I met Mr Eisner in the summer of ’87, initially at a guest lecture at the ICA, later at UKCAC 87
After an excellent, funny lecture, he autographed my (then) shiny new copy of “Comics & Sequential Art”
That book was the cornerstone of my brother’s A level art project a couple of years later. He got an A, IIRC.
Will Eisner took comics seriously as a medium, and was one of the first to do so, not only as a practitioner, but as a teacher. He showed a way forward where comics were as flexible, deep and dynamic as film, TV or the printed word, and had unique advantages and qualities that those media did not.
And he never stopped pushing. He used the medium to tell stories about Dickens’ Fagin, the history of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, morality plays, slices of life, big adventures and small tragedies. As with Julie Schwarz, without him not only comics, but a great swathe of popular culture, would be very different.
And he was a great guy, who was gracious and charming even to a fat, sweaty, sixteen year old fanboy.
I’m glad I met him.