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'The Story of Gerhard Shnobble' might not be one of the best titles for a Spirit short story, but this 5 September 1948 is Will Eisner's most favourite tale in The Spirit series.

Gerhard in his element

"There are others that are better examples of storytelling, but this one has meaning for me. It was the first time that I was truly aware that I could do a story that I had great personal feelings about." Eisner comments to Dave Schreiner in 1987.

Sharing a lift

The story tells of how Gerhard Shnobble, fired from his job, decides to become famous by jumping off a building and flying - to our amazement he succeeds and flies around, but his efforts at fame go unnoticed and his life cut short when a battle between The Spirit and some gangsters results in Gerhard being shot - no one noticing that he had been able to achieve flight!

Gerhard's moment of glory

"We all have in our lifetimes a moment of glory. Andy Warhol said that 'In the future, everybody will be famous for fifteen minutes.' My feeling is that we all have a moment in our lives when we do or try to do something very brave, and very often nobody will find out about it."

In 1994, a Brazilian short film (shot on 16mm) was made based on the story. The following information has been supplied by Francisco Araujo da Costa, based on an article by Cristina Siqueira.

A film student named Bruno Vianna directed a short movie "Geraldo Voador" (Flying Gerhard") which adapted Eisner's great story about Gerhard Schnobble. It was a cheap movie, its cost was 2500 dollars, which Vianna spent from his own pocket. Oddly enough, considering the Brazilian market for short movies, it made money! One of the prizes alone was 3000 dollars!.

Vianna was always fascinated with Eisner and considered Schnobble's story magnificent. He thought it could happen in one of the slums of Rio, so he adapted it, keeping the idea of somebody who could fly but was repressed, of innocence lost and all things the story deals with.

The story is then about this poor slum kid, Geraldo, who flies once, but is punished by his mom, and vows never to do it again. He become a kite-flier in the mound where the slum is -- a kid who warns the drug dealers if it's a client or the police coming. Geraldo goes to warn the dealers about the police who are on the way, but gives up. A gang starts to chase him for quitting and he decides to fly to get away. He jumps, smiles and BANG! a shot from the loose fire gets him.

The movie is in B&W. Vianna wrote to Will Eisner about making the film, and Will said that was fine: as long as he didn't use the Spirit... It wasn't Vianna's intention anyway, and with Eisner's blessing it was done.

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