Tuesday, December 25, 2012
"Joy" was written and illustrated by Will Eisner for the December 21st, 1947 installment of The Spirit Section. By this time, Eisner had produced many "Christmas Spirits" as these stories were dubbed, but this one was different. It's presented as text on single panels. Always an innovator, Eisner's technique here is exquisite and typically the story is full of character and spark. In a mere seven pages Eisner unfolds a modern fable, a tale of child who finds the land of his dreams.
This was the very first Spirit story reprinted by Warren Magazines in Eerie #54. It's a very odd choice, since it's so atypical of a standard Spirit story. Certainly folks seeing The Spirit for the very first time must've been quite surprised by subsequent tales which hewed closer to standard comics format. I only got hold of a copy of this significant comic magazine a few months ago. I'm glad to add this rendition of "Joy" to my meager Spirit collection. Jerry Grandenetti is credited with the backgrounds on this story. Abe Kanegson did the lettering. This version has lush colors by Rich Corben.
Here's the splash page in its original form. The story has been reprinted several times since.
It is in the incredibly difficult to locate The Spirit Special.
It is contained as it ought to be in Kitchen Sink's The Christmas Spirit collection.
You can buy the story relatively cheaply if you find it in glorious black in white in Kitchen Sink's The Spirit #25.
Most recently the story was reprinted in DC's The Spirit Archives, specifically volume fifteen.
"Joy" is just that, a story to fill your heart with the proper seasonal feeling. Merry Christmas to each and everyone one of you. Thanks for stopping by.