Everyone loves comic book trivia, but with over 75 years of superhero comics behind us right now, there’s always some new obscure fact to learn. That’s why ComicsAlliance is going deep into the minutiae of your favorite names in comics in our continuing video series. You think you know comics? Well, here’s a few things you might not know!
This week we're taking a look at one of the most highly regarded and influential comics of all time, Will Eisner's The Spirit.
Today in 1940, newspaper readers in Philadelphia, Chicago, and a handful of other major US cities opened their newspapers to find something unusual --- a new color comic supplement that, rather than appearing in the usual tabloid dimensions of the Sunday funnies, was effectively a comic book unto itself. A dapper gentleman in a blue suit grinned out from the first panel, his visage floating over a graveyard and a distant cityscape.
The story that followed was a quick read, the tale of Detective Denny Colt who is apparently killed by the villainous Dr. Cobra, but cheats death thanks to being soaked in some mysterious chemical, and brings the evildoer to justice as the mysterious Spirit.
The American comic book would not be what it is today without Will Eisner. A relentless innovator who initiated vital changes at crucial points in the medium's history and left behind a lifetime of literary art, Eisner has directly or indirectly influenced everyone who followed him. Born March 6, 1917 in Brooklyn New York, Will Eisner changed the world of sequential art, and it's only appropriate that we celebrate his comics, his accomplishments, and his spirit.
Comic creator. Playwright. Historian. Screenwriter. Political commentator. Novelist. Illustrator. Educator. Cartoonist. Jules Feiffer has worn all these hats and more over his storied career, and in the process, become one of the most influential, versatile, and celebrated figures that the comics medium has ever known.
He's won an Oscar, a Pulitzer, an Obie, and received numerous lifetime achievement awards. He's written acclaimed R-rated movies, produced one of the first proper graphic novels, authored a long-running and hugely popular comic strip, and provided the art for one of the true classics of children's literature. His 1965 book The Great Comic Book Heroes pioneered the concept of reprinting classic comic book stories in a high-quality format, and is generally acknowledged as the first major historical work about the comic book industry. And he still produces vital and groundbreaking work today, some seventy years after taking on his first professional comics job.
In the history of comics, few editors have been as influential for as long as Diana Schutz. In terms of long-term, well-known women editors at the top of the industry, Schutz is really only equaled by Vertigo's Karen Berger and Shelly Bond. Today, Schutz announced she is retiring from Dark Horse after 25 years at the publisher, and would be moving towards more academic pursuits. Over the course of her impressive comics career she has worked with many of the best creators in the business, including Neil Gaiman, Frank Miller, Matt Wagner, Stan Sakai, Will Eisner, and Harvey Pekar, and her books have won multiple Eisner and Harvey awards.
Every now and then, an announcement comes along that seems so perfectly natural that you start to wonder why it hasn't happened before. Case in point: Dynamite announced today that they are reviving Will Eisner's The Spirit as an ongoing series written and drawn by Matt Wagner, set to launch at this year's Comic-Con International in San Diego.
The Spirit is, of course, one of the most groundbreaking comics of all time, originally appearing as a newspaper strip that in many ways reads like it was 20 years ahead of its time (while also, it should be noted, featuring the problematic elements of its era). With over 30 years of experience writing and drawing some of the best comics around, Wagner is a natural choice to put his spin on the character.
The 2014 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards ceremony took place Friday 25th July in the Indigo Ballroom at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront, as part of San Diego Comic-Con. It was a good night for Saga, Hawkeye, and the Hernandez brothers. Presenters included Orlando Jones, Reginald Hudlin, Matt Fraction and Kelly Sue DeConnick, Sergio Aragonés, Phil LaMarr, and Kevin Eastman. ComicsAlliance has a full list of winners, as well as the other nominees in each category.
In a surprising coup, Dynamite Entertainment announced that it has acquired the rights to Will Eisner's legendary domino-masked crimefighter The Spirit. The rights were previously held by DC Comics, which published both a comprehensive collection of the original strips and new adventures from creators such as Mark Evanier, Sergio Aragones, Darwyn Cooke and J. Bone.
Dynamite plans to publish new stories for the character, but has not yet announced creative teams or indicated when these comics might see print. Whether Dynamite has the rights to any archive material or plans to do anything with it remains to be seen. Dynamite Entertainment publisher and CEO Nick Barrucci called the acquisition, "a lifelong dream come true."
We make a regular practice at ComicsAlliance of spotlighting particular artists or specific bodies of work, as well as the special qualities of comic book storytelling, but because cartoonists, illustrators and their fans share countless numbers of great pinups, fan art and other illustrations on sites like Flickr, Tumblr, DeviantArt and seemingly infinite art blogs that we’ve created Best Art Ever (This Week), a weekly depository for just some of the pieces of especially compelling artwork that we come across in our regular travels across the Web. Some of it’s new, some of it’s old, some of it’s created by working professionals, some of it’s created by future stars, some of it’s created by talented fans, awnd some of it’s endearingly silly. All of it is awesome.
We make a regular practice at ComicsAlliance of spotlighting particular artists or specific bodies of work, but because cartoonists, illustrators and their fans share countless numbers of great images on sites like Flickr, Tumblr, DeviantArt and seemingly infinite art blogs that we’ve created Best Art Ever (This Week), a weekly depository for just some of the pieces of especially compelling artwork that we come across in our regular travels across the Web. Some of it’s new, some of it’s old, some of it’s created by working professionals, some of it’s created by future stars, some of it’s created by talented fans, and some of it’s endearingly silly. All of it’s awesome.
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