Matt Wagner Pens The Spirit Ongoing Series, Launching July 2015 at San Diego Comic-Con for 75th Anniversary Celebration
February 19th, 2015, Mt. Laurel, NJ: Dynamite Entertainment, a leading publisher in the comics and graphic novel industry, is proud to announce that the all-new adventures featuring Will Eisner’s legendary crimefighter Denny Colt, The Spirit, will be written by the award-winning comic creator Matt Wagner. Marking the beginning of a partnership between Dynamite and the Eisner Estate, the new series will celebrate seventy-five years of The Spirit, and its #1 launch issue will feature cover artwork from all-star illustrators Alex Ross, Eric Powell, and series writer Matt Wagner himself.
The Spirit stands among the most iconic and influential characters in the industry with a publishing history in newspapers and comic books lasting generations. Many of the most accomplished creators in the field have carried the torch that Will Eisner set ablaze, including Darwyn Cooke, Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Dave Gibbons, and Joe R. Lansdale, just to name a few. Matt Wagner, whose long career in comics has yielded a vast library of critically acclaimed titles, takes the reins on The Spirit for the very first time, ensuring that Eisner’s creation endures as we enter its fourth quarter-century.
“I discovered The Spirit via the black-and-white, magazine-sized reprints of the mid-70s. It was the first time that I truly perceived sequential narrative as a legitimate art form, of the immense creative power of a comic-artist in his prime,” says Wagner. “I can honestly say that seeing and experiencing The Spirit in my formative years ultimately led to my career as a comics author. It’s such an immense thrill and a professional honor to have the chance to contribute to Will Eisner’s legacy on the milestone 75th anniversary of his most influential and iconic character.”
Matt Wagner is the accomplished creator of Grendel and Mage, a guiding creative force behind such mainstream blockbusters as Batman/Superman/Wonder Woman: Trinity and Batman: The Monster Men, and no stranger to pulp noir, courtesy of his groundbreaking work on such Dynamite titles as The Shadow: Year One, Green Hornet: Year One, and Zorro. He recently set Hollywood abuzz with the launch of Django/Zorro, a comic book series co-written with influential filmmaker Quentin Tarantino that teams two Western icons in an official sequel to the hit film Django Unchained.
“We are very excited that Dynamite has taken on the challenge of bringing back Will Eisner’s iconic character The Spirit, along with the emblematic cast of characters featured in new stories and adventures,” say Nancy and Carl Grooper in a joint statement on behalf of the Eisner Estate. “It’s a huge challenge, given the 75 years of great storytelling and artwork by the grandmaster and a pantheon of award-winning creators. We believe that Dynamite is up to this challenge and are looking forward to seeing this year’s issues written by Matt Wagner.”
Nick Barrucci, CEO and Publisher of Dynamite Entertainment, says, “I discovered The Spirit with the Harvey Comics reprint series from the 1970s, and from there, continued to follow the hero’s two-fisted adventures in newspaper strips. From the very beginning, Will Eisner’s incredible storytelling made an incredible impression on me, and his creation remained one of my all-time favorites ever since. I never would have imagined that Dynamite would have the honor of publishing The Spirit, and to do the series justice, we aimed to bring the best creative team possible together for the series. Matt’s mastery of the Pulps made him our top choice for The Spirit, right from the start. What he has in mind for Denny Colt and the rest of Eisner’s colorful cast is guaranteed to thrill long-time fans and new readers alike.”
Nick Barrucci, CEO and Publisher of Dynamite Entertainment, says, “When I was thirteen years old, I met Matt Wagner at my local comic store, and asked him if he would help me publish my comic. Fortunately, he had the foresight to say no, in the politest way possible, as I can imagine he could tell that I would be terrible at it. When I was fifteen, I discovered The Spirit with the Harvey Comics reprint series from the 1970s, and from there, continued to follow the hero’s two-fisted adventures in newspaper inserts. I could never have imagined that one of my creative heroes would be working with a legendary creator’s signature character, and one of my all time favorite heroes. It’s surreal. From the very beginning, Will Eisner’s incredible storytelling made a lasting impression on me. I would never have predicted that Dynamite would have the honor of publishing The Spirit, and to do the series justice, we aimed to bring the best creative team possible together for the series. Matt’s mastery of the Pulps made him our top choice for The Spirit, right from the start. What he has in mind for Denny Colt and the rest of Eisner’s colorful cast is guaranteed to thrill long-time fans and new readers alike.”
Originally published in 1939 by Quality Comics, The Spirit has long been admired for the ingenuity of its creator, Will Eisner. Eisner’s amazing artistic skill and groundbreaking storytelling techniques in the weekly Sunday 16-page sections helped pave the way for modern comic books. His career spanned over seventy years, and he is largely considered as the inventor of the “graphic novel.” In addition to The Spirit, his most celebrated works include A Contract with God and Last Day in Vietnam. The industry’s highest accolade, the prestigious Eisner Award, is named in his honor, and awarded annually at San Diego Comic-Con International.
Dynamite’s new Will Eisner’s The Spirit is set to hit store shelves later beginning in July. Fans are encouraged to reserve copies with their local comic book retailers. The Spirit will also be available for individual customer purchase through digital platforms courtesy of Comixology, iVerse, and Dark Horse Digital.