This is something of Will Eisner’s lifework, the non-fiction complement to his wonderful work from the 1950s onward with The Spirit through A Contract with God. Herein, Eisner describes the means by which his stories work, what makes them flow and live. Before Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics, Eisner was the standard bearer for the explanation of how comics achieved their effect. But this book never got the acclaim that McCloud’s did, for it is not necessarily directed at the public, but at the would-be comics professional. In fact, most of the book is a reworking of Eisner’s lecture notes from his teaching time at New York’s School of Visual Art. The general public can still glean some great information about the medium from this book, but McCloud has supplanted Eisner as the popular textbook for courses on comics.