In the mid-1930s, writer-artist-editor and packager Will Eisner was one of the principal inventors of a little novelty item called comic books. In 1940 he created The Spirit, the savviest and best-drawn detective-adventure strip ever to grace a Sunday supplement. Today, at the age of 74, Eisner is still a risk taker and an artist of astonishing vitality.
Described as a ”thinly disguised autobiography,” To the Heart of the Storm begins on a troop train carrying young draftees during World War II. Young Willie (Eisner) stares out the window, which becomes the picture plane where his memories of childhood and adolescence, as well as his struggling family’s immigrant history, are projected. While the episodes leap back and forth in time and place, the theme is focused: the insidiousness of ”primal prejudice.”
”I cling to the hope that kids growing up today can no longer easily assume a social superiority with its license to discriminate,” writes Eisner. ”But, just in case this view is too sanguine, I share with you my journey.” And what a dramatic, engrossing journey it is. A