On Strips: The Return of The Spirit

By | Friday, December 30, 2016 3 comments
Will Eisner's Spirit was originally included in a newspaper Sunday supplement in the 1940s. Though the supplement had other comics as well (also largely done by Eisner initially) Spirit was easily the most popular feature and the insert was colloquially called "The Spirit Section." Eisner's direct involvement diminished over time as he hired others to ink, write, and eventually draw the strip. It was eventually cancelled in 1952.

Since then, the stories have been reprinted numerous times in various formats and any number of entirely new stories have been created, including a 2008 feature-length movie directed by Frank Miller. But I don't believe the Spirit ever returned to the newspaper page. Until this week when the Spirit flew in to help Dick Tracy with a case! Here are some of this week's strips...

Clearly, this is already more than a cameo, and he looks to be around a little while judging by the dialogue. Joe Staton and Mike Curtis smartly dodge potential racial issues brought up by long-time sidekick Ebony White, replacing him with Sammy Strunk, who was introduced in the 2015 comic book series by Matt Wagner. In a bit of meta-fiction, the Thursday strip knocks both the aforementioned Spirit movie as well as the 1990 Dick Tracy movie from Warren Beatty. We'll have to wait and see where Staton and Curtis take this...
Newer Post Older Post Home


Matt K said...

"smartly dodge potential racial issues brought up by long-time sidekick Ebony White" and his temporary stand-in, Blubber, who didn't really represent much improvement on that score.

This is pretty cool, in any event.

Scott said...

Sammy was in the later part of the original Spirit run, also. I don't remember a whole lot about him other than he existed.

Unknown said...

The Spirit returned to newspapers twice(?) after the original run.
First was for the January 9, 1966 New York Herald-Tribune:

In the 1990s Eisner reworked some old Sunday Spirit stories to
run as dailies for the Boca Daily News (he lived in Boca Raton at the time).
He supposedly prepared 604 dailies, but they didn't all run in the paper.
These were the strips that ran for quite a while in the Comics Buyer's Guide.
I find very little info on these dailies. Anyone know more?