When Will Eisner went off to war, he left The Spirit in the hands of perhaps the greatest selection of “ghosts” to ever grace a studio.
The Spirit newspaper strips were written by such luminaries as Manly Wade Wellman (great name) and Bill Woolfolk while penciling duties fell to the likes of Jack Cole and Lou Fine. Inking was handled by Alex Kotzky, Joe Kubert and others.
Not bad, eh?
The following story was pencilled by Fine and inked by the Eisner studio. Eisner considered Fine “the epitome of he honest draftsman. No fakery, no razzle-dazzle – very direct, very honest in his approach.” Joe Simon said both he and Jack Kirby rated Fine as their favorite artist.
Others influenced by Fine’s work include Alex Toth, Jim Steranko and Gil Kane.
When you consider how crude much of the art looked in many Golden Age comics, the simplicity and sophistication of Fine’s work is even more astonishing. He truly stood with the greatest the medium had to offer.
“Thirteen O’Clock” originally appeared in the Dec. 3, 1944 edition of The Spirit Section. However, these pages were scanned from a reprint published in The Spirit #11 (Quality Comics, Spring 1948). GCD guesses the story was written by Manly Wade Wellman.