Join some of the brightest lights in contemporary cartooning for the Comic-Con Museum Celebrates Will Eisner, a day-long salute honoring the pioneering cartoonist and educator on Sunday, March 1 at the Comic-Con Museum, presented by Comic-Con International and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund! Meet comics superstars Henry Barajas, Cecil Castellucci, Mary Fleener, Kate Leth, and Victoria Ying, get acquainted with San Diego area comics teachers and learn about the newest trends in teaching comics, and get an insider’s look at Will Eisner himself from the people who knew him well. This event is free, and includes tickets to win special Will Eisner-themed items, so come out to celebrate comics, community, and one of the trailblazing figures who makes all of our work possible at Will Eisner Day!
Schedule of panels and events:
12:10 The Tao of Will—Hard work. Skill. Self-Confidence. Hustle. Something to Say. These were the qualities that defined Will Eisner’s personal ethic. Eisner/Miller author and CBLDF executive director Charles Brownstein shows how the values Will Eisner lived by hold the key to unlocking one’s own personal potential.
1:00 The Spirit of Comic-Con—Will Eisner believed in Comic-Con. From the first time he was a guest of the show in 1975, until his death in 2005, Will was an integral part of the Comic-Con family, investing in the community and professional institutions of the show. Besides always being onstage to hand out trophies at the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, he spearheaded the Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award, appeared on programs, did signings and always made time to encourage aspiring creators and fans. Sharing personal photos and reminiscences, Eisner Awards administrator Jackie Estrada shows you the Will Eisner she knew.
1:45 Ticketed Giveaway #1 and Break
2:00 To The Head of the Class: A Comics Educator Meetup—Do you teach with comics? Do you want to, but don’t know where to begin? Do you want to meet others who share a passion for comics in schools and libraries? This is the panel for you! Join CBLDF education contributor Betsy Gomez for an overview of the current landscape of comics and education, featuring Jewyl Clarke (integrated curriculum coordinator, San Diego County Office of Education), and Erwin Magbanua (principal librarian, Chula Vista Public Library). Starting with his military service in World War II, Will Eisner was one of the earliest champions for the educational potential of comics; nothing would make him happier than being in a room full of teachers who share his values. Come toast Will’s foresight, see what other teachers are up to, share your techniques, win teacher oriented prizes, and make new friends!
3:00 Life Forces: The Art of the Comics Memoir—Will Eisner pioneered the American comics memoir with To The Heart of the Storm, The Dreamer, and a host of semi-autobiographical graphic novels. A generation later, the genre is thriving, with stories for all walks of life by a diverse field of creators with a wide range of singular approaches. Creators Henry Barajas (La Voz De M.A.Y.O: Tata Rambo), Cecil Castellucci (Girl on Film), Mary Fleener (Life of the Party), Kate Leth (Valley Ghouls), and Victoria Ying (Mother Tongue) talk about the joys, challenges, heartbreaks, and breakthroughs that come with bringing real life to the comics page in this panel moderated by Laura Jones, Comic-Con operations and programming coordinator.
4:00 Ticketed Giveaway #2 and Closing Reception
Admission is FREE!
Will Eisner (1917–2005) is recognized as a comics visionary. Starting with his early career running the Eisner-Iger Shop (a group of writers and artists who provided original content to publishers), Eisner was known for his great art and storytelling ability. He introduced his creation The Spirit in 1940 in a new format: a 16-page comic book supplement included in about 20 Sunday newspapers around the country. At its height, the blue-suited crimefighter reached close to 5 million readers each week. Eisner produced the supplement for almost 13 years, and in 1951 created PS: The Preventive Maintenance Monthly, which illustrated preventative maintenance techniques in comics form for the U.S. Army. In 1978, Eisner was one of the pioneers of the graphic novel format, publishing A Contract with God, and going on to write and illustrate numerous graphic novels until his death in 2005. Eisner was a great friend of Comic-Con, and to this day the event salutes him each year with the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards and the Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award. In honor of his memory, the first week in March each year is known as Will Eisner Week, promoting comics, graphic novel literacy, free speech, and the legacy of this amazing comic storyteller.