Cover image for The name of the game
The name of the game
Eisner, Will.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York, NY : DC Comics, [2001]

Physical Description:
168 pages : chiefly illustrations ; 26 cm.
Subject Term:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Graphic Novel Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Will Eisner, one of comics' most influential and groundbreaking storytellers, returns with this all-new hardcover, a tumultuous generational saga of a wealthy Jewish family's assimilation into New York society. From the turn of the century to post World War II, this emotionally rich tale paints a compelling picture of life, family, religion and social status. It's also the story of the American Dream and the game of marrying for social advantage. Conrad and Alex Arnheim are two rich sons who inherit the family's successful garment business. Over the years, they each in turn destroy the family legacy and drastically affect the lives of many people connected to them.

Author Notes

Will Eisner was born March 6, 1917 in Brooklyn, NY. As a child he worked for printers and sold newspapers. He attended De Witt Clinton High School in the Bronx, where his artwork first appeared in the school newspaper. His first job was at the New York American, but he lost that and found a job with WOW What a Magazine! in 1936. He created two features for the magazine, Harry Karry and The Flame. After the magazine went under, for a short time, he freelanced and drew stories for Comic Magazines before he and friend Jerry Iger formed a the Eisner-Iger studio. The two went their separate ways when Eisner joined the Quality Comics Group to produce a syndicated 16-page newspaper supplement. It was there that Eisner created his most well known character, the Spirit.

In 1942, Eisner was drafted into the army where he produced posters and strips for the troops. After the war, he continued the Spirit strip until 1952. It was during this time that he created the American Visuals Corporation, a commercial art company that created comics for educational and commercial purposes. Some of the company's clients included RCA Records, the Baltimore Colts, and New York Telephone.

Eisner had given up on the Spirit strip, but still produced new material for it from time to time. He chose to focus his efforts on a more mature storyline and so produced A Contract With God, which was published in 1978. It was the beginnings of the graphic novel.

Eisner also taught cartooning at the School of Visual Arts in New York, in addition to writing Comics and Sequential Art and Graphic Storytelling. The Eisner Awards, one of only two comics industry awards, are named for Eisner and were established in 1988. Eisner's work was showcased in the Whitney Museum's 1996 "NYNY: City of Ambition" show.

Will Eisner passed away on Monday January 3, 2005 at the age of 87 after undergoing quadruple bypass heart surgery.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Eisner, a comics creator since the 1930s (he is best known for the masked crimefighter the Spirit), has turned in recent years to depicting Jewish life in America in the first half of the twentieth century. This multigenerational saga follows the socially prominent Arnheim family for nearly a century as they parlay a corset-manufacturing firm into a lucrative stock brokerage. Boorish son Conrad marries the daughter of a wealthy Midwest banker, giving the Arnheims access to capital; in trade, the bride's family gets prestige. The characters are all one-dimensional, and there isn't much nuance in the story, which relies on such staples of melodrama as sudden heart attacks and a no-good, alcoholic younger son. This is pretty old-fashioned stuff, reflecting a sensibility somehow appropriate to the period and subject. Eisner's current drawing style is less illustrative than before but more expressive; he now achieves his greatest effects through eloquent facial expressions and dramatic body language. In addition to libraries' graphic novel collections, Eisner's recent work should be considered for Jewish-studies collections. --Gordon Flagg

Library Journal Review

The legendary Eisner (b. 1917) created one of the most celebrated and enduring series of comics' Golden Age, The Spirit (1940-52); wrote an important analysis of the medium, Comics and Sequential Art; and is credited with coining the term graphic novel to describe his 1977 book A Contract with God (actually a book of four short stories). The Eisner Awards are named after him, and this book won him one-the 2002 Eisner for best new graphic album. It tells the story of the Arnheim family, German Jews who immigrated to America in the mid-1800s, through four generations of wealth, death, disaster, and marital strife. Eisner's vividly expressive characters show the reader the lives of immigrant families who suffer from "the uncertain feeling of being Jewish in a Christian world," as Eisner puts it. Mature situations and themes make this most suitable for adults, for whom it is highly recommended. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.