The Contract with God Trilogy: Life on Dropsie Avenue by Will Eisner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I finally got around to reading Contract With God and the rest of the trilogy. Often named as a milestone in the development of the graphic novel, I found the title book to be the weakest. Contract With God seems to me a little forced. Would anybody really think a contract you write yourself would get a binding result from God. Eisner full all of the books with Jewish flavor which I probably shouldn't comment on. BUT, I kind of thought Jewish history was filled with God's people having unfair experiences in their lives. Why should this one guy feel he is different? And the other stories in the first book also seemed a little too simplistic.
The other two books A Life Force and Dropsie Avenue are less stilted and overall they are more complex. The stories and the characters have much more depth.
The graphic part of the book is...well, maybe it is perfect. Not that the drawings are anatomically perfect (although I can't say) but the cinematography, or whatever you call it in graphic novels, is conventional where it needs to be, and inventive is the same sense. But it never takes away from the story, which the the “perfect” part I was talking about.
I've always had a “problem” with Eisner's drawing. It looks so relaxed, as if he just dashed it off, much like the scene in Amadeus where Salieri realizes Mozart never has to rewrite the music he puts to paper. Perhaps Eisner slaved meticulously over each frame, but it always looks so fluid it burns me up that anybody can pull it off.
The only thing that distracted me in Neighborhood, The: Dropsie Avenue is that in the entire history of the neighborhood there is no example of gentrification as we think of it now. But still a very nice work.
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