Comics legend Will Eisner passed away yesterday at 87 from complications due to quadruple heart bypass surgery.

While I haven’t read much Eisner work, I’ve read a little bit of The Spirit, and I’ve thumbed through some of his amazing graphic novels through the years, but it was his book “Comics and Sequential Art” which really changed how I looked at comics as a whole and made me consider it for a career option…of course then I fell in love with the interweb.

I almost met Mr. Eisner at the last Comic book convention here in Toronto, but he was just on his way out as I was on my way in. As he was getting into a car, a couple of guys about my age were watching him with a couple of Spirit archives in their hands. He saw them, walked over, and asked if he could sign their books for them. They were so happy, and he beamed as he signed the books. It took all of two minutes for him to do it, but it was probably the coolest thing I’ve ever seen a comic pro do for anyone.

Comics will miss him, although I’m sure he’s somewhere now drawing shoulder to shoulder with Kirby, Bob Kane, Jerry Seigel and Joel Shuster.