Top critical review
37 people found this helpful
great comics -- poor package
on May 9, 2006
Eisner's "Spirit" work is landmark watershed etc. no question about it. And perhaps the stories in this volume are cream of that crop (there were so many Spirit stories that it seems impossible to really assemble just a few into a "best of") but be warned that this particular package has its drawbacks. As another reviewer noted, they are reprinted at standard comic book size, while the originals were at magazine size, so the art is a bit cramped and details muddied. That's to be expected but the cheap paper doesn't help any, causing some of the finer lines to look blurry, at least to me. Add to that what could be a recoloring job that seems slapdash, and it's not the easiest read. I'm not sure if the coloring follows the originals, or IS the originals in most cases, but in the case of the character Ebony, Spirit's youthful sidekick, he is definitely recolored. The original was a pretty standard (and admittedly, to current views, extremely offensive) "boy" in his coloring: looking like he's stepped off the stage of a minstrel show. In this volume he's been recolored as a blond caucasian. It's an understandable alteration, given what I assume is the wide -- and not necessarily Eisner- or old-comics- fluent audience for this volume. I'm not really complaining about the recoloring of the character (though I'm not sure why he couldn't have been recolored black but w/out the white lips etc.), but if they recolored that, what else was retouched?
In short, for the price (esp here on Amazon) and convenience, it's hard to beat this as an intro to Eisner and the Spirit. The hardcover archives are much more expensive, even for the better quality, and the old reprints (from Warren & Kitchen Sink) were the right size, but B&W, so these are a good choice to start. But still, they look kind of crappy.
Btw, my fave spirit stories (not included) are "The Spirit in Space" -- amazing Wally Wood art in a story about the Spirit going to the moon w/a bunch of convicts. Wood at his best.