Monday, October 08, 2012

Number 1241: Eisner pre-war and postwar

This is the second of four postings this week with features from Quality Comics.

Will Eisner was one of the more accomplished artists in the comic book field, even from his very early days in the industry. And he joined the industry before it was an industry.

He had a distinctive style before World War II, and it grew into the style we all know and admire from after the war. (He also had several people helping him, but the overall look of his work is consistent with his layouts and inking.)

“Espionage Starring Black X” was a strip from early issues of Smash Comics. This episode is from #12 (1940). The Spirit story, reprinted in a 1950 issue of Police Comics, #100, originally appeared in the newspaper comic book section Eisner produced, dated April 28, 1946. “Black X,” who always wore a monocle (even when covering his face, as he does in this story), is a type of pre-war spy story where spies were gentlemen, and agents had numbers instead of names. The Spirit story is one of the types of Eisner stories I really like, whimsical and pure fantasy.

Less than two months ago I did another posting with Eisner's Black X, in Pappy's #1212.


Kirk said...

"Oh, lemme pull the handle once more. 'tis witchcraft!!"

I've seen the guy-from-the-past thinks-modern-convenience-is-witchcraft gag done many, many times--most recently in Tim Burton's version of Dark Shadows, when Barnabus Collins says that about television--but never about the modern washroom before. Hilarious. And, to think, this is in 1950!

Pappy said...

Kirk, haven't toilets had a history of being around in ancient times, then showing up again throughout history? I suppose when this fellow who thinks a pull handle is witchcraft folks were still pulling up their breeches to go out into the snow and freezing cold to the outhouse. Probably the origin of the phrase, “freeze your butt off.”