Will Eisner Week: Eisner’s Highschool Art Assignments

Among the many astonishing gems in the Will Eisner Collection here at the Cartoon Library, there are dozens of pieces that Will did as a high school student. If you’re in awe of the work he did as an adult for The Spirit, Contract With God, and countless others, just check out how impressive his chops were as a 16 year old student at DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx.

Will Eisner original, 1933. From the Will Eisner Collection, The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum (click to enlarge)

Will Eisner original, 1933. From the Will Eisner Collection, The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum (click to enlarge)

Will Eisner original, 1933. From the Will Eisner Collection, The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum (click to enlarge)

Will Eisner original, 1933. From the Will Eisner Collection, The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum (click to enlarge)

These two portraits, likely done for a high school art assignment, date back to 1933. Here at the Cartoon Library we have put our collective knowledge together to try to identify who Eisner was depicting, but it has proven difficult for us to focus on anything other than his remarkable artistic skill at such a young age. Could it be Vladimir Lenin? Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of Turkey? We turn the question over to you, dear readers, and hope you’ll help us decide.