If I just say that the Neil Gaiman’s introduction was the best part of the book, then I will be undermining the awesome stories that comic book legend, Will Eisner has created with the The Spirit. The reason that Neil’s commentary was so impactful and long lasting to me was the way he creates the setting and excitement for the stories that follows up. He highlights the Will’s contribution in the popular culture and comic universe at large and also his influence on the generations of writers.
The Spirits, is based in 1940s-50s, a secret crime detective, in an Urban American neighborhood. But honestly , reading the Spirits was like reading the Batman and other future comic cults in making. Pay attention to the following points :
1. The Spirit does not have any super power.
2. His best friend is the Commissioner of Police who only knows about his true identity.
3. His side kick is a kid ( however distastefully portrayed black kid)
4. He falls in love with a skillful thief.
5. He lives in a city similar to New York city but has a fictitious name.
I can go on. My point here is to show the influence of The Spirit in the future publication. He truly inspired the future authors with this mater-piece and you can find even Neil using the multiple point of view style and omnipresent narration. I was blown away with some strips, however the first few stories were quite ordinary (blame it to the standards set by Eisner).
I gave, The best of the Spirit, by Will Eisner, a 3/5 stars in the goodreads. I may not look very generous with my rating but deduction of a star is for few stories which were out of place. It is not only the history lesson of comic books but also a joyful reading.
P.S: I thank The Sunday Book Club (#TSBC), who recommended me this book as my June reading Challenge. #TSBC is a Book Chat that takes place on Sundays between 3-4PM IST on twitter (@ . Join us for the fabulous book conversation.