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An utterly unstable balance. Army in late , "and then had about another half-year which the government gave me to clean up my affairs before going off" to fight in World War II. Eisner's rumpled, masked hero with his headquarters under the tombstone of his supposedly deceased true identity, Denny Colt and his gritty, detailed view of big-city life based on Eisner's Jewish upbringing in New York City both reflected and anticipated the noir outlook of movies and fiction in the s. I never felt The Spirit would dominate the feature. He served as a sort of an identity for the strip.
The stories were what I was interested in. Yet along with violence and pathos , The Spirit lived on humor , both subtle and overt. He was shot, knocked silly, bruised, often amazed into near immobility and constantly confused by beautiful women. The feature ended with the October 5, , edition. Eisner hired Jerry Grandenetti and Jim Dixon to occasionally ink his pencils.
Had me penciling 'The Spirit'. Later on it was Wally Wood", who drew the final installments. The Spirit, referred to in one newspaper article cited below as "the only real middle-class crimefighter", was the hero persona of young detective Denny Colt. Presumed killed in the first three pages of the premiere story, Colt later revealed to his friend, Central City Police Commissioner Dolan, that he had in fact gone into suspended animation caused by one of archvillain Dr.
Cobra's experiments. When Colt awakened in Wildwood Cemetery, he established a base there and, using his new-found anonymity, began a life of fighting crime wearing only a small domino mask , blue business suit , red necktie , fedora hat , and gloves for a costume. The Spirit dispensed justice with the aid of his assistant, Ebony White, funding his adventures with the rewards for capturing villains. Not tied to one locale, his adventures took him around the globe.
Gifts of the Spirit
He met eccentrics, kooks, and femme fatales , bringing his own form of justice to all of them. The story changed continually, but certain themes remained constant: the love between the Spirit and Dolan's feisty protofeminist daughter Ellen; the annual " Christmas Spirit" stories; and the Octopus a psychopathic criminal mastermind who was never seen, except for his distinctive gloves.
The character's name is a racial pun , and his facial features, including large white eyes and thick pinkish lips, are typical of racial blackface caricatures popular throughout the " Jim Crow " era. Eisner later admitted to consciously stereotyping the character, but said he tried to do so with "responsibility", and argued that "at the time humor consisted in our society of bad English and physical difference in identity".
Ebony debuted as a resourceful taxi driver in the first Spirit Section. He became a mainstay of the strip and a principal member of the Spirit's supporting cast until Eisner phased him out of the narrative in mid and replaced him with another assistant, a Caucasian boy named Sammy. Ebony's last "starring" role in a Spirit story a semi-regular event in which he was the focus of the story rather than The Spirit himself was "Young Dr.
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Ebony", published on May 29, Sammy first appeared in "The Ballgame", published July 31, , part of a six-episode arc set in the South Seas, in which Ebony does not appear. Ebony makes two wordless, one-panel appearances in the next two installments, "The Candidate" and "White Cloud" August 21 and 28, before making his final appearance in five panels of "Lurid Love" September 18, After this and apart from one final mention of his name in the text-based splash page of "The Inner Voice", published November 6, , Ebony left the strip without fanfare or explanation, and Sammy functioned as the Spirit's assistant for the strip's final three years.
In an accompanying feature article in issue of the New York Herald Tribune , Eisner's former office manager Marilyn Mercer wrote, "Ebony never drew criticism from Negro groups in fact, Eisner was commended by some for using him , perhaps because, although his speech pattern was early Minstrel Show , he himself derived from another literary tradition: he was a combination of Tom Sawyer and Penrod , with a touch of Horatio Alger hero, and color didn't really come into it".
Several Spirit stories, such as the first appearance of Sand Saref, were retooled from a failed publishing venture featuring an eyepatched , pipe-smoking detective named John Law.go here
Welcome to The Spirit of Tengri!
Law and his shoeshine-boy sidekick, Nubbin, starred in several adventures planned for a new comics series. These completed adventures were eventually adapted into Spirit stories, with John Law's eyepatch being changed to the Spirit's mask, and Nubbin redrawn as Willum Waif or other Spirit supporting characters. Like most artists working in newspaper comic strips, Eisner after a time employed a studio of assistants who, on any given week's story, might draw or simply ink backgrounds, ink parts of Eisner's main characters such as clothing or shoes , or as eventually occurred, ghost-draw the strip entirely.
Eisner also eventually used ghostwriters, generally in collaboration with him. Jules Feiffer , who began as an art assistant circa and later became the primary writer through the strip's end in , recalled, "When I first worked for Will there was John Spranger , who was his penciler and a wonderful draftsman; better than Will. There was Sam Rosen , the lettering man. Jerry Grandenetti came a little after me and did backgrounds, and Jerry had some architectural background.
His drawing was stiff but loosened up after a while, but he drew backgrounds and inked them beautifully. And Abe Kanegson , who was my best friend in the office, was a jack-of-all-trades but mostly did lettering and backgrounds after Jerry left. Abe was a mentor to me. Eisner's studio also included:   .
Harvey Comics reprinted several Spirit stories in two giant-size, cent comic books published October and March , each with new Eisner covers. The first of these two page issues opened with a new seven-page retelling of the Spirit's origin by writer-penciler-inker Eisner with inking assist by Chuck Kramer. Seven — Spirit stories were reprinted. The second issue opened with a new seven-page story by writer-artist Eisner, "Octopus: The Life Story of the King of Crime," giving the heretofore unrevealed origin of the Spirit's nemesis The Octopus, as well as his given name Zitzbath Zark.
Reprinted were seven —50 Spirit stories. From onward Denis Kitchen 's Kitchen Sink Press and James Warren 's Warren Publishing published extensive Spirit reprints, first as large black-and-white magazines the Warren part of the run eventually having a color section , then as trade paperbacks. The magazines often featured new Eisner covers. The first ongoing series, started by Warren and picked up by Kitchen Sink, ran 41 issues from — Eisner produced two new stories during this period: "The Capistrano Jewels", a four-page story published in the second issue of the Kitchen Sink reprints in ;  and "The Invader", a five-page story in a one-shot Spirit publication Eisner created for his lecture at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario , Canada in The Spirit plays the EC host , introducing "true" stories of haunted houses.
The series featured color stories in its first 11 issues, but switched to black-and-white from issue 12 on. Lansdale and Paul Pope. In the mids, DC Comics began reprinting The Spirit chronologically in the company's hardcover Archive series, in an approximately 8xinch format, smaller than the Kitchen Sink and Warren publications. This 6-page story featured a crossover between The Spirit and the book's lead character The Escapist.
Bone introduced the Spirit into the DC Universe. The first issue of the ongoing series The Spirit , written and pencilled by Cooke and inked by J.