Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
The very earliest comics by the great Will Eisner have recently been discovered. We intend to collect them in a definitive edition.
The very earliest comics by the great Will Eisner have recently been discovered. We intend to collect them in a definitive edition.
The very earliest comics by the great Will Eisner have recently been discovered. We intend to collect them in a definitive edition.
1,116 backers pledged $51,376 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

The Lost Work of Will Eisner project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

The Lost Work of Will Eisner

$51,376

1,116

The very earliest comics by the great Will Eisner (The Spirit, A Contract with God, namesake of the prestigious Eisner Awards) have recently been discovered. We intend to publish these almost entirely never-before-seen strips from his teenage years in a definitive edition which will highlight the first origins of one of the forefathers of modern cartooning. And we can't do it without you.  

Will Eisner's THE SPIRIT, the series which would become his calling card.
Will Eisner's THE SPIRIT, the series which would become his calling card.

No Longer Lost: The Getsinger Find

When the New Jersey artist and antique collector Joseph Getsinger acquired an enormous, 10,000-piece collection of 1930s-era cartoon printing plates, he had no idea what riches it contained -- just a hunch that there might be some diamonds in the rough. During his research, he became fascinated with two strips in particular: UNCLE OTTO by one "Carl Heck" and HARRY KARRY, credited to an unknown artist named "Willis B. Rensie."

Some of Getsinger's printing plate score.
Some of Getsinger's printing plate score.

As Joe began to investigate the provenance of this massive collection, he found that it was linked to Empire Features, a company that provided printing plates to various newspapers for syndication. Eisner & Iger Studios -- the partnership between the very young Jerry Iger and Will Eisner to distribute and publish their many fledgling comic books, strips, and magazines -- was one of Empire Features' many customers.

Getsinger's Heck/Rensie/Eisner printing plates.
Getsinger's Heck/Rensie/Eisner printing plates.

One day shortly after becoming aware of this connection, Getsinger was looking at a reverse-printed HARRY KARRY plate and it came to him in a flash: "Rensie" was Eisner spelled backwards. He suddenly knew that what he had here was of extraordinary historical value.

Later work by Will Eisner.
Later work by Will Eisner.

The Lost Work: UNCLE OTTO & HARRY KARRY

UNCLE OTTO and HARRY KARRY, it turns out, represent the earliest known sequential artwork of Will Eisner -- and until now, apart from their titles and a very small smattering of strips salvaged from the few local newspapers that intermittently published them, their contents were almost completely unknown.

Uncle Otto by Carl Heck, a.k.a. young Will Eisner
Uncle Otto by Carl Heck, a.k.a. young Will Eisner

In these 100 early strips you can see Eisner's imagination expanding, as he experiments with the possibilities of serialized storytelling and works through his many influences, finally emerging with a close approximation of the style that brought him success and fame with THE SPIRIT in 1940.

In its ninth strip, HARRY KARRY shifts suddenly toward the SPIRIT spectrum.
In its ninth strip, HARRY KARRY shifts suddenly toward the SPIRIT spectrum.

We want to publish this important document of the genesis of one of the most influential and brilliant cartoonists of all time. With your help, we can.

Will Eisner's THE SPIRIT would build on the action and comedy of his cartooning in HARRY KARRY and UNCLE OTTO.
Will Eisner's THE SPIRIT would build on the action and comedy of his cartooning in HARRY KARRY and UNCLE OTTO.

This is the first in a planned series of archival projects from Locust Moon Press, in which we intend to salvage vital pieces of comics and art history from the sands of time. We hope that you'll help us in this effort to create a more complete history of the artwork of Will Eisner, and to provide a window into the creative process and self-invention of a genius.

HARRY KARRY by Willis B. Rensie, a.k.a. Will Eisner.
HARRY KARRY by Willis B. Rensie, a.k.a. Will Eisner.

 ABOUT WILL EISNER

Will Eisner, caled by Wizard Magazine "the most influential comic artist of all time," is one of the foundational figures in the history of comics. In a career that spanned eight decades, he devised an entirely new cartooning language, created hundreds of unforgettable characters, pioneered the concept of the graphic novel, and reinvented his chosen medium.

He is the author of THE SPIRIT, which ran from 1940-1952, the early graphic novels A CONTRACT WITH GOD, A LIFE FORCE, DROPSIE AVENUE and THE DREAMER, as well as works on comic theory such as COMICS ND SEQUENTIAL ART and GRAPHIC STORYTELLING AND VISUAL NARRATIVE.

He is the namesake of the comics industry's highest award, the Eisner Award.

More information can be found at willeisner.com.

NEW REWARD UPDATE!!

A print of this beautiful Eisner portrait by the Philadelphia artist and University of Pennsylvania cartooning professor Robert Berry is now available, as either a stand-alone reward or with a book!

Risks and challenges

We are well-prepared to undertake this project. The UNCLE OTTO and HARRY KARRY strips have been relief printed from their plates and scanned in high resolution. We have a cover design, and a mocked up interior layout. Denis Kitchen, Will Eisner's long-time publisher, has signed on to write the introduction. We've priced the book with our printer, and have come up with a budget that covers all elements of printing, shipping, and fulfillment.

Our biggest challenge now is funding. And the greatest risk is that without a book to collect this work, it will slip forever away into the unremembered past.

We intend to produce a handsomely designed hardcover edition, off-set printed with top production values. Thanks to the power of crowdfunding and the support of readers like you, a small press company like ours is able to create a more beautiful, sturdy and prestigious publication than would be otherwise feasible. With your help, we will create a book that honors Will Eisner and fills some crucial gaps in early comics history.

Our last Kickstarter campaign, for LITTLE NEMO: DREAM ANOTHER DREAM, proved our capability to produce and deliver a beautiful, high-end hardcover comic book. It went on to win both Eisner and Harvey Awards in 2015. The one complicating factor in that last campaign arose in gathering signatures and sketches from countless busy artists across the continent, but thankfully we aren't faced with that potential problem in this case.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Thank you! We send our love through the digital ether!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    26 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    A digital edition of THE LOST WORK OF WILL EISNER. Plus even more love through the digital ether.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    100 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    A PRINT! A high-quality 6.5" x 11" print of one of a selection of the HARRY KARRY or UNCLE OTTO strips, or a print of the cover of the book.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    2 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    THE BOOK! The hardcover edition of THE LOST WORK OF WILL EISNER.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    424 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    THE BOOK on BOTH FRONTS! The hardcover edition of THE LOST WORK OF WILL EISNER and the digital edition, too.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    130 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    THE DREAMER PRINT, by ROBERT BERRY. An 11x14" print of the beautiful portrait of Will Eisner drawn by Philadelphia's own Robert Berry. See the body of the campaign for the image.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    THANKED IN THE BOOK. Your name will appear on a special backer "Thank You" page in all editions of the book. Also includes all previously mentioned rewards (print, and book, digital edition).

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    153 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    SIGNED BOOK. Inscribed by the author of the book's introduction, Denis Kitchen, and the long-lost strips' discoverer, Joe Getsinger. Also includes all previously mentioned rewards (print, book, thank you, and digital edition).

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    205 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    RETAILER. Five copies of THE LOST WORK OF WILL EISNER hardcover, the digital edition, and a print.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    36 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    THE DREAMER PRINT & BOOK. An 11x14" print of the beautiful portrait of Will Eisner drawn by Philadelphia's own Robert Berry. See the body of the campaign for the image. Also includes a signed book, a Harry Karry print, a thank you in the book, and a digital edition.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    5 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  11. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    WILL EISNER SKETCH EDITION by ROB BERRY. The University of Pennsylvania cartooning professor and mastermind behind the ultra-ambitious ULYSSES SEEN project will draw a young romantic vision of Eisner, circa THE DREAMER. Also includes a print, a signed edition of the book, and thank you in the book, and a digital edition.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 2 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  12. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    UNCLE OTTO SKETCH EDITION BY JAMES COMEY. The one and only James Comey, author of DONKEY PUNCH, THE JOB, and contributor to countless Locust Moon projects, will draw the hapless old man at the center of Eisner's earliest gag strips. Also includes a print, a signed book, and thank you in the book, and a digital edition.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 2 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  13. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    HARRY KARRY SKETCH EDITION BY MIKE SGIER. The expert illustrator, print-maker, and auteur behind the epic SID AND FRANCIS saga will depict the espionage expert who formed the foundation upon which THE SPIRIT was later based. Also includes a print, a book, and thank you in the book, and a digital edition.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 2 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  14. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    PUBLISHER CREDIT! You will be listed in the indicia as Associate Publisher of THE LOST WORK OF WILL EISNER. Also includes a SIGNED BOOK and all rewards in that tier.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 15 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  15. Select this reward

    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    PRIVATE TOUR OF JOE GETSINGER'S COLLECTION! Joe will personally guide you through his massive collection of plates, prints, and collectibles, including 1930s printing plates by JACK KIRBY and BOB KANE (in New Jersey). If you're lucky, he might even take you to his favorite diner. Also includes a SIGNED BOOK and all rewards in that tier.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 2 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  16. Select this reward

    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    PUBLISHER-TO-PUBLISHER CONSULTATION WITH DENIS KITCHEN! Not only will you be credited in the indicia of the book as ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER, but Will Eisner's art agent, publisher, partner, and good friend Denis Kitchen will also talk to you for an hour over Skype, and tell you about his experiences with Eisner, his life in comics, or anything else you want to know. Also includes a SIGNED BOOK and all rewards in that tier.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  17. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    EISNER PORTRAIT PAINTING BY ROBERT BERRY. A gorgeous watercolor portrait of Will Eisner, featuring panels of memories drawn from his semi-autobiographical graphic novel THE DREAMER. The painting is shown in the body of the text. Also includes an ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER credit, a signed book, a print, and a digital edition.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  18. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    ORIGINAL PRINTING PLATE! One of the original zinc HARRY KARRY or UNCLE OTTO plates that Joe discovered. Beautifully framed and matted with a print of its contents. Also includes a SIGNED BOOK and all rewards included in that tier.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 3 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Featured

Funding period

- (30 days)