Thursday, July 24, 2014

Dynamite Celebrates 75th Anniversary of The Spirit


Batman isn't the only masked crimefighter celebrating 75 years of existence. Will Eisner's iconic hero The Spirit is also celebrating the three-quarters century mark. And thanks to a recent licensing agreement with Dynamite Entertainment, that celebration will kick off with some style.

"We are thrilled that Will Eisner's The Spirit has found a new home with Dynamite Entertainment," state Nancy and Carl Gropper of the Eisner estate in a joint announcement. "At Dynamite, The Spirit will be joining many iconic heroes including Flash Gordon, The Shadow, The Green Hornet, The Lone Ranger, Zorro, and others. Will Eisner created The Spirit in 1940 as a syndicated seven-page newspaper supplement, where The Spirit fought the villains of Central City weekly until 1952. We're hoping to see Dynamite's new comics of The Spirit surpass the circulation of the Will Eisner's original series."

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 strips 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.

"Bringing The Spirit to Dynamite is a dream come true. Actually, that's not a strong enough sentiment. It's a lifelong dream come true," says Nick Barrucci, CEO and Publisher of Dynamite Entertainment. "The Spirit is one of comicdom's greatest characters, and has stood the test of time for nearly 75 years. Will is one of the greats, and his influence as a storyteller is incredible. I've loved all of Will's work from The Spirit to his graphic novels from A Contract with God to The Dreamer, and his entire body of work. This is a huge responsibility that we've undertaken as there have been some great creators involved in The Spirit throughout the seven decades of his career. I'm honored that Carl and Nancy feel that we are up to the task, and have entrusted us to publish The Spirit, especially beginning at such a landmark year - his 75th Anniversary. I believe that, with our proven track record for high-quality pulp comics by incredible talents (like Matt Wagner, Garth Ennis, and Kevin Smith), the addition of The Spirit to our line of classic adventure titles is a major win for longtime fans of Will Eisner's original crime fighter. I cannot emphasize enough how important publishing The Spirit is to us."

Full press release below.
DYNAMITE TO PUBLISH WILL EISNER'S THE SPIRIT;

ICONIC CHARACTER ADDED TO DYNAMITE'S PUBLISHING SLATE
IN TIME FOR THE SPIRIT'S 75TH ANNIVERSARY



July 23, 2014, Mt. Laurel, NJ:  Dynamite Entertainment is proud to announce that Will Eisner's iconic hero, The Spirit, has a new home thanks to a licensing agreement with the Eisner estate.  The Spirit, a murdered cop named Denny Colt who was mysteriously brought back to life to fight crime, joins the publisher's stable of noir-influenced iconic heroes and bestselling titles.

"We are thrilled that Will Eisner's The Spirit has found a new home with Dynamite Entertainment," state Nancy and Carl Gropper of the Eisner estate in a joint announcement.  "At Dynamite, The Spirit will be joining many iconic heroes including Flash Gordon, The Shadow, The Green Hornet, The Lone Ranger, Zorro, and others. Will Eisner created The Spirit in 1940 as a syndicated seven-page newspaper supplement, where The Spirit fought the villains of Central City weekly until 1952.  We're hoping to see Dynamite's new comics of The Spirit surpass the circulation of the Will Eisner's original series."

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 strips 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.

"Bringing The Spirit to Dynamite is a dream come true.  Actually, that's not a strong enough sentiment.  It's a lifelong dream come true," says Nick Barrucci, CEO and Publisher of Dynamite Entertainment. "The Spirit is one of comicdom's greatest characters, and has stood the test of time for nearly 75 years.  Will is one of the greats, and his influence as a storyteller is incredible.  I've loved all of Will's work from The Spirit to his graphic novels from A Contract with God to The Dreamer, and his entire body of work.  This is a huge responsibility that we've undertaken as there have been some great creators involved in The Spirit throughout the seven decades of his career. I'm honored that Carl and Nancy feel that we are up to the task, and have entrusted us to publish The Spirit, especially beginning at such a landmark year - his 75th Anniversary.  I believe that, with our proven track record for high-quality pulp comics by incredible talents (like Matt Wagner, Garth Ennis, and Kevin Smith), the addition of The Spirit to our line of classic adventure titles is a major win for longtime fans of Will Eisner's original crime fighter.  I cannot emphasize enough how important publishing The Spirit is to us."

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About Dynamite Entertainment:

Dynamite was founded in 2004 and is home to several best-selling comic book titles and properties, including The Boys, The Shadow, Red Sonja, Warlord of Mars, Bionic Man, A Game of Thrones, and more.  Dynamite owns and controls an extensive library with over 3,000 characters (which includes the Harris Comics and Chaos Comics properties), such as Vampirella, Pantha, Evil Ernie, Smiley the Psychotic Button, Chastity, and Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt.  In addition to their critically-acclaimed titles and bestselling comics, Dynamite works with some of the most high profile creators in comics and entertainment, including Kevin Smith, Alex Ross, Neil Gaiman, Andy Diggle, John Cassaday, Garth Ennis, Jae Lee, Marc Guggenheim, Mike Carey, Jim Krueger, Greg Pak, Brett Matthews, Matt Wagner, Gail Simone, Steve Niles, James Robinson, and a host of up-and-coming new talent.  Dynamite is consistently ranked in the upper tiers of comic book publishers and several of their titles - including Alex Ross and Jim Krueger's Project Superpowers - have debuted in the Top Ten lists produced by Diamond Comics Distributors.  In 2005, Diamond awarded the company a GEM award for Best New Publisher and another GEM in 2006 for Comics Publisher of the Year (under 5%) and again in 2011.  The company has also been nominated for and won several industry awards, including the prestigious Harvey and Eisner Awards.

All characters, names, logos, etc. are ™ and © their respective owners.  Press release written by Kevin Pearl.




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