Friday, July 17, 2015

Number 1762: The sewer Spirit

The Spirit #1 (1944), is a collection of Sunday newspaper stories published during the time creator Will Eisner was at war. Occasionally Eisner found time to help out. This story, called “Yellow-Eyes Janus” by the Grand Comics Database, and “Manhunt” on the inside cover of the actual issue, is credited to Eisner and Lou Fine, with the writing by Eisner. Some of Eisner’s ghosts were better at his style than others, but there is a lot going on in this episode that tells us he worked on it. The scenes in the sewer are vintage Eisner.

The story originally appeared May 2, 1943.

A six-week Spirit daily newspaper story, from the Real Free Press Daily Spirit. Just click on the thumbnail.


J_D_La_Rue_67 said...

I like the art. I think it's Fine. Ha-Ha.
So much for "intelligent" comments...
Sorry, but we had 38° Celsius today, that is to say, 100,4° Fahrenheit. Maybe we'll get 40° in the weekend. Yay! So I made a "freddura" (a "chiller"), a pun so stupid that's supposed to "freeze" the reader.
I think it's very appropriate The Spirit had "ghost" artists [chiller 2]. They're so great, and I wish I had the skill to spot them. In this story some panels reminded me of Cole, but if you say it's Fine... well, it's fine for me [chiller 3]. I can spot Grandenetti sometimes, but that's all.
Really Mr. Pappy, don't stop answering our comments. You're like Mr. Natural to us, we need your wisdom ;-)

Alicia American said...

THAT's tha Spirit, Pappy!

Pappy said...

J D, what "chilled" me about your comments was you having to translate 38ºC into 100.4ºF. That is because of the United States' stubborn resistance in going to the metric system. It embarrasses me on behalf of my fellow citizens who are so intractable. I go cold with the thought, my friend.

I am sorry you are uncomfortable during the heatwave, and also apologize that being a comic book fan does not mean the same thing as a fan to cool one with a breeze.

J D, no matter the outside temperature, in my estimation you are a very cool fellow.

Pappy said...

Thanks, Alicia.

Anonymous said...

Your posting sent me into my modest but unorganized collection of comic and graphic arts. I had Eisner's Spirit in a trade paperback that collected a number of classics from the '40s. Not found. I seem to remember some things about that great strip but not much am I so sure about. Apparently the Spirit character is not drawn without his domino mask. Not even recuperating in a hospital bed next to his Best Friend's hospital bed. Surely this is all well known to many but once again, my ignorance shows.

Pappy said...

7f7, by wearing the mask all the time, Denny Colt is submerged into the Spirit. There were precedents to the Spirit when he was created, masked men like the Lone Ranger and the Phantom, and it's not a stretch to think Eisner was probably inspired by those characters. He is closer to the Lone Ranger, because the Lone Ranger's real identity, Texas Ranger John Reid, is supposed to be dead. So is Denny Colt, criminologist, who carried out the deception so he could operate independently as the Spirit.

Nowadays there is a lot of "backstory" to characters, but in those days of yore it wasn't so important. If a guy wanted to put on a mask and be a crime fighter then wot the hey, that was enough to satisfy everyone, no matter how odd that would be if transferred to real life.

J_D_La_Rue_67 said...

Congratulations to 7f7 for raising an interesting point. I failed to notice nobody at the hospital removed the Spirit's mask. Must be the heatwave.
I think I would have noticed if it happened to Spider Man (paramedics respecting a superhero's privacy?... maybe), but we're so accustomed to the Spirit's mask that, as Pappy says (very wisely), it has become a black blot on his face, a symbol.
Maybe Eisner realized this, too, and tried to create a less "symbolic" character with John Law, but peculiarly, Law himself, like the mask, "merged" into The Spirit.

PS: Thanx Alicia, U A Reel chille

Alicia American said...

LOL did u get my joke LOL!!!

OMG Pappy we luv this article, we thot u mite luv it 2:
it's about how comix used 2 matter but dont any more & can that B fixeded. We agree w/this article but we didnt writerize it! xoxoxoxo

Pappy said...

Alicia, yes, dear, I got your joke. You couldn't hear me laughing because I turned the sound off on my computer.

That article you linked to is very provocative, and to the best of my knowledge tells the truth. I know we can't go back to the old days, when comic books were 10, 12, and 15 cents, but at a time when I was desperately poor (in the early '70s, a young married veteran getting $175.00 a month from the GI Bill for college, and paying rent and utilities and for groceries out of that), $6.00 a month bought me most of the regular titles that were then on sale.

The rising prices and the endless storylines and BORING crossovers got me out of the comic book habit several years ago. I would not buy a prose novel in the form of single chapters put out every month. I want the whole thing now. I'm not faulting comic creators, but I lost patience. The last comic book series I bought to read and collect was Sandman Mystery Theater, and that was set in an era I am interested in.

I won't even go into what I see that passes for content in many current comic books.

I look at graphic novels, and occasionally buy one. (I mostly avail myself of my county library, which has a purchaser who believes in stocking graphic novels across the library system.) I believe combining several issues in one graphic novel for a reasonable price is better for me than trying to keep up with individual issues. Along with graphic novels and lucrative licensing deals, publishers explore new avenues for sales, and I hope they can keep the industry going for the sake of the people who work in it, and for the fans who are still buying the comic books.

Me, I'm lost to them.