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Will Eisners Spirit Archives HC Vol 15 Hardcover – 30 Oct 2009

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More About the Author

WILL EISNER was born on March 6, 1917 in Brooklyn, New York, USA. By the time of his death on January 3, 2005, Will Eisner was recognized internationally as one of the giants in the field of sequential art, a term he coined.

In a career that spanned nearly eight decades -- from the dawn of the comic book to the advent of digital comics - Will Eisner was truly the 'Father of the Graphic Novel' and the 'Orson Welles of Comics.' He broke new ground in the development of visual narrative and the language of comics and was the creator of The Spirit, John Law, Lady Luck, Mr. Mystic, Uncle Sam, Blackhawk, Sheena, and countless others.

During World War II, Will Eisner developed the comic format to for training and equipment maintenance manuals for the US Army. After the war this continued as the Army's "PS Magazine" which is still being produced today. Will Eisner taught Sequential Art at the New York School of Visual Arts for 20 years. The textbooks that he wrote were based on his course and are still bestsellers. In 1978, Will Eisner wrote "A Contract with God," the first modern Graphic Novel. This was followed by almost 20 additional graphic novels over the following 25 years.

The "Oscars" of the Comic Industry are called The Eisner Awards, and named after Will Eisner. The Eisners are presented annually before a packed ballroom at San Diego Comic-Con, America's largest comics convention.

Wizard magazine named Eisner "the most influential comic artist of all time." Michael Chabon's Pulitzer-prize winning novel "Kavalier and Clay" is based in good part on Eisner. In 2002, Eisner received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Federation for Jewish Culture, presented by Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist Art Spiegelman.

Like the Will Eisner Official Site on Facebook and visit for more information about Will Eisner.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 2 reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Great Work From a National Treasure 7 Jan. 2005
By Ian Fowler - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I write this review just days after the death of Will Eisner. I came to be fan of his work rather recently (4 years ago or so), specifically because DC Comics had begun archiving his most famous creation, the Spirit.

I'm not sure if Eisner was at his pinnacle here, simply because once Eisner came back to the series after WW II, the quality of the series continued to go up. Each volume has been better than the last. I suppose when the series is completely archived, I'll know for sure. As it stands, what is collected in the volume is just great.

Eisner was obviously continuing to play around with the medium proper, as well as the weekly seven-page format. In this volume, Eisner creates six stories comprising an extended continuing arc. Three stories are dedicated to the Spirit's "final" battle with the arch-nemesis, the Octopus. A master criminal, the Octopus's face was never seen (save for one brief glimpse of his eyes), only his gloved hands, which were more than capable of communicating his evil. While the Spirit triumphs (although not completely, as the epilogue suggests), the battle leaves him blind. Thus follows another three stories as the Spirit attempts to go about his crime-fighting without his sight. The third story, "Into the Light", is one of the greatest Spirit stories ever, as Eisner allows an unusual amount of internal monologue from the Spirit, as he sinks deeper into despair.

While Eisner was in the Army, his various substitutes on the series allowed many of his most famous concepts and characters to go dormant. When Eisner returned, he brought those ideas out in full force, as well as adding new ones. He dusted off the year-end "Christmas Spirit" stories, brought back Spirit ally Satin, and pulled back the focus off of pure crime stories. He also added new femme fatale P'Gell (see volume 13), a basically amoral female foil for the Spirit who played an interesting ongoing role in the Spirit's adventures, including uneasy ally. In this volume, Eisner introduced another supporting character, Patrolman Sam Klink, who at first seeks to show-up the Spirit in the crime-fighting biz, but eventually becomes his staunchest ally.

Conceptually, Eisner also introduced "the Halloween Spirit" series, as well as "The Spirit's Favorite Fairy Tales for Juvenile Delinquents", little parodies of fairy tales that incorporate unsavory characters in familiar roles. These are clever little stories, with nifty twists on old favorites, incorporating elements of hard-boiled fiction, nifty satire, and a dose of comedy reminiscent of the Warner Brothers "Merry Melody" cartoons.

Finally, Eisner was noticeably more satirical in this volume. The most obvious one is "Li'l Adam" a parody of the comic strip biz, as someone tries to murder Al Slapp (read "Li'l Abner" creator Al Capp). Was it one of his rivals (all dopplegangers for famous strip creators)? A second one, also quite funny, is "U.F.O", an alien invasion story written in response to the supposed landing at Roswell, N.M., as well as a being a jab at the hubris of celebrity, personified by Awsome Bells, a clever parody of Orson Welles. Eisner could be satirical, but never quite so bitingly.

We've lost a national treasure, and I'm glad to see people are recognizing it. Do yourself a favor and get this series, as well as his graphic novels. All are worth it.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
more Spirit fun 13 Nov. 2004
By Gagewyn - Published on
Format: Hardcover
The Spirit is a crime fighting hero who uses ingenuity and physical skill, rather than super powers, to defeat evil. He is witty likeable and politically incorrect. The comic pioneered many layout techniques and so many super heros are modeled after The Spirit. The story lines and comics hold up even now more than 60 years later and I recommend for comic book fans to try out the series.

Volume 15 contains Spirit comics published from July 6, 1947 to December 28, 1947. They feature P'Gell and The Octopus among other villains. The introduction is by N.C. Christopher Couch, co- author of The Will Eisner Companion.

I recommend this series to all comics fans. The Spirit was very influential and the stories are still good to read now. I recommend that libraries consider purchasing the entire series, because this is a unique opportunity to archive the entire run of a very influential comic.
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