March 06, 2011 at 06:16 AM EST

Wondering who the masked man on the Google home page is? It’s Denny Colt, better known as The Spirit. His mask forms the two “o”s in Google to celebrate the Mar. 6, 1917, birth date of Spirit creator Will Eisner, who died in 2005. 

The Spirit was a wonderfully inventive comic strip, a mixture of film noir, detective, and super-hero comics that thrived throughout the 1940s. Yes, it was made into an awful 2008 film by Frank Miller, but forget that. Pick up any of DC Comics’ beautiful Spirit Archives collections to see some of the most inspired comic-book art ever. Eisner would have been 94 today.

Happy birthday to your spirit, Mr. Eisner.

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