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The Spirit is a fictional masked crimefighter created by cartoonist Will Eisner. He first appeared June 2, 1940 as the main feature of a 16-page, tabloid-sized, newsprint comic book insert distributed in the Sunday edition of Register and Tribune Syndicate newspapers; it was ultimately carried by 20 Sunday newspapers, with a combined circulation of five million copies during the 1940s. “The Spirit Section”, as the insert was popularly known, continued until October 5, 1952. It generally included two other, four-page strips (initially Mr. Mystic and Lady Luck), plus filler material. Eisner was the editor, but also wrote and drew most entries—after the first few months, he had the uncredited assistance of writer Jules Feiffer and artists Jack Cole and Wally Wood, though Eisner’s singular vision for the character was a unifying factor.

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The Spirit, referred to in one newspaper article cited below as “the only real middle-class crimefighter”, was the hero persona of young detective Denny Colt. (To be precise, Dennis Colt Jr.) Presumed killed in the first three pages of the premiere story, Colt later revealed to his friend, Central City Police Commissioner Dolan, that he had in fact gone into suspended animation caused by one of archvillain Dr. Cobra’s experiments. When Colt awakened in Wildwood Cemetery, he established a base there and, using his new-found anonymity, began a life of fighting crime wearing only a small domino mask, blue business suit, red necktie, fedora hat, and gloves for a costume. The Spirit dispensed justice with the aide of his assistant, Ebony White, funding his adventures with the rewards for capturing villains.

The Spirit originally was based in New York City, but this was quickly changed to the fictional “Central City”. Not tied to one locale, his adventures took him around the globe. He met eccentrics, kooks, and femme fatales, bringing his own form of justice to all of them. The story changed continually, but certain themes remained constant: the love between the Spirit and Dolan’s feisty protofeminist daughter Ellen; the annual “Christmas Spirit” stories; and the Octopus (a psychopathic criminal mastermind who was never seen, except for his distinctive gloves).

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UPDATE 14-11-2017

Spirit Philadelphia Record 1946-08-25

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UPDATE 05-10-2017

Spirit Chicago Sun 1944-08-02
Spirit Chicago Sun 1947-07-27
Spirit Chicago Sun 1947-08-03
Spirit Chicago Sun 1947-08-10
Spirit Chicago Sun 1947-08-17
Spirit Chicago Sun 1947-08-24

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Spirit Minneapolis Star Journal 1940-08-25

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Spirit Philadelphia Record 1940-06-30
Spirit Philadelphia Record 1945-12-09
Spirit Philadelphia Record 1945-12-16
Spirit Philadelphia Record 1945-12-23
Spirit Philadelphia Record 1945-12-30
Spirit Philadelphia Record 1946-01-06
Spirit Philadelphia Record 1946-01-13
Spirit Philadelphia Record 1946-01-20
Spirit Philadelphia Record 1946-01-27
Spirit Philadelphia Record 1946-02-03
Spirit Philadelphia Record 1946-06-30

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Spirit Starledger 1948-08-29
Spirit Starledger 1948-10-03
Spirit Starledger 1949-03-13
Spirit Starledger 1949-03-20

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UPDATE 07-02-2017

Spirit Chicago Sun 1942-07-19
Spirit Chicago Sun 1942-08-02
Spirit Philadelphia Record 1944-11-19

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UPDATE 07-05-2016

32 stories from the Philadelphia Record

Philadelphia Record 1941-03-09
Philadelphia Record 1941-05-18
Philadelphia Record 1941-05-25
Philadelphia Record 1941-06-01
Philadelphia Record 1941-06-08
Philadelphia Record 1941-07-13
Philadelphia Record 1941-07-27
Philadelphia Record 1941-08-03
Philadelphia Record 1941-08-31
Philadelphia Record 1941-09-07

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30 stories from different newspapers

Spirit Baltimore Sun 1941-03-30
Spirit Baltimore Sun 1944-02-06
Spirit Baltimore Sun 1946-01-20
Spirit Baltimore Sun 1947-05-18
Spirit Baltimore Sun 1948-03-21
Spirit Baltimore Sun 1950-02-05
Spirit Chicago Sun 1942-09-13
Spirit Chicago Sun 1942-12-20
Spirit Chicago Sun 1943-05-16
Spirit Chicago Sun 1943-05-30
Spirit Chicago Sun 1944-01-02
Spirit Chicago Sun 1944-04-09
Spirit Chicago Sun 1944-04-30
Spirit Chicago Sun 1944-05-14
Spirit Chicago Sun 1944-05-28
Spirit Chicago Sun 1944-08-13
Spirit Chicago Sun 1945-01-21
Spirit Chicago Sun 1945-01-28
Spirit Chicago Sun 1945-04-01
Spirit Chicago Sun 1945-06-24
Spirit Chicago Sun 1945-07-08
Spirit Chicago Sun 1946-02-24
Spirit Chicago Sun 1946-09-29
Spirit Chicago Sun 1947-07-06
Spirit Chicago Sun and Times 1947-10-05
Spirit Chicago Sun and Times 1947-10-12
Spirit Detroit News 1940-07-07
Spirit Detroit News 1940-07-14
Spirit Detroit News 1940-07-21
Spirit Detroit News 1940-09-29

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30 stories from different newspapers

Spirit Detroit News 1940-10-20
Spirit Detroit News 1940-11-03
Spirit Miami Beach Daily Sun 1945-11-18
Spirit Minneapolis Star Journal 1940-12-15
Spirit Minneapolis Star Journal 1940-12-22
Spirit Montreal Standard 1943-04-10
Spirit Montreal Standard 1943-04-17
Spirit Parkchester Review 1941-12-30
Spirit Philadelphia Record 1940-07-28
Spirit Philadelphia Record 1940-09-08
Spirit Philadelphia Record 1940-12-08
Spirit Philadelphia Record 1941-01-12
Spirit Philadelphia Record 1941-06-15
Spirit Philadelphia Record 1942-03-22
Spirit Philadelphia Record 1942-12-13
Spirit Philadelphia Record 1943-05-30
Spirit Philadelphia Record 1943-07-25
Spirit Philadelphia Record 1944-02-13
Spirit Philadelphia Record 1944-03-12
Spirit Philadelphia Record 1944-07-09
Spirit Philadelphia Record 1944-09-24
Spirit Philadelphia Record 1944-10-08
Spirit Philadelphia Record 1945-01-07
Spirit Philadelphia Record 1945-02-25
Spirit Philadelphia Record 1945-04-15
Spirit Philadelphia Record 1945-07-15
Spirit Philadelphia Record 1945-07-22
Spirit Philadelphia Record 1945-07-29
Spirit Philadelphia Record 1945-08-05
Spirit Philadelphia Record 1945-08-26

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32 stories from different newspapers

Spirit Philadelphia Record 1945-09-02
Spirit Philadelphia Record 1945-09-09
Spirit Philadelphia Record 1945-09-16
Spirit Philadelphia Record 1945-09-23
Spirit Philadelphia Record 1945-09-30
Spirit Philadelphia Record 1945-10-07
Spirit Philadelphia Record 1945-10-14
Spirit Philadelphia Record 1945-10-21
Spirit Philadelphia Record 1945-10-28
Spirit Philadelphia Record 1945-11-04
Spirit Philadelphia Record 1945-11-11
Spirit Philadelphia Record 1945-11-18
Spirit Philadelphia Record 1945-11-25
Spirit Philadelphia Record 1945-12-02
Spirit Philadelphia Record 1947-01-26
Spirit Starledger 1940-11-10
Spirit Starledger 1941-02-09
Spirit Starledger 1941-02-23
Spirit Starledger 1941-03-02
Spirit Starledger 1941-09-21
Spirit Starledger 1941-10-05
Spirit Starledger 1942-02-22
Spirit Starledger 1942-06-21
Spirit Starledger 1943-02-14
Spirit Starledger 1943-06-27
Spirit Starledger 1944-06-11
Spirit Starledger 1948-11-07
Spirit Starledger 1950-12-10
Spirit Starledger 1951-03-04
Spirit Starledger 1951-03-11
Spirit Sunday Mirror 1945-12-09
Spirit Sunday Star 1940-09-01

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2 responses »

  1. dottedsun says:

    Thank you very much!
    Great job!
    keep ti, please!

    Like

    • boutje777 says:

      You are welcome. But i can see the end of the line now, almost at the end of the alphabet. Still some good titles i think, Tarzan, Terry and the Pirates, Twin Earths.

      Like

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