Read Um contrato com Deus e outras histórias de cortiço by Will Eisner Free Online
Book Title: Um contrato com Deus e outras histórias de cortiço|
The author of the book: Will Eisner
Date of issue: 1995
ISBN 13: 9788511310054
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 890 KB
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Reader ratings: 7.6
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‘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 brief look at Will Eisner as a master graphic artist
Born in 1917, Will Eisner was heavily influential in the comic art form and stands tall in the pantheon of all-time sequential artists with such luminaries like Milton Arthur Paul Caniff and Jack Kirby. He started with his contributions in this medium through “The Spirit”, a weekly newspaper insert comic book, in the early 1940s. He utilized “The Spirit” as a launching platform for experimenting his ideas and expressing stories in his mind through comic art form.
At that time the sequential art form and comic books were not considered seriously and was often ridiculed by expert artists. “The Spirit”, with its crime, adventure and drama stories featuring a masked vigilante published every week got popular and it had an influence on the noir genre movies produced during the 1940s.
Jules Feiffer, whose career began with Eisner and who wrote “Comics are ‘junk’, but that junk is good, even necessary” in a 1965 essay on comic book history, made these observations on the the graphic arts created by Eisner:
“… the world was redefined by his camera eye. More than anyone else, Eisner was able to squeeze more human interest and more dimension and take heroes and use them—as he used the Spirit—as side characters to telling another story…”
After finishing with “The Spirit” series in 1952, Eisner left the sequential arts arena for other pragmatic ventures. After 25 years he returned to the comic book scenario with a series of ‘graphic novels’ – a preexisting term, which was popularized by Will Eisner – of which “A Contract with God”, released in 1978 cementing his reputation as a master in the comics arena.
‘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.”
This book is based on the memories that Will Eisner has about his own and his contemporaries’ experiences while growing up in New York. 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.
The tenement was built around 1920 when the flow of immigrants after World War I to New York was like a flood. By the 30s low paid city employees, laborers and their families thrived in these tenements, which became home to a whole first generation of Americans born to their foreign parents. There was no privacy within these apartment buildings and these stories that Will Eisner narrate in the graphic medium is based on the life as it was in these tenements during “the dirty 30s”. You can detect the dynamics of relationships, the culture, the depression and state of economy and everything that prevailed in the 30s within these frames.
In the first story titled “A Contract with God” we witness the story of Frimme Hersh - an immigrant who fled the terrible anti-semitic pogroms of 1882 after the assassination of Alexander II of Russia as a child and who became a prominent religious and social figure in the Hassidic community in the New York City - giving up his religious faith after the death of his young adopted daughter. This is based on Eisner’s own loss of his 16-year-old daughter and reflects some of his inner feelings towards god and faith he felt during those times.
In “The Street Singer”, we meet an alcoholic street singer - and one with some serious domestic violence issues - who is seduced by a retired diva. She tries to mentor him by giving him an opportunity to train under her and have a career in the show business. In “The Super” we come to know about the dark tale of ‘Mr. Scuggs’, who was the superintendent of the tenement. Both these stories are ironically tragic and are dark in their soul with “The Super” having overt signs of pedophilia.
In the final story in this book, “Cookalein” we meet Eisner himself as a fifteen year old and is an intertwining tale of a lot of characters in which the author describes his own “honest account of coming of age”.
We can meet characters who are ambitious, who are lonely, who have dreams and anxieties about future, who fight against despair & poverty in these depictions of the plain true-life brimming with sights of desires, frustrations and cynicism happening among the tenements which the author fishes out of his memory. 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. Since these memories about the people and his views about the surroundings are from way past, they have a certain amount of dullness in his mind, which he recaptures in the illustrations through caricature like figures and a monochrome tone which mimic the world of dreams perfectly on the paper.
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. Since these are memories from decades back, he resorts to caricature to illustrate the characters as his memory regarding their exact features are hazy.
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. The normal frames (or panels) associated with sequential art are allowed to take on their integrity. For example, in many cases an entire page is set out as a panel. The text and the balloon are interlocked with the art.”
The picture and copy are so interdependent and are inseparable even for a moment, so he fuses them together in such a manner to create a smooth flowing narrative. In many pages the traditional box frames are not used; instead the full page is utilized in a manner to maximize the visual impact on the reader.
These four social dramas, which are interconnected with their common setting, presented within this graphic novel are at times heart warming and at times heart breaking. They are told with so much candidness so that we can witness almost everything related to life with in these comic panels.
“A Contract with God” was always a special book for Will Eisner and he held it close to his heart through out his life, which can be recognized from his words:
“After many subsequent works, I can still look back at this maiden effort without embarrassment and I retain for it the special affection one has for his first child.”
Totally worth reading for the sheer candidness of the narrative and the clever use of illustrations to convey the spirit of a story, but be warned that there are strong depictions of sex and nudity within these frames even if they are not portrayed in a perverted manner.
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Read information about the authorWill Eisner was born on March 6, 1917 in Brooklyn, New York. By the time of his death on January 3, 2005, Will Eisner was recognized internationally as one of the giants in the field of sequential art, a term he coined.
In a career that spanned nearly eight decades -- from the dawn of the comic book to the advent of digital comics - Will Eisner was truly the 'Father of the Graphic Novel' and the 'Orson Welles of Comics.' He broke new ground in the development of visual narrative and the language of comics and was the creator of The Spirit, John Law, Lady Luck, Mr. Mystic, Uncle Sam, Blackhawk, Sheena, and countless others.
During World War II, Will Eisner used the comic format to develop training and equipment maintenance manuals for the US Army. After the war this continued as the Army's "PS Magazine" which is still being produced today. Will Eisner taught Sequential Art at the New York School of Visual Arts for 20 years. The textbooks that he wrote were based on his course and are still bestsellers. In 1978, Will Eisner wrote "A Contract with God," the first modern Graphic Novel. This was followed by almost 20 additional graphic novels over the following 25 years.
The "Oscars" of the Comic Industry are called The Eisner Awards, and named after Will Eisner. The Eisners are presented annually before a packed ballroom at San Diego Comic-Con, America's largest comics convention.
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.
Visit www.WillEisner.com for more information about Will Eisner. "Like" the Facebook Official Will Eisner Page.
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