with Pete Poplaski, who brought Eisner’s notes and sketches together to complete this posthumous manuscript.