For he is the Man of the Hidden Face!!!

20 April 2009

While I'm trying to get readers to visit the Pictorial Arts I'd like to point to a specific pair of entries, The Great Comic Book Heroes part 1 and part 2, from 9 February.

It was in Jules Feiffer's book, The Great Comic Book Heroes, that Buchanan and later I first encountered an untitled story by Will Eisner earlier published in the spring of 1941. Buchanan writes It showed me what comics could be. My reäction had been much the same. I'd seen some awfully good comic book art before I saw this story — Steranko's three issues of Captain America come immediately to-mind — but I'd just never seen anything like this. My sense of what a comic book could be was deeply changed.

(Later, I found more stories by Eisner, and discovered to my great dismay that Eisner had given the character of the Spirit a black side-kick who was depicted in a profoundly racist manner. I'm glad that that side-kick didn't appear in this story, so that my first exposure to work of such quality wasn't blighted.)

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