By Jessica Driscoll
June 13, 2011
WOODBURY HEIGHTS — Joseph Getsinger calls the three years he’s spent uncovering the early works of cartoonist Will Eisner an “educational journey.”
“I like to keep things alive, things that might otherwise die,” said Getsinger, a local artist and former New Jersey State Police officer. “These plates would’ve otherwise sat in someone’s attic or basement and likely oxidized to nothing.”
The plates Getsinger speaks of are lead-zinc based comic printing plates from the late 1930s and early 1940s. A few years ago, Getsinger acquired more than 7,500 of the original plates from a friend who had bought them from an antique dealer but wasn’t sure what to do with them. Upon researching the comics on the plates, Getsinger realized they were early works by famous cartoonists like Eisner who later produced “The Spirit,” Bob Kane who created “Batman” and Ruth Roche, one of the first female comics in the country.
Getsinger believes the plates originally came from a Philadelphia newspaper that closed down in the 1950s. After checking with the Eisner estate that the comics were public domain — meaning that they had been printed at one point but were now largely unknown — he decided to produce a book called “The Spirit of Harry Karry.”
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Bob Andelman is the author or co-author of 12 books, including ‘The Consulate’ with Thomas R. Stutler, ‘The Profiler’ with Pat Brown, ‘Built From Scratch’ with the founders of The Home Depot, ‘The Profit Zone’ with Adrian Slywotzky, ‘Mean Business’ with Albert J. Dunlap, and ‘Will Eisner: A Spirited Life.’
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