Yesterday I tweeted about some problems I was having on a job, and someone (thank you!) sent me this link as inspiration. The page lists dozens of wonderful old comics’ splash pages (and covers) that integrated mastheads and titles into the layout, rather than just having it sit there, essentially obscuring the illustration behind it. Obviously, Will Eisner did this better than anyone else. The one I picked here is one of the cleverest I’ve ever seen. Look at that. Knocks me out. So lovely.
…everything changed with the appearance of Will Eisner’s “The Spirit” (1940). ”The Spirit” was published as a seven-page supplement to the comics section of American Sunday newspapers. As a supplement tucked inside newspapers, “The Spirit” did not depend on being visible on the newsstands. It was not limited by the need for recognizable branding like “Superman.” Not only did he change the masthead of “The Spirit” for every issue, but very soon, the masthead became an integral part of the scene/set. (via Spirit of the Stone Type — Imprint-The Online Community for Graphic Designers)
The author posted an entire set of these on Flickr with over 75 examples.