In early March, Geppi’s Entertainment Museum (GEM) is opening two exhibits of heroic proportion. First up, on March 1, 2017, is the exhibit The Dark Knight Through the Decades with about 40 pieces of art, including 14 pieces of original art from collector Nick Katradis’ archives and autographed photographs of Batman villains from the ’66 show from Ian Paregol’s collection.

It includes covers and splash pages by masters like George Pérez, Amanda Conner, Mike Hawthorne, Mark Wheatley, Billy Tucci, Shawn Martinbrough, Kelley Jones, Jenny Frison, J.G. Jones, Michael Champion, Jimmy Palmiotti, Olivia, Jae Lee, Matt Wagner, Mike Hoffman, Rob Guillory, John K. Snyder III, Graham Nolan, Vincent Spencer, Paul Gulacy, John Cassaday, Jim Lee, Jim Ballant, Jim Calafiore, Paul Dini, Bruce Timm, Mike Grell, Darwyn Cooke, Alex Ross, Sara Richards, Ken Lashley, Bob Kane, Will Eisner, Jim Aparo, Bob Smith, Irv Novak, Dick Giordano, Rich Butler, Dick Sprang, Eddie Newell, Joe Giella, and Andrew Robinson.

The other new exhibit is a collection of Will Eisner’s work from WWII, titled Will at War. There are 20 never or rarely seen WWII posters, military maintenance magazines, original comic art, and other memorabilia.

The Eisner collection was contributed courtesy of Benjamin Herzberg, who collaborated with Eisner on his books Fagin the Jew and The Plot. It opens on March 5, launching the exhibit with a panel at 2 PM to 4 PM in the context of Will Eisner Week 2017.

“Having been Will Eisner's assistant for his last two graphic novels, having collected Will Eisner's art and memorabilia for decades, and being on the advisory board of the Will Eisner Week, I am well placed to know that Eisner's ‘Army years’ are the least known by the general public. While graphic novels and comics aficionados are often quick to dismiss the work he did then, it's actually been a very productive 20-year period for Eisner. He mastered his techniques at communicating effectively through innovations in comics art, layouts and storytelling,” Herzberg said.

“Preventive maintenance of army equipment seems mundane to most but it makes a real difference in combat situations, and thus Will Eisner saved thousands of lives of soldiers with his posters and instructional comics. He learned during that time how to communicate and engage his reader effectively and created a new comics grammar in doing so. So many contemporary comic book artists owe to what Eisner did then, and don't even know it! This is why I spent years searching for and collecting this rare and never-seen-before material and art. The Geppi Entertainment Museum, is the perfect jewelry box for it, as the GEM seeks to retrace American modern history through its comics and entertainment art and memorabilia. I couldn't think of a better host for this exhibit on ‘Will's War,’” Herzberg added.

GEM is located at Camden Yards, 301 W. Camden Street, Baltimore, MD 21201. Find more details at www.geppismuseum.com or by calling (410) 625-7060.