is the name of the villain who creates The
Spirit in the first appearance of the
strip ? (Answer at bottom of the page)
Born: 14 December 1918 at New Castle, Pennsylvania
Died: 15 August 1958
Jack Cole first drew humour strips in 1937 for the Harry "A" Chesler shop until 1939 when he wrote and drew adventure strips like "Silver Streak," "Daredevil and Midnight.
Working for Quality comics in 1940 Cole went on to create for the publisher the ground breaking and popular "Death Patrol" strip in which each story featured one of the main characters being killed! The editors stepped in after the first few episodes and asked Cole to keep some of the characters alive!
Cole's most famous creation, "Plastic Man" made his initial appearance in Police Comics #1 (1941), which also featured reprints of The Spirit. Cole's involvement with The Spirit came the following year when he drew a few weeks of the daily strip before growing success with Plastic Man forced Cole to leave the daily strip, although he would later do some art for the Sunday Spirit sections in 1943-44 when Eisner was in the Army.
Jack continued his work on Plastic Man (who received his own comic book in 1943) until 1950 when he began a successful career as a magazine illustrator and cartoonist. In 1958 Cole had managed to sell a new continuing daily strip called "Betsy and Me" and had completed a few months worth of strips before shooting himself.
Born: 26 January, 1929 in New York.
Feiffer first went to work with Eisner in 1946 where he did some colouring for The Spirit sections. Working his way up, Feiffer created his own comic strip, "Clifford" in 1949 where it appeared in the Comic Book Section alongside The Spirit feature.
Increasingly working more and more on The Spirit scripts between 1949 to 1951 he took over from Eisner writing the feature in August of 1951 and continued until the series was ended in 1952, collaborating with Eisner again on the scripts for the Outer Space Spirit series.
Drafted into the Signal Corps in 1951 he worked on animated shorts until returning to civilian life in 1953.
In 1956 Feiffer began producing comic strips for the "Village Voice" which proved so successful that in 1960 the strip (which was now called Feiffer) was taken into syndication by what is now the Publishers-Hall Syndicate.
Feiffer's diverse career included writing a novel called "Harry the Rat" in 1963, screenwriting the film "Carnal Knowledge" in 1971 and writing the script to the 1980 Robert Altman "Popeye" movie in 1980.
Feiffer received the Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning in 1986.
Born: 1914 in New York
Died: 24 July 1971
Louis Fine joined the Eisner-Iger shop in 1938 where he quickly became one of their top and most demanded artists. Working mainly on the Quality comics line he produced strips such as "Black Condor", "Dollman", "Uncle Sam" and "The Ray".
When Eisner was drafted into the Army, Fine took over the art duties on both the daily and Sunday Spirit stories. Most of The Spirit wartime sections were drawn by Fine.
Leaving the comic book field after the war, Fine went on to produce magazine and commercial art, although he still occasionally returned the comic strips (including a short run on "Peter Scratch" in 1965). It was whilst Louis Fine was working on a return to the comic book field in 1971 that he suffered a heart attack and died.
Born: 22 August, 1903 in New York
Died: 5 September, 1990 in New York
Sumuel Maxwell Iger (known as "Jerry Iger") became a news cartoonist in 1925 for the "New York American". Producing one page humour strips for one of the first American comic books, "Famous Funnies" in 1935, he went on the following year to edit Bob Kane and Will Eisner comic strips in "Wow! What a Comic".
Forming one of the first comic shops with Eisner in 1937, they packaged new material for the Quality, Fiction House and Fox lines of comic books. When Eisner split the shop in 1939, Iger's studio continued to produce material for Fiction House and ran his own small newspaper syndicate, Phoenix Features. His syndicate would later go on to produce the comic strip version of Mickey Spillane's "Mike Hammer" in the early 1950s.
Closing his studios in 1955, he became art editor for Ajax until 1957. After that, Iger went on to produce commercial advertising artwork.
Born: 27 August 1946 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Denis Kitchen released his first title, "Mom's Homemade Comics" in 1969. Becoming a publisher later that year, Kitchen Sink Enterprises has gone on to release a diverse range of titles, ranging from "Snarf", "Bizarre Sex" to reprints of "Li'l Abner", "Nancy", "Flash Gordon" and of course The Spirit. The reprint line first started when Kitchen reprinted some Spirit sections in 1972, followed six years later when the publishing of the magazine series was taken over from Warren. Success with the movie version of "The Crow" (a character published by Kitchen Sink) prompted Kitchen to release an increasing line of titles at a time when the comics industry was about to go through a recessionary period. The result was near bankruptcy in 1996 until a package was arranged to save the company which included Will Eisner himself investing some money in Kitchen Sink. Unfortunately on 18 December, 1998, Kitchen Sink Press closed it's doors for the last time. Denis Kitchen now works as an agent for several creators in the field, including Will Eisner.
Born: 1915 in Finland
Coming to America as a child, Nordling joined the Eisner-Iger shop in 1939 and contributed stories such as "Spark Stevens" and "Lt Drake" for the Fox line.
Apart from The Spirit appearing in the Sunday Comic Book section, there were two other features when the section started in 1940: "Mr Mystic" and "Lady Luck". The artist on Lady Luck was originally Chuck Mazoujian who stayed with the strip for little over a year before Nicholas Viscardi (Nick Cardy) took over the art. When Cardy was drafted in early 1942, Klaus Nordling took over both the script and art duties for the feature, working on it continuously for four years.
When Eisner returned from the war Nordling assisted him on pencils for The Spirit sections and from 1948 until 1951 did many of the pencils himself. Nordling stayed with Eisner's American Visual Corporation after The Spirit ended in 1952 until the 1970s.
Born Stanley Pulowski, Bob Powell joined the Eisner-Iger shop in the late 1930s where his most famous work was on "Sheena" for Fiction House "Jumbo Comics". When the Sunday Comic Book section started in 1940, The Spirit main feature was joined by two smaller (4 page) features: "Lady Luck" and "Mr Mystic". The Mr Mystic feature was scripted by Eisner but had Powell on the art - after a short time Powell would take over the scripting of the feature until he was drafted into the Air Force in 1943.
After the war, Powell set up his own shop in 1947 and was producing material for many publishers, most notably Harvey and Atlas (later Marvel). In 1961 he became art director for "Sick" magazine, which he held until his death.
Born: 21 May, 1903
Died: 5 April, 1986
Born in West Africa, Manly Wade Wellman moved to the USA when a child. In the 1920s and 1930s he wrote many stories for the science fiction and fantasy pulps being published at the time, including Thrilling Tales, Weird Tales and Astounding Stories. When the comic book business started up in the late 30's and early 40's, Wellman contributed plots to a number of comic books, including Captain Marvel (for Fawcett) and to The Spirit sections when Eisner was in the Army.
After some time in the Army himself, Wellman wrote short stories for a number of genres, including science fiction, fantasy and mystery (for which he won the Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine Award).
From the 1950s onwards until his death in 1986, Wellman continued to write short stories and novels, as well as teaching classes on fiction writing in North Carolina.
For more information about Manly Wade Wellman I recommend this website.
Born: 17 June 1927 in Menahga, Minnesota
Died: 3 November, 1981
Breaking into the comic book field in 1949, Wallace Wood soon found success with Bill Gaines' EC line. It was around the same time that Wood met Eisner and took on doing the artwork for the Outer Space Spirit series. Forced to leave The Spirit as he was unable to meet the deadlines he continued to produce his best work for the EC science fiction and humour titles.
When the EC line of comics was forced to end during the mid 1950s (with the exception of "Mad" which became a magazine), Wood went on to assist on syndicated newspaper strips as well as producing artwork for the Topps line of bubblegum cards. In 1965 Wood created the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents line for Tower when the "Batman" tv series created a short-lived boom in comic books.
Continuing to work predominantly as an inker (Wood had a lifelong problem with alcoholism) for both Marvel and DC comics during the 1970s he was struck with a kidney disease. On 3 November, 1981 he took his own life.
Born: June 1917 in New York
William Woolfolk started writing for the MLJ (later "Archie") line of titles in 1941. Within just three years Woolfolk would have contributed scripts for all of the major comic publishers, including: "Captain Marvel" for Fawcett; "Blackhawk" for Quality; "Captain America" for Timely (later Marvel); "Superman" for DC!
His involvement with The Spirit came in 1942 when he scripted many of the Sunday sections (along with Manly Wade Wellman) when Eisner went into the Army. Woolfolk is also credited with scripting all of the daily sequences when Eisner no longer had time to write them when he was in the Army.
After the war Woolfolk tried to start his own publishing company on two occasions, but both failed. Going to Hollywood, he found success as a television writer and became story editor on the "Defenders". After a career in television Mr Woolfolk pursued a career writing novels until his death on July 20, 2003.
Trivia Answer: Dr Cobra.For more information on Dr Cobra, click here)