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Who was The Spirit before he became a hero ? (Answer at bottom of the page)

When Will Eisner started The Spirit section in 1940 he instigated a tradition for the insert that lasted during his tenure on the feature:

The first page from the 1945 X-Mas section

A Christmas Spirit section.

Unfortunately during Eisner's war years the idea of a Christmas section was dropped, but Will reintroduced the idea when he returned in 1945.

The first page from the 1949 X-Mas Spirit

During these stories Denny Colt is usually unemployed for that week as he lets the Spirit of Christmas take charge.

Two criminals about to meet the Christmas Spirit

Several of the tales involved criminals having a change of heart (1940, 1948, 1949). The 1947 story was unusual in that each panel took a whole page.

A page from the 1947 section

My favourite of the Christmas sections was the 1948 story, "Basher Bains" which demonstrates Eisner's inventiveness with page design and layout as well as having a corny story!

A moving page from the 1948 story

As Eisner mentions in his introduction to 'The Christmas Spirit' album published in 1994: "... a belief that there is in all human beings a kind of secret notion that they are good."

Merry Christmas one and all!

Christmas sections

22 December 1940 - "Black Henry and Simple Simon"

28 December 1941 - "A Trilogy"

23 December 1945 - "Horton J.Winklenod"

22 December 1946 - "A Fable"

21 December 1947 - "Joy"

19 December 1948 - "Basher Bains"

25 December 1949 - "S.Kringle Klaus"

24 December 1950 - "Darling's First Christmas"

23 December 1951 - "Joe Fix"

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Quick Link

A page giving a concise history of The Shadow character is at Who Knows What Evil Lurks In The Hearts of Men?


Click here to goto Will Eisner's site!
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Trivia Answer: Denny Colt.(For more information, click here)