Monday, April 15, 2013

Will Eisner's Spirit Artist's Edition

 Credits spread

 Story divider page

 Story divider page

 Story divider page

 Will Eisner's bio page

Will Eisner's Spirit Artist's Edition variant cover

Here's a project that took longer than was originally intended. Part of the challenge and the joy of doing these artist's edition books, is locating, securing, and scanning the original art for these collections. Sometimes during the process, there can be bumps in the road. But like anything, if you want it to be the best it possibly can be, sometimes more time is required. I think in this case, it was worth the wait. The art in this book, is breath-taking. If you are a fan of Will Eisner, I think it would be very hard to resist purchasing this volume.

When this book was first announced, John Lind was going to be designing it. John is a very talented designer who has designed numerous books with his partner Denis Kitchen. One of my favorites is, "Crime Does Not Pay, Blackjacked and Pistol Whipped" book for Dark Horse. John was able to design the cover to the regular edition of the Spirit book, but because of delays and scheduling conflicts, he was unable to design the rest of the book. But, in the end, that was good news for me.

When designing this book, I wanted to emphasis the noir aspects of the art. Eisner was so talented in creating atmosphere through light and shadows. I wanted to design in that same direction. I used individual images, and bits and pieces of panel art to re-construct new situations and scenarios. I wanted the chapter dividers I created, to maintain the moodiness of the book. I chose colors that were "smokey" and somewhat dirty, then I added bright hi-lights to the images. I wanted the art to have a strong direct light source, that in turn would pull the figures out of the dark. It adds a sense of danger and drama. It was quite a treat to work with Mr. Eisner's highly revered characters, and be able to add my humble spin to them!


  1. Randy - I love the extra dimension that you have added to Eisner's artwork. It truly does complete the noir atmosphere of the stories. (Similar to the look of Darwyn Cooke's Parker series.) In my humble opinion it is the look that these stories have always needed. My dream is that the stories could all be reprinted with your treatment. Any chance that we could see this happen someday?

  2. Hi Ron,
    Thank you so much, for your comments! I love Eisner's ability to create atmosphere, with dark murky shadows. Using a limited color palette, I wanted to create similar effect. I mixed and matched different panels and images, to create new art. I really enjoyed the process. Hopefully, you will get to see more of this kind of coloring on the Spirit, but you will have to wait a little longer, it should show up on Will Eisner's the Spirit volume 2 artist's edition!