TRIBUTE TO NEAL ADAMS

Tribute to Neal Adams, indeed. I recently read of his passing late last month here and with the news, comes a great sense of loss. To say he was my favorite illustrator is an extreme understatement. I was fortunate to meet him once at the San Diego ComicCon years ago with some buddies of mine. I was reticent to approach him at first due to the rumors that swirled around him about how difficult he was to deal with. Turns out, that just what they rumors, he could not have been nicer or more approachable. Turned me into a regular ‘fanboy.’
   After some small talk, I broached the subject of a possible interview as I was then freelancing for Filmfax and Outre’ magazine. We exchanged contact info, I checked in with publisher Mike Stein and lo and behold, a 3-part interview with the master ensued:
Part I
Part II
Part III
I’ll let the articles speak for themselves as he was wonderfully candid and forthcoming. As to his work, allow me to show just some of the reasons why he was the best of the best. First, the Green Lantern Green Arrow first issue cover in color…

GREEN LANTERN/GREEN ARROW (issues #76-89) by Denny O’Neill (writer) & Neal Adams (artist).

 

 
































Pretty dramatic change of pace for comic books, don’t you think? Inside, the theme of the short-lived series was set early on with this graphic…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With the help of writer Denny O’Neill this series created stories and images that were the best in the business for their intensity, irreverence and most of all, powerful imagery. In the most famous and most controversial issue, Green Arrow’s ward attempts to kick his heroin addiction with the sympathetic aid of Green Arrow’s girlfriend., again in full-color…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And just to show not of all Adams’ greatness lay in his Green Lantern/Green Arrow series, check out this vibrant and moody color rendition of his wrap-around reprint  cover for Batman’s Ra’s Al Ghul series….
And speaking of Batman, Adams not only did the cover for this classic but came up with the original story idea in which the Dark Knight Detective pursues some bank robbers, all while battling the demons that haunt him over the murder of his parents…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But for me, the man’s greatness will always be in the GL/GA Series.  I don’t think I’ve ever been moved to tears by a comic book’s work of art, but Adams was able to do it and I’ll give you my favorite example. I included it in the interview I did but the lack of color does not do it justice. So, here in powerful color, I give you those images, especially the last panel…
 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


So there you have it, my own personal tribute to Neal Adams, the man I considered to be the greatest comic book artist of all time. He once famously said, “If superheroes existed, they would look the way I draw them.” He not only was right, but with his passing, there are no more superheroes, in more ways than one.
– Dwayne Epstein.

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