The Post War Years

After the War, Eisner returned to work on The Spirit. The strip had faltered in less-able hands during his absence and he jumped back into full-time cartooning with a zeal that would produce stories that are considered classics today.

In December of 1945 he reintroduced the strip with a retelling of the Spirit's origin, and the Spirit was quickly back on track. Now with the support of other artists such as a young Jules Feiffer and later Wally Wood, Eisner continued the weekly installments of the Spirit until 1952.

Rube Rooky, artwork by Will Eisner
Rube Rooky, from the ill-fated Eisner title Baseball Comics.

The post-War Spirit stories featured Eisner at the pinnacle of his powers. It is noteworthy that even as he worked on The Spirit for 12 years, he was continually using it to devise new creative challenges, such as stories told in song, in nonsense language and in poetry, to name only a very few. Never content to stay within the narrow confines of the detective genre, Eisner used the Spirit to explore a wide variety of stories, from simple tales of ordinary people to wild flights of fancy verging on science fiction.

Joe Dope, artwork by Will Eisner
Joe Dope, Eisner's comical creation for the Army's PS Magazine.

During this period, Eisner attempted to foster several other projects for publication as newspaper strips or newsstand comics, including Kewpies, Baseball Comics, Pirate Comics and John Law. None of these were successful at the time, but some of the material created for them ended up being incorporated into The Spirit.

John Law eventually starred in his own new adventures in 2004 under Eisner's guidance.