Forgotten Masterpiece: THE SPIRIT #30, Part Three

This is the third and final part of our look at the “Spirit Jam” story published by Kitchen Sink Press in THE SPIRIT Magazine #30 and overseen by publisher Denis Kitchen and associate editor Cat Yronwode. This was the first new full-length Spirit story produced since the reprint editions of the 1960s, and the first place where modern creators other than the strip’s originator Will Eisner had an opportunity to work in his idiom.

This next page contains an interesting combination of creators. The first and final panel on this page were produced by Howard Cruise, best known for his graphic novels including STUCK RUBBER BABAY. The middle panels, 2-5, are the product of Harvey Kurtzman, the storied editor, writer and cartoonist who had originated MAD magazine, among other accomplishments.

This next page was scripted by Len Wein and illustrated by Ernie colon, both of whom were working for DC at this time.

This next page along with the following two was written by Peter Sanderson, a comic book historian best remembered for his work on the OFFICIAL HISTORY OF THE MARVEL UNIVERSE as well as the research background he provided for CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS. It includes a character based on editor Yronwode. The art was delivered by Brent Anderson, who was working on KA-ZAR and SOMERSET HOLMES around this time.

Another page written by Sanderson, this one part of a pair illustrated by Bob Wiacek and inked by Terry Beatty.

This page was written by Sanderson, penciled by Bob Wiacek and mostly inked by Steve Leialoha.

Canadian artist Ken Steacy both plotted and illustrated this next page, with the final copy being provided by crime novelist Max Allan Collins.

Another Canadian artist, Dean Motter, plotted and illustrated the following page. Once again, Max Allan Collins provided the final dialogue.

This page, written by Marvel writer and editor Roger Stern, was a true jam when it came to the artwork. The top two tiers were penciled by fan artist Jim Engel, who inked the second and third panels in that tier as well. The first panel was inked by Keno Don Rosa, famous for his work on the Disney Duck stories, in particular those featuring Uncle Scrooge. Mike Tiefenbacher, the then-current publisher of the Comic Reader fanzine doodled in the Boris Badinov image on the poster in the background of the middle frame. The bottom half of the page was drawn by Engel’s partner in fannishness, Chuck Fiala

X-Men scribe Chris Claremont wrote this next page, the top half of which was illustrated by Bill Sienkiewicz, a pre-NEW MUTANTS collaboration between the two. The bottom half is the work of Brian Bolland, who was just starting to get work in the American marketplace based on his Judge Dredd stories, with the exception of Panel 8, which John Byrne drew. Marvel inker Joe Rubinstein embellished everything here to give it a veneer of consistency.

The next two pages were both written and drawn by Richard Corben.

Another pretty Richard Corben page.

And the final page of the whole story, featuring appearances by himself, Denis Kitchen and Cat Yronwode, was crafted by the Spirit’s originator, Will Eisner himself.

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