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Will Eisner Original Spirit Art: The Good Ole Days p.3 (1950)

Will Eisner Original Spirit Art: The Good Ole Days p.3 (1950)
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    WILL EISNER (1917-2005) • Original Spirit art

    WILL EISNER with Jules Feiffer & Tex Blaisdell • THE SPIRIT • May 28, 1950 (and 1948*). Page 3 from “The Good Old Days” (and page 1 from the Baseball Comics #2 story).

    The mysterious splash and the page preceding this page pictured a phone ringing off the hook in Commissioner Dolan’s police headquarters office with no one answering. Was there something wrong with Dolan? Had he been harmed or kidnapped? Nope! As the 2nd page immediately reveals, he’s not at work because he’s playing hooky, at the ballpark, with Sammy.

    *There’s an interesting back-story to this “Good Old Days” story. The bulk of it (minus the splash and unavailable 2nd page) was originally created in 1948 for Baseball Comics #2.

    Jules Feiffer wrote the story and Tex Blaisdell drew it under Eisner’s auspices. Will Eisner had briefly started his own comic book line that year, publishing Kewpies and Baseball Comics #1, with John Law #1 (a solo Eisner creation) and Baseball Comics #2 poised to be printed, when he quickly pulled the plug. The comic book market was congested in 1948 and the initial sales numbers did not look promising for a start-up imprint, so Eisner shelved the unpublished titles.

    A portion of John Law #1 was famously converted by Eisner into what became an all-time Spirit classic, the 2-part “Sand Saref” story published in January 1950. Five months after that conversion, probably spurred by a deadline crisis, a 6-page story created for Baseball Comics #2 became this “Good Old Days” Spirit story, with new panels (the top half of this page) substituted for Blaisdell’s opening panels, which would have featured a storytelling manager named Pop Flye instead of Dolan.

    Thus we have with this page 2 a very curious and unique original: a former splash page with a new top half drawn entirely by Eisner, in 1950, and a bottom half drawn entirely by Blaisdell in 1948. If you’re looking for something truly different with a fascinating back-story, this is your page!

    [And if you happen to be a baseball fan as well as a comics fan, you get a retelling of a genuine classic game between the Detroit Tigers and Philadelphia Athletics played in September 1907, featuring Ty Cobb, Sam Crawford and other greats.]

    Medium/Size/Condition: Brush, pen, and ink on Bristol board measuring 13.75 x 22 inches (34.9 x 52.8 cm. The top half is pasted on top of what is presumably Tex Blaisdell’s never-seen splash page introductory panels (a future X-Ray machine will reveal all). White-out and some scraping around the lower half where there had originally been a border. The original is in excellent overall condition regardless of the large paste-up.

    Further reference: Much other Eisner art, plus out-of-print graphic novels, Spirit comic books and magazines, signed serigraphs, his Famous Cartoonist Button, and numerous other Eisner-related items are accessible from our sister store Steve Krupp’s Curio Shoppe. Just type his name (or The Spirit) into our search bar.

    Provenance: The Will Eisner estate is exclusively represented by the Denis Kitchen Art Agency, an affiliate of Steve Krupp’s Curio Shoppe and Gallery. This drawing is warranted to be an authentic original created by Will Eisner, and sold on behalf of his estate. Note: Image is © Will Eisner Studios, Inc. Reproduction for commercial purposes requires permission.

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