‘The Spirit’ brings 1940s noir comic to the big screen (StarNewsOnline.com)

WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 10: Author Michael Ch...Michael Chabon image by Getty Images via Daylife

Ben Steelman

Dec. 17, 2008

Of all the Christmas Day movies this year, I’m more than a little interested in “The Spirit,” the latest from comic-book-artist-turned-filmmaker Frank Miller. Once again, we’ll see those digitized backgrounds and weird mixes of color and black-and-white, as in “Sin City” and “300,” Miller’s collaborations with Robert Rodriguez.

Mostly, though, I want to see what they do with one of my favorite comic heroes.

I discovered “The Spirit” late, in the 1970s, when a lot of the old strips were finally being reprinted for a new generation of fans. That’s when a lot of us first discovered Will Eisner.

Who’s Eisner? A cartoonist’s cartoonist who never quite reached A-list popularity but was always known to the cognoscenti. Jack Kirby (“The Hulk, “X-Men,” etc.) worked with Eisner back in the 1930s, when he was still Jacob Kurtzberg; later a young Jules Feiffer would understudy for him. Michael Chabon quoted Eisner in the epigram for his novel “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay” and may have used him as a model for one of his cartoonist heroes. Hundreds of other young pop artists studied his work.

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Copyright 2008 Will Eisner: A Spirited Life by Bob Andelman

About Bob Andelman @andelman (Twitter)

Bob Andelman is the host and producer of Mr. Media® Interviews. He is also the author or co-author of 15 books, including The Wawa Way with Howard Stoeckel, Building Atlanta with Herman J. Russell, Fans Not Customers with Vernon W. Hill, founder of Commerce Bank and Metro Bank UK, Mind Over Business with Ken Baum, The Consulate with Thomas R. Stutler, The Profiler with Pat Brown, Built From Scratch with the founders of The Home Depot, The Profit Zone with Adrian Slywotzky, Mean Business with Albert J. Dunlap, and Will Eisner: A Spirited Life. Click here to see Bob Andelman’s Amazon Central author page. He is a member in good standing of the American Society of Journalists and Authors (member page).