Crowdfunding Spotlight: Jam Bookshop’s Will Eisner Art Exhibition

Jam Bookshop’s Will Eisner Art Exhibition 2023

London’s Jam Bookshop is hoping to host an exhibition of original art by Will Eisner, creator of The Spirit and a pioneer in creating graphic novels, in November.

The Jam Bookshop opened in 2022 in the heart of creative Shoreditch, London, after a hugely successful crowdfunding campaign, owned and run by acclaimed illustrator and journalist David Ziggy Greene. Along with new books, stock includes graphic novels and independent comics.

Will Eisner (1917 – 2005) was a highly innovative and creative artist and writer who pioneered in the field of comics and graphic novels, at around the same time as creators such as Raymond Briggs and Bryan Talbot. (The description “graphic novel” was in circulation as far back as 1964, American comic creator Jack Katz among its early proponents).

Musee Thomas Henry - The Spirit of Will Eisner Exhibition - Will Eisner
Will Eisner, this photograph included in the 2021 exhibition, The Spirit of Will Eisner, snapped by “The Masked Detective”
The opening page of A Contract with God by Will Eisner
The opening page of A Contract with God by Will Eisner, which was included in the 2021 exhibition, The Spirit of Will Eisner

Eisner’s first graphic novel, A Contract with God, a cycle of short stores, was published in 1978. Eisner went on to strongly advocate for the inclusion of graphic novels in library collections, and sequential art on museum walls.

It’s his name on the prestigious Eisner Awards, and every March many around the world organise Will Eisner Week events, an international celebration of comics, graphic novels, sequential art, free speech, held in libraries, schools, museums, comic book shops, book shops and other venues.

David’s plans for a Will Eisner exhibition are part of the Jam Bookshop ongoing crowdfunding appeal, which aims to complement sales in store and online to raise more to finance the ongoing running of the shop, buy more amazing stock, continue to build a webshop – and run more in-store events and exhibitions to promote creators.

Backing through has already helped David host a well received art exhibition inspired by the TV detective series, Columbo, and more, but the cartoonist turned bookseller is determined not to stop there, finances permitting.

“This is so exciting,” David enthuses of the planned exhibition. “It’s very cool to display work by a legend of comics.”

David Ziggy Greene

David Ziggy Greene’s work has been printed regularly in some of the most read publications in the world, including Private Eye. He’s also successfully published a number of sold-out books and had books released by small to huge publishers, in the UK and France.

David also created the UK and Ireland-wide event Small Press Day, launched in 2016, which takes place on one day a year, in dozens of shops to promote the next wave of small press publishing creators. 

“It’s been a mission for a long time to open my own bookshop,” says David. “But… while spending 12 years as a freelance illustrator in London does strengthen your determination and skill at surviving in tough climates, it doesn’t exactly leave you… rolling in excess cash for such a project.

“Sure, it could be seen as radical to open a bookshop in choppy times on the high street,” he admits, “but I honestly believe that this kind of radical risk is what people need to take to help society survive. Let’s not give up on the things we love!”

In order to help fund this show and survival of Jam Bookshop until then, the shop really needs support – donate here

• Jam Bookshop 61A Hackney Road, London E2 7NX | Web: | Instagram | Twitter

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Categories: Books, Comic Art, Comics, Creating Comics, Crowd Funding Projects, downthetubes Comics News, downthetubes News, Events, Other Worlds

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