Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Will Eisner's Preventative Maintenance

Preventive Maintenance Monthly Issue 1, 1951 (Will Eisner)


Preventive Maintenance Monthly Issue 14, 1953 (Will Eisner)


Preventive Maintenance Monthly Issue 30, 1955 (Will Eisner)


Preventive Maintenance Monthly Issue 44, 1956 (Will Eisner)


Preventive Maintenance Monthly Issue 45, 1956 (Will Eisner)


Preventive Maintenance Monthly Issue 50, 1956 (Will Eisner)


Preventive Maintenance Monthly Issue 55, 1957 (Will Eisner)


Preventive Maintenance Monthly Issue 70, 1958 (Will Eisner)


Preventive Maintenance Monthly Issue 92, 1960 (Will Eisner)


Preventive Maintenance Monthly Issue 117, 1962 (Will Eisner)


Preventive Maintenance Monthly Issue 124, 1963 (Will Eisner)


Preventive Maintenance Monthly Issue 133, 1963 (Will Eisner)


Preventive Maintenance Monthly Issue 142, 1964 (Will Eisner)


Preventive Maintenance Monthly Issue 158, 1966 (Will Eisner)


Preventive Maintenance Monthly Issue 169, 1966 (Will Eisner)


Preventive Maintenance Monthly Issue 173, 1967 (Will Eisner)


Preventive Maintenance Monthly Issue 192, 1968 (Will Eisner)


Preventive Maintenance Monthly Issue 196, 1969 (Will Eisner)


Preventive Maintenance Monthly Issue 207, 1970 (Will Eisner)

Virginia Commonwealth University Libraries have just posted full copies (145 regular issues; 5 special issues and 14 index issues) of the Army publication 'Preventative Maintenance Monthly', illustrated by Will Eisner and covering the years 1951 to 1972. [announcement]

The images above are front and back covers in chronological order - mouseover for issue number and date.

New York comic artist, Will Eisner (1917-2005), is a legend in the industry and arguably the most influential comic illustrator of all time. He pioneered what he called the sequential art form and was a leading protagonist for the graphic novel genre and the use of comic strip art as an instructional device.

The early Eisner-Iger Studios (with friend Jerry Iger) employed such luminary artists as Jack Kirby (Fantastic Four/X-Men/Captain America) and Bob Kane (Batman). Eisner's own 'superhero' appeared in 1940 in the highly influential and popular comic, 'The Spirit', revered as "the Citizen Kane of comics": "a crimefighter dressed in a suit, fedora and the concession of a small blue eyemask".

During WW2 Eisner worked for the Pentagon, producing educational comics "whose mixture of hard facts with entertaining cartooning made them memorable and effective". From his post-war company, American Visuals Corporation, Eisner turned out illustrations for 'P*S: The Preventative Maintenance Monthly', one of his longest lasting contracts, published by the US Army between 1951 and 1972.

As a testament to his significance in the industry he helped shape, the Eisner Awards were established in 1988, the most prestigious accolades in the comic art trade. (Eisner reluctantly accepted a few Eisners himself) He died as a result of complications following a quadruple bypass in 2005.

13 comments:

PIGNOUF said...

Vos pages sont un véritable plaisir chaque fois que je les consulte. Merci pour tout !

sievetronix said...

Little comic book nerd nitpick.
Jack Kirby isn't really associated with spider man. I think Fantastic 4 is more what you are looking for.

john said...

Connie Rodd was way hotter in the older issues!

peacay said...

Whoops, thanks sievetronix - I'm more than a little out of my usual territory, although I knew Kirby's name.

Lucian said...

Great find, peacay! Those covers are hilarious.

Lisa said...

"Merry Christmas to all -- and Lube Them Toys Just Right"

Along with that illustration... um, jeez. That would make a helluva holiday card.

vittorio said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
vittorio said...

I'm italian sorry for my english. I love your work like i love wunderkammer. you are a "filologo"in the web. And i'm very happy to find in this pages one of my favourites artist. Will Eisner
thank thank
www.turing.tumblr.com
vittorioliberti@gmail.com

Cowardy said...

from the Harper Dictionary of Contemporary Usage (1985) by William and Mary Morris

PREVENTIVE / PREVENTATIVE: 'Preventative' is not a correct word. The form does exist as a mistaken variant of 'preventive.' It is what linguists call 'an irregularly formed doublet' and should be avoided. It is listed in the 'Oxford English Dictionary' and some American dictionaries but 'preventive' is always given as the preferred form. The great English word expert H.W. Fowler remarked that "'preventative' is a needless lengthening of an established word, due to oversight or caprice." Perhaps Americans have fallen into the habit of using 'preventative' because of its similarity to 'representative,' but it represents a serious trend in American speech. The use of 'preventative' for 'preventive,' of 'filtrate' for 'filter,' of 'experimentalize' for 'experiment,' and of 'finalize' for 'end' seems to be a part of a trend toward the elimination of simple, precise words in favor of flowery, pretentious gobbledegook."

Forgive the 'rantish' character of this post. It's one of those pet peeve cum obsessive things which possess a body from time to time. Please allow me to say that if I only had one blog allowed me, there is no question whatsoever that Bilbliodyssey would be the chosen one. Thanks for an effort that is always exemplary and beyond.

peacay said...

'Preventative' is not a correct word.

Well, I disagree with the prescriptivist position. Clearly, for whatever reason, it is in the dictionary as a variant. It may not be the preferred word but it is nevertheless a recognised word.

In this case it's more a personal thing from socialisation than my reaching for pretentiousness or the like. I saw the magazine's title and it was parsed/remembered in my brain as preventative because that's the only way I have seen the word used, just because of my background.

I think there might be a small swag of extrapolated words in the medical terminology arena (dilatation for 'dilation' comes to mind) that arose - perhaps out of pretentiousness, perhaps by a kind of mistake that seeds similar constructions - and have some traction or leverage or dissemination in the real world.

'Preventive' clangs with me because it's unfamiliar, but I agree it's the better word in a logical sense. I will hereafter use it at every opportunity in an attempt to change my section of the english speaking world's lexicon.

[I didn't change the post title just because it's a hassle and also because it would change the URL after it's already been bandied about.]

And thanks very much for the kind words cowardy!

peacay said...

See also Will Eisner's M-16 Rifle Manual.

Stephen said...

"Clearly, for whatever reason, it is in the dictionary as a variant. It may not be the preferred word but it is nevertheless a recognised word."

Unfortunately, it has come to be standard practice in America to avoid criticizing any mistake by another, because, after all, we are all different, right? The fact that an incorrect variation now appears in an American dictionary does not make it correct. It is also now 'acceptable' to say "expresso," "eckspecially," and "air" instead of err (properly pronounced like a growl)--to air is human...really? why can't I do it?. To me, these sound more like Jeff Foxworthy jokes than proper English.

peacay said...

Stephen, I'm happy for you that you view this from an American viewpoint but I suspect disagreement here comes in part from my being Australian and therefore more in tune with British english. The fact that preventative might be the more archaic term doesn't, when you draw back and see the language from a wider scope, mean that it's a mistake (if that's what you have implied; I'm not certain I follow you clearly). So I suspect we are seeing culture clash manifesting in language differences for an otherwise little used word. I'm glad for it. I don't want my web to be linguistically monocultural.

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