Monday, February 9, 2009

The Great Comic Book Heroes

If I'm not mistaken, part of the iconic image of the Spirit, shown below, also appeared in the Playboy article, setting the stage for reintroduction of one of comic's BEST heroes, a NON-superhero to a new generation of readers. In fact, from what I understand, Feiffer was responsible for thousands of us fanatics searching for golden age material, slowly but surely raising the value of the original material.

I bought Feiffer's book at a college bookstore in Chicago, summer of '66, while staying with my brother. I read and reread it all summer, devouring Feiffer's text that examined the characters as well as their creators, the first time they had been taken somewhat seriously, but tongue in cheek as well. Feiffer's descriptions from his fanboy and professional point of view, laughingly and lovingly gave a validity to my (our) obsession with the genre. 

I have always read a lot of books in all genres, but that summer I was especially fond of Asimov's Foundation series and all of Feiffer's books. The comic book book is still around and available and all of the stories certainly have been reprinted elsewhere, but for those who haven't done so, it's worth reading Feiffer's analysis. As you can see from the scan, I loved this particular book to pieces, and still own it. I've seen copies at the library. 

This Spirit story, of course, has been reprinted elsewhere, but I'm posting it here for the 'record'. It showed me what comics could be. Shame on Frank Miller for debasing the character and his mythos in his atrocious film. Thank you Jules Feiffer for 'keeping the Spirit alive.'

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