Wednesday, December 22, 2004

The name of the Game

Will Eisner's career spans the entire history of comic boks, from the formative days of the 1930s, through the 1940s when he revolutionized narrative sequential art with his internationally famed series, The Spirit, to his mature work which, beginning in the 1970s, led the field in the creation of the contemporary graphic novel form. In addition to his award-winning graphic novels, he is the author of the influential study comics and sequential arts.
Last week, I came across this book, by Will Esiner. He write very meaningful comics, and I would prefer comic more than words.

So far, I have read most of the comics, and this is one, I think is better than the rest.
It is called "The Name of the game"

If you have read it, you would know, this is about how people prosper through marriage, where the peasants, marry someone of a higher class, to attain fame, fortune, and properities.
This book is about three Families, Arnheims, Obers and the Kayns, who are decendent of jewish immigrants, struggling for status.It shows how the families of Arnheims, who prospers from fashions in the 1850s, and then to stock brokers, and the downfall, when kayns schemes against the Arnheims.

The story, or rather, animated novels, illustrate how marriage, is a game,, where to be married into a socially better family was most important. The first, went out well, when Lillian Ober and Conrad Aenheim are married. but the fact is, Lillian, marry out of love, but Conrad married out of sake for his father. and when Isidore Arnheim, Conrad's father died, things started to turn around, where Conrad abuses Lillian, and Conrad begin to plot against his cousins during a financial crisis. After Lillian died of birth, Conrad takes in Eva Krause, a german jews, distant relative to the Arnheim, things starts to take another turn, when Eva, will not leave Conrad for sake of fame and fortune, and Conrad will not let Eva leave for the status image.

Somewhere near to the end of the story, Rosie Arnheim, daughter of Conrad and Eva, married to Aron Kayn, a painter's boy, who is good in poetry, but bad in marketing. He sold the company to Roland Sydney, a market enemy, who took away 30 percents of gross profit with him when roland starts his own firm. Sydney plots for a long time to bring Conrad down, and in the end, Conrad died hearing news that Aron, had sold the company to sydney. Rosie, knowing this, starts controlling Aron strictly, to see that the Arnheim family survive.

The story is although long, but it is really touching, when Helan Arnheim, daughter of Lillian Ober and Conrad Arnheim, falls in love with a commoner, Pierre (Whose first name was never mentioned). When Conrad knows it, he destroys Their relationship, and Helan died. Since then, Conrad never interferes with relationship of Rosie. But Aron, brought the Arnheim name to shame.

The summary can be found at the last page of the book, where it is described in form of a novel.
There was once, in ancient time, a mighty king(Conrad Arnheim) who ruled a great land which was handed down to him by his parents(Isidore Arnheim) who so spoiled him that he expected things to go his way. His first marriage was arranged with the princess (Lillian Ober) of another royal family from a lower kingdom (Ober Bank). In time, the couple had a daughter (Helan Arnheim). But the king was uninterested. So when his queen died, he sent the child to live with her grandparents in their kingdom. A few years later, the king remarried a great beauty (Eva Krause) who did not want children at all. But the king wanted to have a child in his castle so the king had his daughter taken from her grandparents and brought to live with him. When she grew older, the girl found a suitor (Pierre ??). She wanted to marry him but the king broke them up simply because the young man was not of royal blood. The daughter was so heartbroken that she died. Later the king's new wife had a child(Rosie Arnheim) - a beautiful and outspoken princess. And it came to pass that a poor, handsome woodworker (Aron Kayn) wandered by one day. The princess fell in love with him. By then, the king, guilty about his treatment of his first child, offered his daughter's hand in marriage to the handsome young peasants, They married and the king made him a prince. In time, the humble woodworker inherited the crown and became king.
And they lived happily ever after.

Some of Will Eisner's work includes:

  • The building
  • City People Notebook
  • A Contract with GOD
  • The Dreamer
  • Dropsie Avenue: The Neighbourhood
  • Family Matter
  • Invisible People
  • A Life Force
  • Life on Another Planet
  • Minor Miracles
  • The Name of the Game
  • New York, the Big City
  • To the heart of the Storm
  • Will Eisner Reader
  • The Spirit Archives.


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