From The Hollywood Reporter: "Neal Adams, Comic Book Artist Who Revitalized Batman and Fought for Creators’ Rights, Dies at 80"
This one really hurts. Adams blew the Li'l Capn away with Batman, Deadman and Spectre in the late '60s/early '70s and his photo-realism style is what I always think of when I think of good comics art.
"If superheroes existed, they'd look like I draw them," he once said. That line became famous, because it's so true.
I had no idea he was so many more years older than me. I always associate him with the Bronze Age, and the other creators of that era. But it makes sense if I stop and think about it, given that he spent time elsewhere before coming to comics, and that his most noted collaborator, Denny O'Neil, has also passed.
But, man, this is so sad. It just leaves a huge hole in comics, and in my memories.
No, man. Our memories at least are still intact.
And those memories will never fade as long as DC and Marvel keep continually reprinting his work in some many different volumes and formats!
Good points, Jeff and Philip! Heck, I was just skimming the Bud Plant catalog, and was arrested by a striking cover. Yep, it was Adams.
I remember when Neal Adams stopped by the old "Comics Cave" once. We were all discussing... something (I think it was the "Deathwatch 2000" crossover). Anyway, someone (I forget who it was) had Neal Adams' contact info and let him know were were discussing his work. Then he stopped by, acknowledged out discussion and mentioned some of the projects he was working on then. He didn't stay long (I think he posted twice), but he didn't have to stop in at all. I thought it was really nice of him to take time out of his busy day to wish his fans well.
When Neal took on the powers that be at DC at the time of Superman: The Movie (1978), it had been ten years since DC had effectively fired the long-time creators who were trying to get well-earned benefits. I say "effectively fired" because they were all considered free-lancers after decades of service. To fire (and even blackball) free-lancers, you just stop giving them work.
Yeah, when Neal came along I was just a kid, and marveled at his artwork. It energized my love of comics, and might be the reason I'm reading them today.
But his other work, the most important work, I really only knew about later. Or maybe I could only understand it later, when I was in the workforce myself. His work for Siegel & Shuster, and other comics creators in general, is a greater testament to the man than his artwork.
Although the artwork, you have to admit, was pretty damn cool.
In all the coverage and reminisces about Neal Adams, I noticed something: He is almost always wearing a blue shirt.
What's up with that? Does anybody know?
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