February 2008 Archives

Pre-order The Spirit Mini-Bust...

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Will Eisner's THE SPIRIT mini-bustPre-order solicitation for the mini-bust that will be shipping June 18, 2008...

"Here at Dark Horse, there is no shortage of fans of Will Eisner's The Spirit. We are proud to present a Spirit mini-bust based on original concept art by Will Eisner! We used an unpublished drawing from his archive as sculptor reference, thereby bringing Eisner's creation to life! Sculptor Tony Cipriano has captured the essence of Eisner's art perfectly.

"Included with this bust is a separate Central City manhole cover, to be placed on or near the bust by the consumer.

"First published in 1940, The Spirit kept newspaper audiences enthralled for more than thirty years with stories about a masked vigilante who fought crime with the blessing of the city's police commissioner.

"The Spirit has inspired the current in-production Lions Gate film, directed by Frank Miller."

Pre-order yours here.

New Eisner Spirit statues from Dark Horse!

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ComicMix.com's Rick Marshall reports from the 2008 Toy Fair on a new range of statues coming soon from Dark Horse:

Most notable of the bunch, however, were a pair of statues based on the title character of Will Eisner's The Spirit comics. With a Frank Miller-helmed film based on the character scheduled to hit theaters early next year, Dark Horse Comics' statues are based on the original Eisner design for the character -- literally.

According to DH's Vice President of Product Development, the statues are based on sketches Eisner made in the event that a 3-D sculpture was ever made of the character. Dark Horse acquired the sketches from the Eisner Estate after the creator's passing, and had the statues made from the sketched designs.

"The statues aren't just in the Eisner style," explained Scroggy, "but actually designed by Eisner."

Read the report here.
(Photo © ComicMix/Rick Marshall)

Will Eisner's THE SPIRITCharles Hatfield and Craig Fischer both take a long hard look at Darwyn Cooke on The Spirit and in doing so, take a look at some classic Eisner Spirit as well.


Cooke & Co.'s Spirit is a series of beautiful comics with one foot in a nostalgic timewarp. The nostalgia on view is not just for Eisner, the memory of whose passing in 2005 lends poignancy to the series, but also for a whole way of thinking about comics. Me, I like that way of thinking: I appreciate the sheer craftsman-like application of skill to a series of challenges in order to make, not just a serial, but a series of discrete and enticing objects. I like Cooke's dedication to the work, the way he, improbably, has managed one graphically inventive outing after another on a strict schedule. That certainly invokes the spirit of the Eisner shop in the late '40s. And the books are handsome. But, at the same time, I'm caught: Cooke's Spirit is a neither/nor proposition, not quite certain how to contemporize Eisner's famously 1940ish character and handicapped by the simple fact that Cooke's writing is not the equal of his handsome, design-smart artwork. His visual storytelling is aces, but, writing-wise, his Spirit seems, well, a bit backwards in spirit. Mind you, these Spirit comics are the best comics Cooke has ever done, and they're not as hobbled by nostalgia as his previous work might suggest -- but, well, they can't help but lean on Eisner's back fence. So I have to return to the question I asked myself when I heard about this series, Is a Spirit revival worth doing in the first place?
I think that Eisner was both a visionary and a vaudevillian. When I read a Spirit section, or even a longer work like A Life Force, I see an artist eager to please his audience who is both remarkably adept at his tricks and excellent at "selling the sizzle, not the steak." This phrase was used in the lower strata of popular culture (by vaudevillians, circus carnies, and exploitation filmmakers) to describe the importance of advertising in attracting an audience; once you hooked the rubes with your sizzle (with your posters and ads, with the pitchman on the midway) and got their cash, the content, the "steak," that you dished out didn't matter. Eisner's sizzling Spirit splash pages can help us understand both Eisner-the-Artist and Eisner-the-Vaudevillian...
Read Charles Hatfield's article here.
Read Craig Fischer's article here.

Miller back for two Spirit sequels?

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Spirit MovieJust Press Play's Arya Ponto is reporting that Frank Miller has signed on to direct two more films featuring Will Eisner's The Spirit:

Whatever Frank Miller is doing over there on the set of The Spirit has got to be working, because Lionsgate has just signed the comic creator-turned-filmmaker for two sequels.
They're expecting the movie to be a big hit, even though they're releasing it in January. Without a big superhero competition then, who knows, maybe it'll even break Cloverfield's record.
Read the original article here.

Now Read this!: The Spirit Vol. 1

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The Spirit Vol. 1Win Wiacek discusses the first collected volume of Darwyn Cooke's run on The Spirit:

Although I'm sure the impending movie has had a lot to do with this enterprise, The Spirit has always been a fundamentally Graphic and Design icon and Cooke has maintained the visual innovations as well as the racy, tongue-in-cheek comedy and breathtaking action. Perhaps my objections stem mostly from the facts that it's set in a more-or-less contemporary world rather than the fabled forties and fifties. The ingenuous, camouflaged sexuality of Will Eisner's work is missing from modern "in-your-face" liberated relationships, and that passionate tension is sorely missed. Or perhaps I'm just too churlish to accept anybody else's interpretation of the character.
This is by any standard a truly great comics read and you shouldn't let my reluctance influence you. If you haven't seen Eisner's originals you must read them, no argument there. But even though this volume isn't MY Spirit, it is a damned good one. Go on, read them both. Please yourselves...
Read the full review here.

Comics Worth Reading: The Spirit #13

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The Spirit #13Johanna Draper Carlson takes a quick look at The Spirit #13 (you'll have to scroll down a tad...):

Gail Simone, Phil Hester, and Ande Parks end the book with a mostly wordless story where icons take the place of dialogue. I like the snowy setting and the icicle criminal queen. It's simple, but it's got a message (beyond good beats bad), an acronym joke, and heart. It's ambitious and experimental, which makes it the most Eisner-like in the book.
Read the full review here.

IGN: The Spirit #13

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IGNs Dan Phillips misses Darwyn Cooke...
Read the review here.

ComiXtreme: The Spirit #13

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Blake M. Petit over at ComiXtreme also has a quick look at this issue...
Read the review here.

WSJ: On Will Eisner...

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The Best of The Spirit (pic © WSJ)R. Sukumar discusses Will Eisner and the language of comics over at The Wall Street Journal's LiveMint.com:

Eisner's ability to use the art form (and he did see comics as an art form) was exceptional. From the use of empty spaces to reflect openness and freedom, to the use of smaller panels to convey a sense of movement in the story, to the complete absence of panels, he tried almost everything comics writers after him used, and to good effect.
Read the full article here. Link via The Comics Reporter.

Review: "Will Eisner: Edge of Genius"

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Will Eisner, Edge of GeniusCurledUp.com takes a look at Greg Theakston's volume of early Eisner work, released last year by Pure Imagination:

Eisner's recognizable style of drawing and scripting is definitely present in these early works. Fans of Eisner will have no trouble associating most of these works with the late creator. While the full effect of Eisner's panel play is not evident in this collection, it is obvious he is heading in that direction as he bends and twists panels beyond traditional uses at the time of these comics.
Read the full review here.

Pop Matters: "Life, In Pictures"

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Life, in PicturesErik Hinton from Pop Matters takes a close look at the Life, In Pictures hardcover recently released by WW Norton:

It is profoundly remarkable that Eisner created these works decades before comics were taken as anything but a mindless paper filler. Reading Life, in Pictures has some of the qualities of gazing at the paintings of the masters: that impression of awe engendered by the sui generis.

Life, in Pictures is an invaluable artifact in the birth of the graphic novel medium and still a high point in the comic catalogue. As such, it deserves purchasing by any true fans of the genre and, truthfully, anyone concerned in the development of autochthonous American art. Bedtime reading, though, it is not.

Rather, this collection deserves to be read with all the careful approach of engaging a holocaust memoir and the scholastic-critical attunement of one in a museum. Word of advice: plan in advance some fun activities to execute upon the completion of your trek through Eisner's anthology. Else, you may find yourself staring frigidly at the cerebral cover of the book for hours.

Read the full review here.

Pop Syndicate: The Spirit #12

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The Spirit #12Pop Syndicate's Scott Cederlund loves the last issue of The Spirit by Darwyn Cooke:

In The Spirit, Darwyn Cooke has attempted to pay homage to the Spirit's creator Will Eisner without specifically referencing Eisner's style or writing. Cooke has adapted the Spirit and brought the character into his narrative style while tweaking, updating and disguising some of Eisner's traditional touches to the character. Take a look at Cooke's title pages, the gorgeous two page spreads that owe as much to television and film opening credits as they do to Eisner's trademarked Spirit splash pages. But with this issue, Cooke's farewell issue to the title, he embraces his inner Eisner, updating two stories that Eisner originally wrote and drawing half the book in an Eisnerish style with loose ink work and experimental and graphic layouts.
Read the full review here.

AICN: The Spirit #12

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Will Eisner's THE SPIRITAin't It Cool News bids a farewell to Darwyn Cooke on The Spirit:

All things considered, make sure you give this book a good shake on the hand when it gets up there. Not many books manage to buck trends so wholly, to meld and switch between tones so well, to establish a fully-formed and rich world so immediately or to tell so many good one-part stories in such a short space of time. And really, I don't think anyone else out there could have sold THE SPIRIT so well. Good on the li'l guy.
Read the full review here.

IGN: The Spirit #12

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The Spirit #12IGNs Dan Phillips takes a look at The Spirit #12:

For his final outing on The Spirit, writer/artist Darwyn Cooke hasn't merely saved his best for last, he's chosen to adapt arguably Will Eisner's greatest Spirit story for last as well. The result is a moving emotional tale about Sans Saref -- Denny Colt's first and greatest love -- that also pops with the stunningly atmospheric artwork and dynamic visual design that has made this Spirit modernization so fantastic from the get-go. It's by far Cooke's best work on the title, and the most impressive outing of his career since New Frontier launched his name into the upper stratosphere of comic book creators.
Read the full review here.

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This page is an archive of entries from February 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

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