Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Trade Marks: The Spirit Archives Volume 19

We're in the second half of 1949 here folks, prime time as far as Eisner's The Spirit goes. There are many classic tales included in this volume, as we see the Spirit's South Seas adventures and the introduction of Sammy to the Central City gang (and Ebony begins to fade into the background). There is a very consistent quality to these stories, and the rotating cast of characters and locales helps keep things quite fresh. Some of my personal favourites include Surgery, Ten Minutes, and The Thanksgiving Spirit of 1949. I don't think you'll ever find a more quietly engaging and rewarding Spirit story than The Embezzler, and Eisner's skiing panels in Winter Haven are great retro fun - very stylish. Stephen Weiner's essay on Eisner's post-Spirit work serves as a good introduction to those looking to learn more about the man's work. As far as reproduction, this is about as good as any of the DC volumes - as the colors are not as garish as they've been from time to time. I still find the cover prices a bit high for these books - but if you're ever going to pay full retail for a volume of the Spirit Archives, make it this one. Trade Mark: A

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