Cool, man. I never got properly schooled in Eisner. I got too swept up in Toth and Kirby, somehow Eisner never penetrated the way the other older dudes did. If/when I color it that negative space will remain a priority
No kidding? I love The Spirit, but I think it's important to try and see his work in B&W (when he had the option, later in life, he usually chose monotones over full color).
The four-color process does him NO favors, and I consider it bloody tragic that DC has chosen to reprint his work in an approximation of the way it appeared in print during the late 1940's, rather than printing it in a way that best showcases the work, with either new coloring or no color at all.
Next time you're in a place with back-issue stock, look for Kitchen Sink editions of The Spirit, either the comic-sized editions or the magazine edition (magazine is nice 'cause it's bigger) and see if you find something to like. They're usually pretty affordable, too. He did some amaaaazing work, but it looks so awfully ugly in bright, flat color.
I should say that I am more or less familiar with his later work like A Contract With God and all his B&W graphic novels. And there's no doubt that's some sexy inking. He was certainly a master. That Big Artist's Edition of the Spirit caught my eye. (If I had the space and money it might join my MAD artist's edition some day). I'll take your word for it and try to dig up some cheap editions of the Spirit.