Long ago in 1917, a man named Will Eisner was born. This man would end up being one of the most iconic cartoonists in the industry. They even named the most prestigious awards in comics after him, the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards.
First appearing as the main feature of a 16-page, tabloid-sized, newsprint comic book insert distributed in the Sunday edition of Register and Tribune Syndicate newspapers*, it eventually got carried by numerous other newspapers and the circulation reached into the millions.
How many of these first editions survived? Nobody would likely ever know or could answer that now. I found a Heritage Auction listing from 2006 with a Good to Very Good grade of his first appearance that sold for $900.00. One could only imagine what a VF to M would go for.
The Spirit is a masked vigilante who fights crime on the streets of Central City. He’s a master detective, great athlete, excels at hand to hand combat and in other forms he had super human longevity.
I think a lot of readers could connect with the Spirit when first introduced back in the early 40s. The Spirit was characterized as a fighter for the middle class early on when first introduced.
Over the years, there’s been multiple publishers to create new stories and books based on this character, including DC Comics. The most recent publishers have been IDW and Dynamite.
If you can’t afford the early vintage news paper clippings and comics, you can stick to the new Trades and Hardcovers out there for sale that collect these older editions.
* From Wikipedia