Twelve Splash Pages from Will Eisner’s “The Spirit”


3 of 5 stars
What’s this?

In advance of Frank Miller’s adaptation of this significant but little known comics character, these twelve examples are intended “to show once and for all why Miller can’t hope to bring [creator Will Eisner’s] genius to life.” Personally, I’m more optimistic about this film, but these pages do demonstrate Eisner’s visionary and ambitious facility with the comics medium — and make a compelling case for how inherently difficult it would be to translate that genius to the cinema.

Note that many of these splash pages rely on a masterful sense of typographic whimsy; in my opinion, they can hold their own against most of the finest examples in the wider canon of great graphic design. The comics medium in general owes much to Eisner, not least for the fact that he was probably the first and most faithful believer in the long-term potential of comics as a mature art form. So if nothing else, I hope Frank Miller’s film draws more attention to the man’s under-served legacy.