Will Eisner, the man who created what's widely considered the first modern graphic novel (1978's A Contract with God) and coined the term "sequential art" to describe the medium, died Jan. 3 at age 87 after quadruple bypass surgery. This new book from DC Comics provides indisputable evidence of the impact Eisner had on the comic-book universe.

The Will Eisner Companion, by N.C. Christopher Couch and Stephen Weiner, subtitled "The Pioneering Spirit of the Father of the Graphic Novel," collects essays about the artist's work and influence and is an A-to-Z who's-who of The Spirit and glossy color reproductions of the Spirit's origins and the famous episode "Gerhard Shnobble." Written with enthusiasm and authority, it's as entertaining as it is encyclopedic. BECKY OHLSEN

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