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Underground Spirit No. 1 by Will Eisner (1973)


Underground Spirit No. 1 by Will Eisner (1973)
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    UNDERGROUND SPIRIT No. 1 (1973)

     After �retiring� The Spirit as a syndicated newspaper insert (1940-52), creator Will Eisner briefly reprised his character in 1966 for Harvey Comics (2 issues), then the masked crime fighter returned to hibernation until Eisner, in 1971, became intrigued by the underground comix scene. Publisher Denis Kitchen persuaded him to revive The Spirit in a new series featuring new covers and some new material along with classic reprints. The planned series was aborted after just two issues when considerably larger publisher James Warren temporarily lured Eisner away with a magazine deal and newsstand distribution.

    These two issues (though not part of the formal title) are known as �Underground Spirits,� partly because Kitchen published solely underground comic books at the time, and also because Eisner�s new contributions were much more risqué than anything in earlier incarnations. On the back of the wraparound cover of this debut issue a topless female impersonator hides heroin in a hollow breast. On the front Carrion admits being �queer� for his buzzard Julia, while P�Gell and Sand Saref discuss �making it� with our hero. There�s even an R. Crumb-drawn ad on the inside back cover.

     Four new vignettes inside feature: Ebony being grilled by a �70s-era black activist; a Nixon-era superhero confronts a new type of criminal; a fan girl interviews The Spirit; and a National Law & Order Committee, in a grisly panel, murders a group of criminals �working within the system� with protest signs. Introduction is by French comics historian Maurice Horn.

    The �Underground� Spirit #1 was published in January 1973 by Kitchen Sink Press. This is the second of two printings. Condition is excellent, as scanned. $20


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    Underground Spirit No. 1 by Will Eisner (1973)
    UNDERGROUND SPIRIT No. 1 (1973)

     After �retiring� The Spirit as a syndicated newspaper insert (1940-52), creator Will Eisner briefly reprised his character in 1966 for Harvey Comics (2 issues), then the masked crime fighter returned to hibernation until Eisner, in 1971, became intrigued by the underground comix scene. Publisher Denis Kitchen persuaded him to revive The Spirit in a new series featuring new covers and some new material along with classic reprints. The planned series was aborted after just two issues when considerably larger publisher James Warren temporarily lured Eisner away with a magazine deal and newsstand distribution.

    These two issues (though not part of the formal title) are known as �Underground Spirits,� partly because Kitchen published solely underground comic books at the time, and also because Eisner�s new contributions were much more risqué than anything in earlier incarnations. On the back of the wraparound cover of this debut issue a topless female impersonator hides heroin in a hollow breast. On the front Carrion admits being �queer� for his buzzard Julia, while P�Gell and Sand Saref discuss �making it� with our hero. There�s even an R. Crumb-drawn ad on the inside back cover.

     Four new vignettes inside feature: Ebony being grilled by a �70s-era black activist; a Nixon-era superhero confronts a new type of criminal; a fan girl interviews The Spirit; and a National Law & Order Committee, in a grisly panel, murders a group of criminals �working within the system� with protest signs. Introduction is by French comics historian Maurice Horn.

    The �Underground� Spirit #1 was published in January 1973 by Kitchen Sink Press. This is the second of two printings. Condition is excellent, as scanned. $20

    $20.00