This is how I first encountered Will Eisner’s “Spirit” comics: reprinted in crisp black and white, with a range of added halftones, in a series published by Warren in the mid-seventies. (Eisner’s career had a resurgence around that time, and he published the pioneering graphic novel “A Contract With God” in 1978.) It’s still my favourite look for “The Spirit”, even though the stories were in colour when they first appeared in newspaper supplements in the forties and early fifties. The heavy blacks and the often-cinematic staging of the action make the strip feel more like film noir than the other colour comics of the day. And in black-and-white the gorgeous brushwork looks great.
The strip was a beautiful combination of gritty action, suspense, humour, and even romance on occasion. The stories were all the same length, and often featured twist endings, but for all that they showed great variety. And they made me want to pick up a brush.