Commissioner Dolan
Drawn by Eddie Campell

By Eddie Campbell
The Fate of the Artist

I‘ve been waiting a few years for this one as it has periodically been on again and then off again, and finally this Wednesday, Fate willing, it will be here. I’m referring to Will Eisner’s The Spirit: The New Adventures. This is entirely coincidental as I had no intention of devoting so much time to the venerable old chap as I have been doing here of late.

I’ve never been fond of the idea of lots of different artists taking a crack at an old comic strip. The best characters in the old days were like an artist’s signature while the characters of today are well, meh. Do what you like with the modern lot, for I don’t care a button or a fig. But you can’t go messing with the grand old ones. When I first heard that Eisner was letting us whelps muck around with the Spirit, I thought it was a bad idea, and to an extent I still do. But then Neil Gaiman asked for me as the illustrator for the script he’d submitted, and Moore and Gibbons had turned in a real genius job for the first issue of March 1998, three connecting stories and all tipping a big fedora to the original. Gibbons has always been good at pastiches. He had elsewhere done very acceptable ones of Dick Sprang and Will Elder. Also, this was a reunion of the Watchmen guys! We were all off to Grandad’s house to leave his 78s lying around.

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