Talo Bronxissa sis lt realistisia, nopeita tarinoita 1930 luvun New Yorkin k yhist juutalaiskortteleista Will Eisnerin kyn nj lki on el v ja tarinat rujoja ja koskettavia Ajankuva on kiehtovaa. 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 introductory essay by S McCloud was well written and placed the work in context, as well as conveying information about the life and career of 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 The bitterness of this experience transmuted into the fantasy story of Frimml informs the 3 subsequent tenement tales in the book There are few likable characters, and most characters flaws and contradictions are painfully exposed usually leading to some comeuppance or hubris denouement The effect of the overall sad book is in the end grim The book is wonderfully drawn obviously, Mr Eisner was a master of capturing scenes economically, using a fantastic pen ink style, often with strong black shadows inked in to render additional foreboding or danger The dialog narration are well written yet there is little variation in the world depicted, you can almost predict what the almost 100% venal, greedy, status hungry, scheming people will say and how they will act The book overflows with emotion driven action and debacle after debacle as hopes are shattered, there are even scenes of violence and rape Since I usually do not like violence, or to be shown violence in an in your face manner in a graphic novel, this aspect of the book was somewhat disturbing Several women are beaten in the book One is beaten by her husband and then engages in make up sex with him, in front of a 15 year old boy that she has just slept with Women seek out rich men, or resign themselves to marrying men that are not so rich to escape exploitation by relatives being turned into virtual slaves helping in the relatives household They are then seemingly resigned to a lifetime of further drudgery, as they stay at home to take care of kids, the household, and endless chores, while having to make ends meet on the few dollars the husband brings home This is really a grim, merciless, totally un romantic look at the reality of family life for low income struggling immigrants in the Bronx in the first half of the 20th Century The overall effect is one of teeming, sick, humanity, probably as a result of not earning enough to escape tenement life, and having to live on top of each other in railroad apartments, with very few amenities such as adequate heat, no air conditioning, no laundry room, etc I m sure I d read the story Super in another collection by Eisner previously since it seemed very familiar It s a creepy story about a nasty super who is driven to suicide by a thieving minor both the victim and the schemer are disasters as people Most of the characters in these stories have few redeeming qualities Some appear to be caricatures of evil qualities, such as the gold digging girls attracted to any man who seems to have money, the man of modest means who tries to pass himself off as a rich man to attract a rich girl One of the only endearing characters is in the last story the medical student who rescues a fellow Grossman s Grossinger s guest after she has been raped by another guest, by promising to marry her and keep the rape a secret The bucolic wholesomeness of the summer in the mountains contrasts sharply with the seedy, phony, or for some hopeless social scene.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 It reminds me a bit of Goya s grotesque prints on war a reaction to the horrors of war, dynastic succession struggles and in the French Napoleonic invasion of Spain 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 It is sometimes important to show people the horrors of humanity writ large That in turn reminds me of the great artist s treatment of Weimar era mindless pleasure seeking industrialists and other hypocritical types, George Grosz A Contract with God moves quickly can be read in a couple of hours It conveys the author s impression of life in a Bronx tenement, essentially, what he escaped in making a success of himself as a professional graphic artist and writer 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 Eisner probably felt free to criticize that world as much as he liked, even though it was the world he grew up in or perhaps he grew up in it despite it He had nothing to lose by the time he wrote it and then went on to astound the world of publishing, by writing drawing 20graphic novels by the time he died in 2005, contradicting the commonplace that creativity dries up the older one gets For Eisner, he never stopped being creative, and in fact, made some of his greatest creative contributions after standard retirement age Eisner certainly had the secret of youth in a way his work remained fresh and new, even as he aged A Contract with God is obviously a landmark graphic novel the first graphic novel ever written drawn 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 The entire book is grim except for some few flashes of joy, although even they end or are destroyed or cheapened in the course of the book Grimness, death, tackiness, degradation, depravity, all these facets of humanity are packed into A Contract with God The book is the opposite of an escapist story the grimness and all too human quality of the book, leaves the reader with a bitter aftertaste, although as noted, both the dialog narration and the drawings are superb This is an anti Valentine to mankind, perhaps Eisner s commentary about man written by the time he had nothingto fear or lose. Four Powerful Dramas Recall Tenement Life In S New York An Absolute Must For Fans Of Bernard Malamud, Philip Roth,and Isaac Singer The Storytelling Is Straightforward Sometimes Heart Warming, Sometimes Heart Breaking It S Printed In A Single Sepia Colored Ink, Which Adds To The Nostalgic Feel Of The Book And Includes A Contract With God, The Street Singer, The Supper, And Cookalein Will Eisner s legendary graphic novel one of the first of its kind is a semi autobiographical collection of four sad, sometimes downright bleak and depressing stories centered around the residents of one tenement in the Bronx in or around 1930 s Eisner s storytelling is masterful, the characters are full of life and the stories still resonate despite being decades old at this point It s not a very pleasant read since most of these stories are about human suffering and misery, but there s no artificial melodrama the stories feel authentic, and the emotions are very real A Contract with God is a great book, and every comics reader should read it at some point. Eisner himself admits in his multiple introductions to this volume that A Contract With God was in some ways an experiment which led him to develop the skills he d use in a farserious way on Dropsie Avenue Dropsie Avenue is indeed the superior work.That caveat out of the way, A Contract With God is one of themoving, deep, and visually surprising graphic novels ever, despite it being the first The writing is sensitive, empathetic, and poetically simple The images are masterful Look at the full portrait of the superintendent frightening and real and sad in the extreme The story as a whole and in its parts takes us precisely where great novels should into a truth beyond facts, reflecting our own lives just as it reflects Eisner s.It may be unnecessary to say anything nice about this book, given the praise heaped on it over the decades Tough situation then, to find oneself to gushingly enad. Review of A contract with GodThis was one of the first Graphic Novels I ve read, and it has always stayed with me I m not sure why I ve reread it a few days ago and I still don t know why this story affects me The story wasn t that great, and it was also rather short In the book, an orthodox jew loses his faith after his daughter dies He doesn t understand, because all he ever did was serving God and after all, he had a contract with God, written on a stone I think the mere idea of a contract with God is intriguing Some people do lose their fate when something really bad happens to them Some people find faith in times of hardship Others doubt their entire life But believers do expect something of their faith So who can be blamed God Or was it only a faulty contract 9 10 Will Eisner , , ,,, , , , 30 , ,, ,,, , , , 30, , , ,, , ,, , , lettering, , , ,, , . 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 vitalit 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 punir o ricompenser a seconda di come ci siamo comportati in conformit con un patto stipulato con lui scrisse Eisner Quando il protagonista Frimme Hersh, un ebreo devoto, patisce un lutto devastante, deve trovare una risposta alla domanda cosa succede quando questo patto si rompe Realizzato a matita su semplice carta da stampa, poi inchiostrato meticolosamente su pergamena trasparente stesa sui disegni, il libro prese forma nello studio di Eisner Quando lo termin , raccolse le tavole in un portfolio e le mostr a potenziali editori di New York Al suo editore di The Spirit, scrisse Scusa, Denis, per questo progetto specifico ho bisogno di un editore con un indirizzo a Park Avenue, non al numero 2 di Via della Palude Ma i grandi editori a cui Eisner present l insolito progetto si rifiutarono di imbarcarsi in un avventura cos rischiosa e originale Nel 1977 o all inizio del 1978, dopo avere tentato senza successo di interessare editori importanti, Eisner mostr il progetto a Norman Golfind, che accett di pubblicare il libro Tuttavia molti librai non sapevano dove esporre un graphic novel, Eisner stesso rimase frustrato quando non riusc a trovare il suo libro da Brentano sulla Quinta Strada a New York Il direttore rispose Oh, le abbiamo esposte nella sezione dei libri di religione ma non vendevano, perci adesso sono in magazzino L opera in realt una raccolta di quattro episodi 1 Contratto con Dio 2 Il cantante di strada 3 Il super 4 Cookalein.Una miniera di storie con cui illustrare la vita del caseggiato, gli appartamenti ferrovia , con stanze accodate l una all altra come i vagoni di un treno, in cui vivevano operai o impiegati sottopagati e con famiglie assillate dai problemi Non c era privacy, n anonimato Si sapeva tutto di tutti Le storie contenute in questo libro sgorgano da quel flusso inarrestabile di avvenimenti che caratterizzano la vita di citt Alcune sono vere Altre potrebbero esserlo. book 10 for Jugs Capes And essay 3 for CCLaP In fact, someone from Will Eisner Studios actually contacted me to say they enjoyed the review Neat Ah, Will Eisner Undoubtedly the father or the modern graphic novel, his influence has been huge and sweeping 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 lotabout Will Eisner than I do But I do know that 1978 s A Contract With God is an incredibly important work in a way that many pieces of art struggle with it has remained fresh and relevant for all these decades, and even I, as chick and a lit buff and a graphic novel neophyte, could relate to it, and be made devastated and furious by it, and appreciate it wholly.A few months ago, my book club read Frank Miller s Batman The Dark Knight Returns I didn t like it, hardly at all The book just didn t jive at all with the image I d been handed about its game changing ness I mean, it s supposed to be this pinnacle and groundbreaker of its form, and I kind of understand how that might have been true when it was first published But now In 2010, for me to come to Dark Knight with no knowledge of comic book history and tropes, living in a CGI world, an indie fabulous world, a YouTube world, a world where everything Miller ever did has been exponentially permutated and shifted and reconsidered from every possible anglewell, his efforts just weren t that impressive.But in the case of A Contract With God, I felt just the opposite Despite because of how uncomfortable and upset this book made me, it was an absolutely riveting read It didn t feel remotely out of date It didn t even feel old I mean, the stories take place in the twenties and thirties, of course, but it felt like could have been written last year There was nothing stilted in the language, nothing clunky in the design, nothing old fashioned in the pictures Maybe this is because Eisner really did set the standard, and everyone in the last forty years has just been working off of his template If so man A genius, indeed.I m going to go ahead and admit that I was not intending to be very moved by this book I guess I was kind of expecting saccharine, Disney type feel good stories, or superhero inspired tales of beautiful people doing wonderful things Surely everyone in the world knows how totally wrong I was There s a shocking amount of meanness and ugliness in these stories cruelty and misanthropy and anti Semitism and adultery and spousal abuse and rape and very little of it is remotely punished, which I found totally unnerving So even though I was expecting to be disappointed by this being a sappy morality tale, I have to admit that a part of me really does want to see the good guys rewarded and the bad guys get what s comin to em.Let me give an example In a subplot in the story Cookalein, we have a little case of mistaken identity Benny and Goldie, who have both gone to a summer resort explicitly to bag a wealthy mate, each think the other is loaded After courting for a few days, they steal away into the woods in the middle of the night to cement their union, but then surprise they find out they re both poor After she cries, Benny, if you love me, nothing else matters , he drops his pants and growls, It s a whole new ballgame now, baby, then lunges at her, ripping her clothes and taking her by force So how does the story end Goldie winds up with a doctor whom she had previously scorned because she thought he was poor , and Benny seduces an heiress Neither is punished Everybody wins.And that wasn t even the most upsetting example 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 Real life is messy, and cruel, and mean, and ugly And, for me, even worse than when things are ugly is when they re just totally unfair While it would have annoyed me if these were bland stories about good people being happy and bad people shaking their fists, I was farupset by the moral ambiguity, the idea that even in fiction, even in art, where the creator has the power of choice some people are just awful, and sometimes they get ahead anyway Eisner has left everything unvarnished, unglossed, and unmended I get that, and I have great respect for his evocative realism But I d be lying if I said I liked it. Dio esiste e vive nel BronxCosa rappresenta Contratto con Dio di Will Eisner 1 il primo libro di un genere, quello della Graphic Novel Anno 1978 2 Un fumetto dove per la prima volta non ci sono eroi in calzamaglia, ma persone comuni che vivono, pregano, sognano, soffrono 3 Un insieme di disegni con uno stile inconfondibile che esce dai soliti canoni del fumetto 4 Un libro con interessanti riflessioni sulla fede le persone passano la vita a pensare che se rispetteranno le regole, ossia il cosiddetto accordo con Dio, saranno ricompensate Anche se tutti sanno, dentro di loro, che questo non affatto vero 5 Un libro a fumetti che per la prima volta si rivolge agli adulti e non ai ragazziUn libro cardine, per gli amanti del genere, che segna il passaggio tra il fumetto e l arte sequenziale Anche se, purtroppo, letto oggi risente dei quarant anni passati.
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- 200 pages
- A Contract With God and Other Tenement Stories
- Will Eisner
- 18 April 2019 Will Eisner