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To which tribe of indians did the government of Central City owe four hundred dollars to retain ownership of the land? (Answer at bottom of the page)

On Sunday 9 January 1966, the magazine section of the New York Herald Tribune published the first new Spirit story in nearly 14 years.

The five page story, written and drawn by Eisner (with assistance from Chuck Kramer), starts off with an impressive splash page:

The splash page

Ellen travels back to Wildwood Cemetery and asks The Spirit to prevent a plot against John Lindsay from winning the race to become Mayor of New York city. Like many previous Spirit sections which dealt with such matters (such as the 21 August 1949 section), Eisner satirizes the candidates and politics to good effect - however in this case using the real politicians of the day such as Mayor John Lindsay, Abe Beame and Wm. F. Buckley Jr. !

The story is also unusual in that although The Spirit and Ellen do not seem to have aged since their last appearance in 1952, Ebony and Eustace Dolan have!

We see the usual cast here, but some look older than before

As can be seen above, Ebony is now shown having gained a few pounds and glasses whilst Eustace looks extremely frail!

Because of this, and also due to the fact that until recently this section had never been reprinted, this tale is usually regarded as not taking place in regular continuity. Future new Spirit stories would show all of the supporting cast having aged little since 1952!

Eisner was persuaded to produce this new story by Marilyn Mercer, who worked for the Eisner studio between 1946 and 1948. Marilyn Mercer also wrote an introduction to this story when it appeared in 1966 in which Will Eisner is quoted: 'The Spirit to me is like an old mistress - you hate her, but you still have a yen for her.'

A fascinating section, it was unavailable to fans for many years, having never been reprinted, although mentioned in some detail by Maggie Thompson in The Comic-Book Book. Fortunately, longtime fan Michael T. Gilbert (of The Wraith and Mr Monster fame) reprinted the section within the pages of Roy Thomas' excellent Alter Ego magazine (volume 3 number 2). The issue can be ordered by clicking here.

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Trivia Answer: Cloudfeet.(For more information, click here)