Recently in The Spirit Category
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....and...
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.
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.
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.
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.
A few years ago, I was catching the train at Broadway Junction to come into the city. Will Eisner walks up and we started talking. He said, "you should come work for me." I said, "I would love to." We talked a few times, but then I got drafted and I went off to Vietnam. So, it's a pleasure to finally work with Mr. Eisner.
Read the full article on DC's blog.
The Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art - MoCCA - is proud to announce Will Eisner's New York: From the Spirit to the Modern Graphic Novel, an exhibit showcasing work of the comics and graphic novel master that was inspired by, and which spotlighted, his hometown, the city he always held closest to his heart: New York. The exhibition will run from March 1-June 30, 2011. It is curated by Denis Kitchen and Danny Fingeroth.
From the Golden Age of Comics through the creation of the modern graphic novel (a form he was instrumental in popularizing), you will find New York City at the heart of Will Eisner's work. Whether thinly disguised as "Central City" in the pages of his legendary creation, The Spirit, or more directly presented in his autobiographical graphic novels, New York was portrayed by Eisner as only a native of the city could know it.
This exhibition spotlights the city as reflected in all eras of Eisner's work. It includes Spirit artwork, art from many of his classic graphic novels, including A Contract with God and To the Heart of the Storm, and original paintings by Eisner, as well as art by significant creators who were influenced by him.
Full details here or the MOCCA website.
To celebrate Will Eisner and his lifetime achievements, Google has dedicated the Google Search Page to Will
So when you do an Internet search from the Google Main Search page
Yes, the eyes are the Google "O's."!
This is great news! Be the first to pass this on to your friends and associates - tweet about it, blog about it, put it on your Facebook wall, or forward this e-mail. Do it now - it'll be here today and gone tomorrow....
And that's not all... Scott McCloud has written a special blog posting for the Official Google Blog. To read it, click here: Official Google Blog.
It's international and can be seen on most Google search pages from Andorra to Zimbabwe and can be read in Afrikaans to Vietnamese! (No, we didn't test them all.)
I recently read the 2007 DC trade paperback The Spirit Book One by Darwyn Cooke, J. Bone and Dave Stewart. I was pleasantly surprised that in updating the character of the Spirit they had stayed within the...errrr...no other word to use but spirit of the original. Kudos to this book's team for bringing the cast of the Spirit into the 21st Century with a new/old look.Read The Spirit story here.
Not that I didn't find some things to complain about, but they are relatively minor. Also, there were 22 pages per story. I wondered why Will Eisner could jam a whole plot into 7 pages but it takes modern guys three times the pages to tell their tales.
Here's the original art from a Spirit episode from February, 1947. Will Eisner employed other artists to do most of the drawing, but he gave it the final touch, a gloss that told us instantly he was the HHIC, Head Honcho In Charge. This story about race track touts uses several characters, but is told in a concise fashion. Even though art styles have changed in the 63 years since this was drawn, anyone who wants to draw comic books and tell stories would do well to get a bunch of Spirit stories and see why Eisner could do what he did so economically.
The artwork is from Heritage Auctions--thanks to them for posting it--and was sold for $11,950.
Eisner found himself re-enamored with graphic narrative and saw a willing audience eager for new works. From producing new Spirit covers for the magazine (something the original newspaper insert had never needed) he became increasingly inspired. American comics were evolving into an art-form and the restless creator finally saw a place for the kind of stories he had always wanted to tell.Read the full article here.
He began crafting some of the most telling and impressive work the industry had ever seen: first in limited collector portfolios and eventually, in 1978, with the groundbreaking graphic novel A Contract With God.
If Jack Kirby is the American comicbook's most influential artist, Will Eisner is undoubtedly its most venerated and exceptional storyteller. Contemporaries originating from strikingly similar Jewish backgrounds, each used comic arts to escape from their own tenements, achieving varying degrees of acclaim and success, and eventually settling upon a theme to colour all their later works. For Kirby it was the Cosmos, what Man would find there, and how humanity would transcend its origins in The Ultimate Outward Escape. Will Eisner went Home, went Back and went Inward.
This fictionalised series of tales about the Jewish immigrant experience led to a wonderful succession of challenging, controversial and breathtakingly human stories for adults which changed how comics were perceived in America... and all because the inquisitive perfectionist was asked to produce some new covers for old stories.
This glorious oversized hardback (still available through internet retailers) features two full Spirit adventures, fully re-coloured by the master (who was never particularly pleased with how his strips were originally limned), pencil sketches and a magnificent confection of those aforementioned covers - plus some really rare extras.
Andrew Wheeler (a 2008 Eisner Awards judge) takes a look back at Will Eisner's The Spirit Archives Volume 1, as he reads a book a day:
The great foundational classics of a genre often look small and unimpressive several generations later -- the fact that they were foundational meaning that later works have been built up on top of them, and even far above them. Serial works suffer from this more strongly than self-contained, compact stories: a serial story is a journey, and the beginning is neither the end nor the high points along the way, but just the place where it all started.
Tobin writes a whole bunch of comics for Marvel, including Marvel Adventures: Fantastic Four, Marvel Adventures: The Avengers, Marvel Adventures: Spider-Man, Marvel Adventures: Secret Wars, Age of the Sentry, Models Inc, and many others. Under his pseudonym Root Nibot, he's the writer of Banana Sunday, published by Oni Press.
Visit Tobin's page, here.
From DC Comics with writer Brian Azzarello, artist Rags Morales and variant covers from J.G. Jones, The First Wave series sets the stage for a new world that houses Doc Savage, The Spirit, Batman, Black Canary, and the Avenger with a modern, gritty, noir backdrop. Real heroes without superpowers fighting crime in a new world. The Spirit will continue in his own series after the First Wave.
For more information and some great preview artwork visit the DC Universe Blog at What Is The First Wave?
Watch this space for the latest about what is happening to The Spirit next year! Visit your local Comic Book Store and ask for the Spirit comic or the paperback edition.
Will Eisner's The Spirit: The New Adventures Archive is coming
from Dark Horse Comics in September.
In 1997, almost six decades after The Spirit's first appearance in 1940, Will Eisner gave permission for a new series of stories to be commissioned. These were created and drawn by such luminaries as Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons(in one of their rare collaborations since Watchmen), Neil Gaiman (The Sandman), Paul Chadwick (Concrete), Eddie Campbell (From Hell), Mark Schultz, Mike Allred, John Ostrander, Tom Mandrake, Kurt Busiek, Brent Anderson, Joe R. Lansdale, John Wagner, Carlos Ezquerra, and many others.
If you missed the originals, then here's another chance to see these remarkable stories by remarkable creators in a new Spirit Archive Edition.
Yes, penultimate means next to last and didn't DC Comics just release their final Spirit Archive, Number 26? So what's going on? Keep watching here for news about an encore Spirit Archive. They've been trying to kill off Denny Colt for a long time and there's still no end in sight.
In the meantime, DC's Spirit Archive Number 26 might be a little more expensive then the prior 25, but it includes a beautiful graphic history of Will Eisner's "The Spirit" from the last Newspaper Insert in 1952 through 2004. Number 26 is longer than the other Archives and has truly beautiful Spirit graphics from Will Eisner's own hand.
If you're a true Will Eisner's Spirit fan and don't have a copy, you can buy one from Amazon just below or ask for one at your local comic book store.
Will Eisner's New York
New York City was a continuing focus for Will Eisner -- his life, his artwork, his comic creations, his graphic novels, and his teaching. Not the city that you see as a tourist, but the city that you live and breathe everyday. If you wanted to know more about that relationship, don't miss the Will Eisner's New York panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2009. The panel will be held on Saturday, July 25th at 1:00 PM with panelists Charles Kochman, Executive Editor of Abrams ComicArts, Paul Levitz, President and Publisher of DC Comics, Diana Schutz, Executive Editor of Dark Horse Comics, Denis Kitchen, Co-Founder of Kitchen & Hansen Agency, and Carl Gropper, Vice President of Will Eisner Studios.
Don't forget the Eisner Awards, Friday night, either.
It's all FREE with your Entry Badge - all you need is to be there. For more information, check out the Forum Topic.
IBPA, the Independent Book Publishers Association, serves 4,000 book, audio, and video publishers located in the United States and around the world.
Will Eisner's The Spirit: A Pop-Up Graphic Novel has been named as one of three finalists in the Graphic Novel Category.
The 2009 Benjamin Franklin Award winner will be chosen from the three finalists and one will receive the Benjamin Franklin Award during a ceremony during Book Expo America in NYC.
Buy The Spirit: A Pop-Up Graphic Novel
For more information visit the publisher, Insight Editions.