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:
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.
During these stories Denny Colt is usually unemployed for that week as he lets the Spirit of Christmas take charge.
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.
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!
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."
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"
Trivia Answer: Denny Colt.(For more information, click here)