PS Magazine by Will Eisner
The Best of The Preventive Maintenance Monthly

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Synopsis

Will Eisner—best known for his influential comic book series The Spirit and his groundbreaking graphic novel A Contract with God—believed in the teaching power of comics, and from 1951 to 1971 he produced PS magazine for the U.S. Army. This Preventive Maintenance Monthly (called PS because it was a postscript to the standard technical manuals) was aimed at teaching American soldiers everything about weapons safety for vehicles, aircraft, firearms, and electronics. Eisner illustrated these vital lessons in drawings, pinups, step-by-step guides, and comic strips. This collection contains the best of Eisner’s 227 issues of PS, reproduced in a portable digest format. This relatively unknown work by Eisner is finally explored—the missing link between his comic books and his later, more mature graphic novel style.

Praise for PS Magazine:

"For the first time, Will Eisner’s superlative work for the U.S. Army has been assembled into a single collection. The result shows the artist’s keen understanding of the educative power of graphic storytelling. From 1951 to 1971, between The Spirit and A Contract with God, Eisner produced PS Magazine for the army in order to teach the common soldier how best to use, maintain, repair, and requisition their equipment. From explaining how to load a truck correctly to why it won’t start, Eisner used a combination of humor, sound technical writing, and graphic storytelling to educate the soldiers. His magazines could be found at the front lines, in the officer’s mess, and in the quarters of senior military officials. It featured a cast of recurring characters like the loveable Joe Dope and the voluptuous Connie Rodd, who headlined featured segments like “Joe’s Dope Sheet” and the provocatively named “Connie Rodd’s Briefs.” With Eisner’s wonderful artwork and clarity of style making sometimes difficult concepts easy to understand, it’s no wonder PS Magazine was so popular with military personnel. A fascinating document for both fans of Eisner and military history buffs." 
- Publishers Weekly starred review  

“These amusing yet pragmatic sketches provide a ‘missing-link’ comics document for fans and demonstrate the same mastery of his craft that marked Eisner’s better-known works.”
Booklist

“An instructional model for today’s producers of non­fiction comics, which too often lack such visual traction, this also has appeal for military buffs, vehicle junkies, and Eisner fans.”

Library Journal 

“The enthusiast who’s been nurturing a curiosity about Eisner’s lost years will find all he needs to know from this beautifully produced little volume.” The Comics Journal


"Eisner understood comics' potential for education decades before his peers, and PS magazine was his first laboratory. This thoughtful new collection is an essential addition to the Eisner library." 
-Scott McCloud, author of Understanding Comics

 

About Will Eisner

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Will Eisner was born William Erwin Eisner on March 6, 1917 in Brooklyn, New York. By the time of his death on January 3, 2005, Will Eisner was recognized internationally as one of the giants in the field of sequential art, a term he coined. In a career that spanned nearly eight decades from the dawn of the comic book to the advent of digital comics Will Eisner was truly the 'Orson Welles of comics' and the 'father of the Graphic Novel'. He broke new ground in the development of visual narrative and the language of comics and was the creator of The Spirit, John Law, Lady Luck, Mr. Mystic, Uncle Sam, Blackhawk, Sheena and countless others. During World War II, Will Eisner used the comic format to develop training and equipment maintenance manuals for the US Army. After the war this continued as the Army's P.S. Magazine, which is still being produced today. Will Eisner taught Sequential Arts at the New York School of Visual Arts. The textbooks that he wrote based on his course are still bestsellers. In 1978, Will Eisner wrote A Contract with God, the first modern graphic novel. This was followed by almost 20 additional graphic novels over the following 25 years. The "Oscars" of the Comic Industry are called The Eisner Awards, and named after Will Eisner. The Eisners are presented annually before a packed ballroom at Comic-Con International in San Diego, America's largest comics convention. Wizard magazine named Eisner "the most influential comic artist of all time." Michael Chabon's Pulitzer-prize winning novel The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay is based in good part on Eisner. In 2002, Eisner received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Federation for Jewish Culture, only the second such honor in the organization's history, presented by Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Art Spiegelman.
 
Published September 1, 2011 by Harry N. Abrams. 272 pages
Genres: Comics & Graphic Novels. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for PS Magazine

Publishers Weekly

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It featured a cast of recurring characters like the loveable Joe Dope and the voluptuous Connie Rodd, who headlined featured segments like “Joe’s Dope Sheet” and the provocatively named “Connie Rodd’s Briefs.” With Eisner’s wonderful artwork and clarity of style making sometimes dif...

Sep 19 2011 | Read Full Review of PS Magazine: The Best of The ...

Portland Book Review

PS Magazine: The Best of The Preventive Maintenance Monthly is a compilation of his work and includes the best of his military maintenance books.

Aug 08 2012 | Read Full Review of PS Magazine: The Best of The ...

Comic Attack

For the cover price of $21.95 you get an amazingly unique selection of hard to find Eisner work in a fantastic package, plus a preface by the late artist’s wife Ann Eisner, an overview by Eddie Campbell, and an introduction by General Peter J.

Aug 18 2011 | Read Full Review of PS Magazine: The Best of The ...

Reader Rating for PS Magazine
80%

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