WILL EISNER (1917-2005) and ANDRE LeBLANC
Title/date/description: Complete 7-page Spirit story, "Toothless
Leopard" a.k.a. "Pito," dated May 7, 1950 (#519).
The Spirit, straying far from Central City,
finds himself on the coat of India. Also a significant
departure is that assistant Andre LeBlanc both wrote and
drew the last 6 pages of this story. There's fascinating back
story to this episode. It was originally created in 1948
as part of Kewpies Comics #2, but, like John
Law, was cancelled when Will Eisner pulled
the plug on his very short-lived comic book company. The story
originally took place in South America (LeBlanc
was a native of Brazil) and Pito's Uncle Abu
Ram was then called Uncle Tolo. Tolo's sombrero has
been whited-out and replaced here by Abu Ram's Indian
head wrap, but note that the South American leopard has not
been changed to a Bengal tiger. Eisner wrote and drew
page 1, the top tier of page 2 and the very last panel on page
7 in 1950 to frame the recycled story.
Size/medium/condition: Drawn with brush, pen and ink on Bristol board.
Page 1 is 15" x 22" while pages 2 through 7 are 14
inches wide x 19 5/8 inches high. As indicated in the earlier
paragraph, this story was adapted from the aborted Kewpies
#2 comic book into a Spirit story, so there is a larger-than-average
amount of White-Out (all the sombreros-to-Indian headwear, for
example). There are also several paste-ups (portion of balloon
on top of page 2, the very last panel (Eisner addition) and two
words in Pito's balloon within that last panel. This is a truly
unique Spirit story. LeBlanc's portion is beautifully
drawn, especially the toothless leopard Mohamet. Overall
condition is fine.
to be from the Will Eisner estate, which this agency exclusively