June 2011 Archives

Disagreeing with Eisner...

Colin Smith's "Too busy thinking about my comics" blog has a wonderfully sincere and interesting piece comparing Eisner's Spirit work with his later graphic novels:

So; while there's no creator in the history of comics that I respect more than Mr Eisner, I just feel that I'd benefit from owning up to the fact that I think his work on the Spirit is, as a general principle, far, far superior to anything which he produced from the publication of "A Contract With God And Other Tenement Stories" in 1978 onwards.

The weekly context in which The Spirit's adventures were published demanded both innovation and clarity, emotion and excitement, and just like the very best of any and all popular entertainment, it was largely unpretentious, lacking in worthiness and completely involving. If the message of a typical Spirit tale tended to be somewhat obvious, and most of the themes were never anything other than straight-forward, the storytelling carried the reader onwards towards the story's moral closure with an exceptional vigour. And The Spirit himself, so often decried by Mr Eisner as being no more sophisticated a character than a man in a mask, served so effectively as an everyman, as the reader's POV, as a symbol of an individual caught outside the madness of everyday life trying to impose some sanity upon it. Constantly beaten, wounded, heart-broken, confused, the Spirit moves me far more as a symbol of one type of 20th century person than any of Mr Eisner's later characters do.
Read the full post here.

The Spirit by Wally Wood...

Rip Jagger's blog has a nice article and pics featuring Wally Wood's splash pages for The Outer Space Spirit...

In 1952 at the end of The Spirit's original run as a newspaper insert, Will Eisner was losing interest in the strip. Television among other things was cutting into the viability of maintaining the strip and Eisner wanted to put his talents elsewhere. Already the strip was being written by Jules Feiffer, so a proper replacement artist needed to be found.

Read the full article here.

Rip also has a short article (with pics) on the Pop-Up Spirit book.

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