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.