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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“HIS NAME IS SAVAGE!” RETURNS FROM OBSCURITY

“His Name is Savage!” is a 1968 graphic novel not remembered by many but it is indeed memorable and coming back to life in a new incarnation. Pioneering comic book legend Gil Kane put his body & soul into the project but it never really went beyond the first issue. Why is this even being mentioned in this blog?

The cover of Gil Kane’s “His Name is…SAVAGE!”

Title page explains it all.

The answer to that can be seen in the cover of the first and only issue painted by artist Robert Foster. I didn’t mention the project in Lee Marvin Point Blank simply because other than the likeness, there’s really no connection to Lee Marvin in the story at all. There is however many other references to Marvin’s plethora of cultural references in the book. Just saying.
Anyway, the return of “His Name is Savage!” is the subject of a recent online article I read in which a new media company has decided to resurrect the story (minus the Lee Marvin likeness) and attempt to possibly bring to the screen as well. The article tells the whole story here.

I wish them luck in their endeavors but it would have been nice had it been attempted when Gil Kane was still alive. Might have been nice to bring it back when Marvin was alive, too. It would have helped to dispel a long held rumor that the actor was the the reason the series stopped after one issue since he sued Kane for using his likeness. According to Kane in a 1996 interview, “We never had any trouble from Lee Marvin — obviously he never saw the goddamn thing. We never had any trouble from anybody”.

Gil Kane (1926-2000), legendary comic book artist responsible for “His Name Is…Savage!”

I grew up as a comic book fan and Gil Kane was always one of my favorites, especially his revamping of Green Lantern in the 1960s. Artist Neal Adams would later use that revamp to create an even greater series of stories! I was kind of disappointed to find out how much Kane had wanted the “His Name Is Savage!” project to succeed only to never see that happen. Naturally, I’m glad these young upstarts are remembering the project and are reviving and revamping it. Maybe even a movie in these days of comic book crazy cinema. Of course, if you want to make a movie inspired by the likeness of Lee Marvin, might I suggest another source? Seriously. I can be contacted right here.
– Dwayne Epstein

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ARTIST NEAL ADAMS INTERVIEW, PART 2 OF 3

In my Outre Neal Adams Interview-Part 2, with the legendary comic book artist Neal Adams, we get to some of my own favorite subjects worth talking about, such as the controversial Green Lantern/Green Arrow drug issue. As an aside, the images from those issues are from my own collection, which is one of the few times my obession with Neal Adams’ work was actually put to good use. Also dealt with is the provocative debate over people of color in comix, salvaging artists’ artwork, creating free agency for artists, saving the scheduled-to-be cancelled X-Men from oblivion, and, best of all, what he did for Superman creators Joe Shuster & Jerry Siegel. One other aside: Upon hearing Adams’ tell the tale of his efforts to get the Superman creators their long overdue recogintion, I felt no small sense of pride in knowing a childhood hero turned out to be a pretty righteous guy. How many people can you actually say that about nowadays? None that I can think of!
This is great stuff from The Man. Besides, I obviously have a few other interests besides Lee Marvin. And so, without further ado, Part II….

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OUTRE cover for Part II of my Neal Adams interview.

 

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Adams interview, page 1.

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Adams interview, page 2.

 

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Adams interview, page 3.

 

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Adams interview, page 4.

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Adams interview, page 5.

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Adams interview, page 6.

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Adams interview, page 7.



 

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Adams interview, page 8.

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