Monday, July 21, 2008

The Spirit

Frank Miller loves The Spirit. The comic book, that is. He acknowledges the work of legendary comic book artist Will Eisner as one of the fundamental influences of his career. During his famous 1980s run on Daredevil, Miller occasionally drew billboards featuring The Spirit into his NY backgrounds. The Spirit was originally published as a 7-page feature in Sunday newspaper supplements, between 1940 and 1952. Eisner introduced cinematic storytelling and lighting devices into his pages, effectively breaking new ground. Walk into a good comic book store and ask for any of the countless reprints still in circulation today (I love the "noir" mood of black & white issues, if you can get them). After you read as many of those as possible and discover why Frank Miller was so taken by this unique comic, proceed briskly to purchase Darwyn Cooke's wonderful and "true-to-the-spirit" 2007-2008 revamping of the character (issues 1-13). Darwyn, as befits his name, cooked the evolution of The Spirit to perfection.

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