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The Spirit Archives

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The Spirit Archives

Current Status:
In Season
Will Eisner
Pop Culture

We gave it an A-

One of the most influential comic strips of all time, The Spirit, originally published from 1940 to 1952, was artist-writer Eisner’s mordant, funny, spooky creation — tales of Denny Colt, a masked, fedora’d, back-from-the-dead ’40s detective. The stories spoofed film noir conventions with their rain-glittering alleyways and sultry femmes fatales; the art revolutionized comics. Before The Spirit, comic-book stories were told in panels of orderly, sequential grids; Eisner was the first to burst those boundaries, allowing pictures to spill across whole pages, with panels expanding or contracting to match the comic or tense mood of a scene. If the initial adventures from 1940 in The Spirit Archives aren’t quite the prime, increasingly surreal strips Eisner would go on to create, they’re still moody mindblowers. A-