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ONGOING SPIRIT SERIES BY MATT WAGNER IN JULY!!

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  • #31
    Originally posted by pulphero View Post
    That's the case for Ebony and Sammy as well. "Suddenly" doesn't fit here because it's obvious some time has passed for these characters since the Spirit's disappearance.
    It was repeatedly said in issue #1 that it was "two years" since he was last seen, but it probably would have been less than two years that they would have started realizing he wasn't coming back (at least not yet) because he had disappeared for long periods of time in various Eisner stories in the past.
    Originally posted by pulphero View Post
    I doubt that Ebony will be treated realistically in the social context of showing him facing prejudice at every turn from 1940s white society,
    Remains to seen whether Wagner will go that route or not.
    Originally posted by pulphero View Post
    just as Ellen probably isn't going to deal with the sexism of 1940s male society.
    Again, we have to see if that's what Wagner does or not.

    Originally posted by pulphero View Post
    but then Ebony was never shown as having the skills to pursue private investigator work.
    Actually, he was shown to be able to figure out and deduce things in various stories in the past in the old Spirit stories that Warren Magazines and Kitchen Sink Press use to reprint in the 1970s and 1980s.

    Originally posted by pulphero View Post
    Realistically, it might have been very hard in the 1940s for a woman to be elected to City Council, but realistically, it would be very hard for a P.I. who was black to make a living in a white, prejudiced 1940s society. The people most likely to hire him, other blacks, are also too economically disadvantaged to be able to afford his services (to Wagner's credit, he at least hints that the business hasn't exactly been booming). In either case, there may be no law against it, but it would have been difficult in real life, unless we grant the writer some suspension of disbelief.
    Again, while a majority of the non-white population may have been economically disadvantaged, not ALL non-white businesses were failures back then. It's also a case of who your customers are, who you do business with, and how much one needs to get by. Also seems to me that many of the white private detective agencies that were typically depicted in comics / literature / other forms of media weren't exactly rolling in the dough. And one other thing: Ebony's last name isn't the first one listed on the business. Sammy's is. Now, that appeared to be done because of the joke that played out in the first issue, but it might also have an impact on if some potential clients are viewing this as a black-owned / -run business or not.

    It's clear that Wagner made quite a few changes for his 21st century depiction of Ebony even though the story takes place in the late 1940s, so I'm more accepting of that. The reasons for Ellen's changes weren't as necessary (I don't think there would be people quite as angered if Ellen was still portrayed the way she was in the 1940s unless they're extreme feminists or something who don't accept what was historically accurate in society) and haven't been proven as necessary or logical to my satisfaction yet. (And that's the last I'll state my case regarding Ellen's sudden political position until Wagner shows us any more about this situation.)

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    • #32
      Originally posted by MajorHoy View Post
      It was repeatedly said in issue #1 that it was "two years" since he was last seen, but it probably would have been less than two years that they would have started realizing he wasn't coming back (at least not yet) because he had disappeared for long periods of time in various Eisner stories in the past.
      Remains to seen whether Wagner will go that route or not. Again, we have to see if that's what Wagner does or not.

      Actually, he was shown to be able to figure out and deduce things in various stories in the past in the old Spirit stories that Warren Magazines and Kitchen Sink Press use to reprint in the 1970s and 1980s.

      Again, while a majority of the non-white population may have been economically disadvantaged, not ALL non-white businesses were failures back then. It's also a case of who your customers are, who you do business with, and how much one needs to get by. Also seems to me that many of the white private detective agencies that were typically depicted in comics / literature / other forms of media weren't exactly rolling in the dough. And one other thing: Ebony's last name isn't the first one listed on the business. Sammy's is. Now, that appeared to be done because of the joke that played out in the first issue, but it might also have an impact on if some potential clients are viewing this as a black-owned / -run business or not.

      It's clear that Wagner made quite a few changes for his 21st century depiction of Ebony even though the story takes place in the late 1940s, so I'm more accepting of that. The reasons for Ellen's changes weren't as necessary (I don't think there would be people quite as angered if Ellen was still portrayed the way she was in the 1940s unless they're extreme feminists or something who don't accept what was historically accurate in society) and haven't been proven as necessary or logical to my satisfaction yet. (And that's the last I'll state my case regarding Ellen's sudden political position until Wagner shows us any more about this situation.)
      Ah, but if people don't want to accept Ebony being treated as inferior in a story taking place in the 1940s, they aren't extremists "who don't accept what was historically accurate in society"? I don't have a problem with either change, because despite the 1940s setting, it's a story being written for 2015 readers.

      Private investigation work involves a lot more than "deducing things". There's surveillance (which involves being able to blend in and remain inconspicuous) and information gathering (which involves asking people questions). How white people in the 1940s react to a black person mixing into various social situations or asking a lot of questions is going to be perceived a lot differently than if the same were being done by a white person. A black private investigator's potential clients are going to be a lot more limited in a prejudiced society in which white people have the choice to hire a white P.I. instead, and fewer potential black clients can afford to hire him. In a prejudiced society, it's just a much more difficult job for a black person to do for reasons of practicality.

      It's two years since Central City has seen the Spirit. That doesn't mean this story picks up two years after a story that Eisner did, in which everything was "status quo", i.e., the Spirit reprints we the readers are familiar with. It's possible that Ellen was running for City Council while the Spirit was still around. I would ask, if Ellen isn't on the City Council, then what the heck does she have to do in a story where the Spirit isn't even around? Pretty much nothing, it seems to me, except cry into her hankerchief, or move on with some new relationship. Well, she has, but why would we care if that's all there was to her story? This isn't really a story about the Spirit, it's a story about Ebony, Sammy, Ellen, and Commission Dolan, and what they DO with their lives when the Spirit is gone. If they don't do anything interesting, then there's no point in having them in the story. To hear you tell it, what Ellen should do is sit around and wait until something happens to her, which is only interesting insofar as how that will affect the Spirit, when and if he ever happens to return.

      In short, yes, making changes to Ellen Dolan was necessary -- not because her character as written by Eisner is offensive to 2015 audiences, but because writing her that way today is boring to 2015 readers, emphatically more so when she has to help carry the main part of the story in the Spirit's absence, as opposed to just reacting to the Spirit and her father and being defined solely by her relationship to them.
      Last edited by pulphero; 08-16-2015, 01:19 AM.

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      • #33
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        Bummer! Issue #3 isn't scheduled for release until September 16th!

        I wish Dynamite would be able to keep titles like this consistent in terms of which week during the month they are released, since that would make it easier to keep track of what's suppose to come out when, but I guess that's a bit hard for them.

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