Thursday, September 24, 2009

Trade Marks: Dropsie Avenue

Long time fans of Will Eisner know what to expect here, as this 1995 graphic novel showcases Eisner at his 'slice of life' best. I think it's as good a place as any for new readers to dip their toes into the Eisner pool. He is very skillful in his ability to portray sprawling history and societal change through the examination of the intimate conversations and interactions of a single street. So much is conveyed so much through these characters, but it is done so subtlety that it may take a while for the reader to realize that Dropsie Avenue represents the world as a whole. From era to era, from culture to culture, Eisner examines the human experience at the street level. We've seen him do this before - but this is up there with his very best work. The art is very strong, as Eisner knows how to keep the eye movie, which is especially challenging in this kind of action-free story. I've got the 2006 W.W. Norton paperback, and I much prefer this format to the larger books produced in the mid to late 90s. It does retain the introduction by Eisner to the 1995 edition. Trade Mark: A

1 comment:

Edo Bosnar said...

I have the hardcover edition that contains the whole "Contract with God" trilogy, and I can't decide which of the three installments I like best. They function well together but also alone as outstanding pieces of graphic storytelling. Agreed, though, that the 'history of a street' approach in Dropsie Ave. is brilliant. This is Eisner at his very best.