A Contract with God and Other Tenement Stories written and illustrated by Will Eisner, one of the giants in the sequential arts arena, is a perfectly executed graphic novel, which provides the reader a peek at the American experience during the early 1930s. Through four interconnected graphic stories, Eisner provide insights into the human condition while drawing on the memories of his growing up in New York during that time period. A Contract with God and the return of a master artist In the preface to A Contract with God and Other Tenement Stories Will Eisner narrates about his return to the comic art scene with this new book: Twenty five years later, given the time & opportunities, I embarked on the effort, which you hold in your hands; a harvest at last from the seedlings I had carried around with me all those years. The book presents a selection of four stories, which are interconnected and based on a fictional tenement situated in 55 Dropsie Avenue, the Bronx, New York and narrates the personal and intimate memories that the author have about a bunch of characters from his past. Will Eisner blend past and present to create an artwork based on realism in which he fuses together words and illustrations to give them a similarity to the world of dreams or memories. The Sequential Art in A Contract with God Will Eisner follows a rule of realism while producing the artworks in A Contract with God and he uses exaggerations on the depictions of his characters especially their facial features to allow for the limitations of actuality. The way in which he utilized the space and format that he used in this comic book medium to meet this realism is expressed by his following words: Accordingly each story was written without regard to space, and each was allowed to develop its format from itself, that is to evolve from the narration.
I mean, that's what they tell me; I'm sure that 90 percent of the people reading this review know a hell of a lot more about Will Eisner than I do. Despitebecause of?how uncomfortable and upset this book made me, it was an absolutely riveting read. I mean, the stories take place in the twenties and thirties, of course, but it felt like could have been written last year. I guess I was kind of expecting saccharine, Disney-type feel-good stories, or superhero-inspired tales of beautiful people doing wonderful things. There's a shocking amount of meanness and ugliness in these storiescruelty and misanthropy and anti-Semitism and adultery and spousal abuse and rapeand very little of it is remotely punished, which I found totally unnerving. Goldie winds up with a doctor (whom she had previously scorned because she thought he was poor), and Benny seduces an heiress. But I don't want to get bogged down in summary; the real point is that these stories are extremely lifelike, and real life doesn't come with just desserts, or punishments that fit crimes. While it would have annoyed me if these were bland stories about good people being happy and bad people shaking their fists, I was far more upset by the moral ambiguity, the idea thateven in fiction, even in art, where the creator has the power of choicesome people are just awful, and sometimes they get ahead anyway.
Un libro a fumetti che per la prima volta si rivolge agli adulti e non ai ragazzi Un libro cardine, per gli amanti del genere, che segna il passaggio tra il fumetto e l'arte sequenziale.
This is a grim graphic novel consisting of four intertwined stories of characters and lives in a 1930s Bronx tenement - basically autobiographical, by the great comic book artist and graphic novel genre creator Will Eisner. The lead off story ("A Contract with God") reflects the author's anguish at having lost his only daughter at age 16 eight years before he wrote and drew the book. I suppose by the time Eisner wrote and drew this book, which mocks so many "types" mercilessly, he probably did want to get a lifetime of revulsion at much of humanity off his chest. The bitterness at least in Eisner's book is similar albeit Goya's works are much darker and violent, and the exaggeration, caricature quality of drawings mocking venal types, and greedy types, also reminds me of Daumier's prints https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honor%C.... When he wrote "A Contract with God" he must have felt he had nothing to lose in skewering the social scene of his youth - perhaps this was his payback for the misery of his childhood. He was about 60 years old when he wrote it - and probably felt professionally confident enough to write a totally grim book about his recollections of life in the Bronx in the 1930s. There couldn't possibly be any negative repercussions by the time he wrote the book, since the main characters were probably all dead by the time he wrote it, and the world he depicted had at any rate mostly vanished, as demographic change and the march of technology inevitably lead to the disintegration of the village-like Bronx tenement scene. To be honest, I didn't much enjoy this book since the depictions of women were almost 100% negative - even the long-suffering wife in the story called "Cookalein" is eventually seen to have been abandoned by her philandering husband in the last scene, as her melancholy son gazes grimly down from the fire escape into the building's courtyard.
Review of A contract with God This was one of the first Graphic Novels I've read, and it has always stayed with me. I think the mere idea of a contract with God is intriguing.
That caveat out of the way, "A Contract With God" is one of the more moving, deep, and visually surprising graphic novels ever, despite it being the first.
"Mai prima d'ora la vita e i drammi quotidiani delle case popolari negli anni Trenta e Quaranta sono stati rappresentati con tale vividezza e vitalità...Contratto con Dio tesse un arazzo di storie su personaggi che potremmo essere noi tutti." Il titolo della storia si riferisce all'esplorazione del rapporto tra Dio e gli uomini. "Fin dall'inizio sappiamo tutti che Dio ci punirà o ricompenserà a seconda di come ci siamo comportati in conformità con un patto stipulato con lui" scrisse Eisner. Nel 1977 o all'inizio del 1978, dopo avere tentato senza successo di interessare editori importanti, Eisner mostrò il progetto a Norman Golfind, che accettò di pubblicare il libro. Tuttavia molti librai non sapevano dove esporre un graphic novel, Eisner stesso rimase frustrato quando non riuscì a trovare il suo libro da Brentano sulla Quinta Strada a New York.
Will Eisner taught Sequential Art at the New York School of Visual Arts for 20 years. Wizard magazine named Eisner "the most influential comic artist of all time." Michael Chabon's Pulitzer-prize winning novel "Kavalier and Clay" is based in good part on Eisner. In 2002, Eisner received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Federation for Jewish Culture, presented by Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist Art Spiegelman.