The Spirit: An 80th Anniversary Celebration by Will Eisner (graphic novel review).

The hype I saw for this book, ‘The Spirit: An 80th Anniversary Celebration’ is a bit misleading or I was reading it wrong because I thought it was actually other people doing their interpretations of Will Eisner’s famous character, the Spirit. Actually, its 9 people who have either worked with Eisner by getting his stories reprinted, like with Denis Kitchen and Paul Levitz, or others showing their appreciation and choosing stories they wanted to see reprinted. As they were mostly originally printed in black and white, four of them have been coloured for this volume.

Will Eisner, in case you’ve never come across his work, has been a big influence on illustrated narrative fiction. When police criminologist Denny Colt in a confrontation with mad scientist Dr. Cobra, he gets soaked in a suspected animation liquid and assumed dead. He recovers with added endurance and recovery but rather than reveal this, he adopts a blue domino mask and goes under the guise of the Spirit and works outside of the law. Interestingly, although his origin story is shown here, none of the other people have selected any story featuring his femme fatales. Even so, if you want a measure of the character and Eisner’s storytelling skills then this book makes for a useful taster to whet your appetite.

GF Willmetts

June 2020

(pub: Clover Press, 2020. Page graphic novel sorta of softcover. Price: I pulled my copy for about £12.00 (UK) . ISBN: 978-1-951038-05-2)

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