The Spirit #1 Written by Matt Wagner
Art by Dan Schkade
Colored by Brennan Wagner
Letters by A Larger World Studios
Cover art by Eric Powell, Matt Wagner & Brennan Wagner, Alex Ross, and John Cassaday Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: July 1, 2015
Cover Price: $3.99
The Spirit #1 is the latest addition to Dynamite Entertainment’s pulp library and I honestly have to say, with very few exceptions, these pulp characters are being given rock star treatment by Dynamite editorial, and it really shows.
Will Eisner is the man who literally wrote the book on creating comics. His Comics and Sequential Art has influenced comic creators since its original publication in 1985 and was my introduction to Eisner’s work. Last Day in Vietnam is the first non-technical Eisner book that I have ever read and I now fully understand why Wizard Magazine named him the “Most Influential Comic Artist of All Time.”
Following World War II, the military contracted Will Eisner for many years to create a monthly equipment maintenance manual called PS Magazine. His work took him on-site to both the Korean War and the Vietnam War to gather maintenance stories from military personnel. Last Day in Vietnam is a collection of his encounters during this stage of Eisner’s career. The graphic novel consists of six shorts, not in any apparent order.
Today when you visit Google’s homepage the usual Google logo has been replaced with a Will Eisner-inspired doodle to celebrate his birthday. Click on the logo and you’ll find a treasure trove of information about the iconic comic book creator.
Eisner was born on March 6, 1917 and died back in 2005. He is perhaps best known for the character The Spirit, which did, for better or for worse, get the feature film treatment, but he also crafted such classic characters as John Law, Sheena: Queen of the Jungle, Black Hawk, Uncle Sam, and countless others.
Eisner is known as the father of the graphic novel and he was one of the founding creators of the actual comic book bringing the art form from Sunday newspapers into what we know as comic books today.
Comic book legend Will Eisner may have left this mortal plane in 2005, but his work continues to amaze all these years later. Similarly amazing is how long it took for adaptations of his work to hit the big screen.
Eisner was a pioneer in stretching the boundaries of narrative and storytelling in sequential art. The term, “˜Graphic Novel’ really came into our collective lexicon when Eisner’s monumental work, A Contract With God was published in October of 1978, and is now getting the big-screen treatment.
The book consists of four short stories — A Contract With God, The Super, The Street Singer, and Cookalein — all set in a Bronx tenement in the 1930s. The stories are semi-autobiographical, drawing heavily from Eisner’s own childhood experiences as well as those of his peers. The narratives are tied together by the common setting/theme of immigrant and first-generation experiences, across cultures.