Stay tuned for my dissertation on fiction in comics and comics in fiction. In the meantime:
This is a break from my usual focus on genre but I wanted to pay tribute to one of the comic book greats. You may have heard that Will Eisner passed away recently. He may well be THE giant of comic book publishing as he possessed the combined skill of Lee and Kirby in his storytelling, was an innovative and groundbreaking artist (Spirit splashpages alone are testament to this), had a regular comic strip in the dailies, was a publisher of renown, and produced the first graphic novel: A Contract With God. Not only does it have the significance of being the first set of comic stories created specifically for collection in one volume, it is also a true work of art. The stories detail everyday folk (mainly Jewish) in vignettes as charming and chockfull of literary goodness as anything produced by, say, Bernard Malamud or Saul Bellow.
In short, Eisner was a behemoth of the comics world but also a pre-eminent storyteller in any medium. He died aged 89.