The Con­tract With God Tril­o­gy: Life on Drop­sie Avenue

Will Eis­ner
  • Review
By – July 9, 2012

With the famed graph­ic novelist’s death in Jan­u­ary 2005 there has been a surge of inter­est in his work. W.W. Nor­ton has plans to pub­lish the com­plete Will Eis­ner graph­ic nov­el library” in three new hard­cov­er com­pi­la­tions begin­ning in Novem­ber 2005. The steep price of these hand­some edi­tions may be a deter­rent to some read­ers, but librar­i­ans inter­est­ed in build­ing a col­lec­tion of lit­er­a­ture about the Amer­i­can immi­grant expe­ri­ence need to be sure this book is on their shelves. 

The Tril­o­gy com­piles three pre­vi­ous­ly pub­lished works, all peo­pled with mem­o­rable char­ac­ters: A Con­tract with God, a col­lec­tion of four relat­ed sto­ries of life in a ten­e­ment in the Bronx; A Life Force, which takes place at the same address dur­ing the Great Depres­sion; and Drop­sie Avenue, an ode to the life and death of a neigh­bor­hood over its life­time. Com­plete with 12 new illus­tra­tions and an illu­mi­nat­ing pref­ace cre­at­ed by Eis­ner just before he died, this edi­tion is a sig­nif­i­cant trib­ute to a true mas­ter of his genre.

Wendy Was­man is the librar­i­an & archivist at the Cleve­land Muse­um of Nat­ur­al His­to­ry in Cleve­land, Ohio.

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