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Complete 7-page Spirit story, "Toothless Leopard" a.k.a. "Pito,"


Complete 7-page Spirit story, "Toothless Leopard" a.k.a. "Pito,"
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    WILL EISNER (1917-2005) and ANDRE LeBLANC (1921-1998).

    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.

    Provenance: Warranted to be from the Will Eisner estate, which this agency exclusively represents.




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