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The Spirit Meets Dick Tracy

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Will Eisner: From The Spirit to the Graphic Novel

At the Belgium Comic Strip Center 


The Belgian Comic Strip Center's aims are twofold: to promote the comic strip as a valuable cultural medium and to maintain the architectural masterpiece which it is housed in. 
Exhibition Open Until 02 Mar 2014
Every Day, except Mondays, 10 AM to 6 PM 
Rue des Sables 20, 1000 Brussels
Tel.: + 32 (0)2 219 19 80
Watch Scott McCloud speak about the Exhibition during his visit to the Belgium Comic Strip Center. 

Spirit/Rocketeer #2

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The Rocketeer / Spirit #2 
From IDW 
Mark Waid! / Wallace! / Wiacek!
At your local Comic Book Shop


Worth A Look

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Seen on the internet...
The Spirit / Rocketeer
From IDW
Mark Waid! / Paul Smith!
At your local Comic Book Shop  

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.

The Spirit as political cartoons...

The great comics site Diversions of the Groovy Kind has a blog entry featuring some rare single page stories featuring The Spirit:

When Underground Publisher Denis Kitchen got Eisner to let him reprint a couple issues' worth of classic Golden Age Spirit stories, he also managed to get Eisner to create some brand new Spirit material. Instead of brand new 7 page adventures in the classic vein, though, in the first issue (1973) we got an updated Spirit walking (or punching) through a set of single-page strips that are really political cartoons. The Spirit and Ebony are still 100% themselves, but the tone and purpose of the strips are as far removed from the 40s classics as the latest issue of Green Lantern is from the Silver Age GL. I s'pose "re-inventions" aren't always a bad thing, after all...

Read the full article here.

Imprint: The Spirit of the Stone Type

Imprint, the design website, has a great article on Will Eisner's splash pages, 3D letterforms and his influence on other artists:

But everything changed with the appearance of Will Eisner's "The Spirit" (1940). "The Spirit" was published as a seven-page supplement to the comics section of American Sunday newspapers. As a supplement tucked inside newspapers, "The Spirit" did not depend on being visible on the newsstands. It was not limited by the need for recognizable branding like "Superman".

Mr. Eisner used that extremely cleverly by going in exactly the opposite direction. Not only did he change the masthead of "The Spirit" for every issue, but very soon, the masthead became an integral part of the scene/set.

Read the full article here.

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