The Spirit Book 1

November 12, 2007 | Trades


The Spirit Book 1
Darwyn Cooke, J. Bone
DC Comics
$29.99/$24.99 US (Hardcover)
**** 1/2 (out of five)

Will Eisner was undeniable one of the greatest comic book creators of the 20th century, and while he died in 2005, his Spirit lives on.
In the later part of his career, Eisner became renowned for being one of the pioneers of the “graphic novel” — helping elevate sequential illustrated storytelling from the stereotype of being “just for kids” and raising it up to be acknowledged as the art form it is.
But back in the 1940s he was drawing in millions of readers with his weekly newspaper comic, The Spirit. The adventures of this masked urban action/mystery/adventure character, filled with quick dialogue and amazing art set the standard that creators strive even today to reach for.
And that’s just what Canada’s Darwyn Cooke is doing.
This acclaimed Nova Scotian creator, along with his talented collaborator J. Bone, stepped boldly into Eisner’s immense shoes late last year and began an all-new Spirit monthly comic series — one delivered with the same formula that fans of the series are used to, but with a gently modern twist.
Cooke’s work on The Spirit has been lauded by fans and critics alike and has already earned him the 2007 Joe Shuster Award for outstanding Canadian cartoonist and a 2007 Will Eisner Comic Industry Award for best single issue.
And beyond simply creating another great comic (something Cooke, creator of DC: The New Frontier, does with astounding regularity) he is keeping one of comics’ great creations alive and continuing the legacy in a manner that no doubt would have made Will Eisner very proud.

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