Saturday, January 08, 2005

Spirit of The Spirit

I am delinquent in mourning the death of Will Eisner. Johnny Bacardi has been running a multi-part tribute (with illustrations and links to other eulogies), which starts here.

From one of the links at Eisner's official site, I found this great treasure trove of online Spirit lore, and from there I learned the (potentially) good news that plans are in the works for a Spirit movie. Actually, the apparent decision to set the film in the present day, as revealed in this interview in Comic Book Resources News, does not bode well. But hey, maybe the powers that be will come to their senses and make it a period piece, even if they're convinced Will woulda make it contemporary.

I may well be one of the few people who actually saw the 1987 TV movie when it aired, and I know I'm one of even fewer who spent the next 15 years trying to see it again. Eventually I found a bootleg copy for sale at some site whose name I can't remember for the life of me. If anyone reading this wants to know, e-mail me or post something here and I'll actually track it down for ya.

Anyway, that movie is set in the late 80s, and it just doesn't quite work. But I'm not complaining. Hunky Sam "Flash Gordon" Jones plays the title character, and holy shit is he ever hot, particularly when he's bound, shirtless, to some sort of torture device and flogged. I'm not making this up--fans of, well, Sam Jones being tied up have got to seek this thing out.

Not sure I'd recommend it to Eisner fans, though. All the major characters are there, but somehow little of the magic of the original. And the comic was magical: a perfect blend (for me, at least) of great writing, wonderful self-reflexive humor, and one of the sexiest heroes around. (A mask, a suit, and a pair of gloves: it's all you really need, isn't it? Oh, and a seemingly unending succession of deathtraps.) I know, I know: we're supposed to be mourning the passing of a great storyteller. And I do. But my interest in his most famous work transcends the purely cerebral.

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