By: Timothy Callahan

In 1978, the legendary Will Eisner released A Contract With God upon the world, a masterpiece that launched the graphic novel craze that would eventually compel your local Barnes & Noble to push aside mid-list Sidney Sheldon and Chuck Palahniuk novels to dedicate upwards of twelve feet of shelving to books like The Walking Dead Volume One, The Walking Dead Volume Two, Persepolis, and Superman: Earth One.

That’s the simple and untrue history of the graphic novel, and of A Contract With God in particular. Decades hence, we know more about how what we call the graphic novel came to be, what A Contract With God had to do with it, and how this seminal work was not always viewed with such esteem.


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