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Complete 7-page story “The Spirit and the Saga of Old 78”

Complete 7-page story “The Spirit and the Saga of Old 78”
    Price: $15,000.00
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    WILL EISNER (1917-2005) • Original art: Complete 7-page story, “The Spirit and the Saga of Old 78” a.k.a. “The Wreck of Old 78” (August 13, 1950)

    By 1950 Will Eisner was involved in another business (educational comics) and had had less time to devote to the demanding schedule of his 7-page weekly Spirit strip and so he increasing relied on assistants of varying talents to keep the stories on schedule. As will be obvious to serious Spirit and Eisner fans, the splash page to this story was not drawn by Eisner himself. However, he is heavily involved in the bulk of the remaining six pages. The 2nd page is an unusual storytelling technique. The 3rd page is almost entirely Eisner and features handsome drawings of The Spirit and Commissioner Dolan---in a trademark Eisenspritz no less!The 4th page starts with a reprise of the 2nd page technique than morphs into a strikingly large panel. Pages 5 and 6 are again Eisner himself, utilizing a chiaroscuro technique to depict The Spirit, Dolan, the trainman, and Old 78 itself to very dramatic effect in the darkness and rain.  The worm’s eye view of the trestle in the next-to-last panel of page 6, and the close-up of The Spirit in the last panel are especially nice. The very last panel, like the splash page, is not by Eisner, but rather than break up this complete story, we prefer to keep it intact, believing the right collector will want to own this perfect example of Will Eisner personally creating the most important panels and pages of the “old 78” story, while unable at this point in his career to write, layout, pencil and ink the entirety of it as he once did.

    Medium/Size/Condition: Drawn with brush, pen and ink on Bristol board measuring 15 inches wide x 22 inches high. Eisner placed white tape at the very top and bottom of the last 6 pages, presumably to cover the typical rubber cement stains of the title and page number placed there in 1947. Minor use of White-out. Otherwise this complete story is in excellent condition.

    Price: $15,000

    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. (Displaying the art on comic art fan sites does not constitute commercial use.)

    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.