VCU Libraries have announced a full digital run of Will Eisner’s work on PS* Preventive Maintenance Magazine! Here’s their press release:
VCU Libraries is honored to present these rare examples of the incomparable art work of the late Will Eisner. In an effort to encourage soldiers to keep better care of their equipment, the US Army hired Eisner’s American Visuals Corporation to do a digest-sized publication focusing on preventive maintenance. Each issue consisted of a color comic book style cover; eight pages of four color comic continuity story in the middle; and a wealth of technical, safety, and policy information printed in two color. Eisner drew and was artistic editor for PS Magazine from its inception in 1951 until 1972. Presented here are complete scans for 145 regular issues, 3 special issues, and 14 index issues.
The University of Florida just finished scanning our issues of PS, and we have them all openly online as well. UF has far fewer issues, and we were scanning them in hopes of soon partnering with other institutions to locate and digitize the other volumes, so it’s all the more wonderful that VCU both had all of the issues and was able to scan them and add them to an open access Digital Collection. In doing so, it lays an even stronger foundation for other projects involving comics. PS is especially important because these early issues were well read, well loved, and well used. They’re excellent sources for any study of visual rhetoric, technical writing, literature, media studies, the military, American culture, and more. Will Eisner is the father of the modern graphic novel, popularizing the term and showing what it could be, and his work in all fields is so relevant and so important that it’s essential to have access to materials like PS. Hopefully, we’ll continue to see more great materials go online like VCU’s complete run of Will Eisner’s PS.