is the date of the first The Spirit
section that Eisner worked on after the war? (Answer
at bottom of the page)
With the success of The Spirit as a weekly comic book insert it was felt that the strip could also be produced on a daily basis.
So, on Monday, October 13th 1941 the Philadelphia Record started to run a daily sequence based on new material. Will Eisner wrote and drew the strip for the first six weeks of the run before being drafted into military service - after that Will continued to write the strip with Jack Cole handling the art. Shortly thereafter Jack took over both the art and writing duties before his success with Plastic Man meant that he could no longer continue with the daily. The remainder of the daily run was written by Bill Woolfolk and drawn by Louis Fine, which lasted until March 11th 1944.
Following are three of six "preview" strips to introduce readers to The Spirit and the other characters. These strips were run before the regular daily storyline was started. With thanks to Eric Swainsbury for supplying these strips.
You can view all six preview strips by clicking here.
The daily got into some problems near the start of its run when a sequence brought some criticism from the newspapers carrying it for being too violent.
(One of the panels deemed too violent by the newspapers)
The strip later ran an enjoyable sequence where Ebony had been duplicated several times and were causing havoc over the city, as well as an extended sequence near the end of the run where The Spirit tackled some Nazis. The run ends with The Spirit leaving before his wedding to Ellen and Commissioner Dolan breaking the news to his daughter.
The daily continuity has been reprinted several times over the years: in 1966 Edwin Aprill published Great Classic Newspaper Comic Strips No. 4. - The Spirit No. 1, this was followed two years later with a second volume (of what was a proposed run of five issues):
In 1973 The Menomonee Falls Gazette (Wisconsin) started featuring the Spirit Daily strips. Each week they produced a full page of 6 strips. The series looks to have reprinted strips from December 1941 to May 1943.
Another set of books was produced by The Real Free Press Int, Oude Nieewstraat 10, Amsterdam, Netherlands. Although these were published in the Netherlands the strips were printed in English. This series printed four of a proposed five volumes: volume 1 1975 - reproduced 8th December 1941 to 30th May 1942; volume 2 1975 - reproduced 1st June 1942 to 21st November 1942; volume 3 1976 - reproduced 23rd November 1942 to 15th May 1943; volume 4 1976 - reproduced 17th May 1943 to 12th November 1943.
The most recent series of reprints were published by Ken Pierce Books in a series of four volumes:
(Above is the cover the first volume of the Ken Pierce reprints).
Unfortunately, none of the reprint series seemed to have included all of the daily strips (the Real Free Press series being the closest) but it is hoped that one day a definitive series for the dailies will be published like DC Comics' effort into publishing all of the weekly sections.
Trivia Answer: 23 December, 1945.(For more information on Eisner, click here)