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 Neal Adams  (1941 - )

About: Neal Adams
 

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Lived/Active: New York      Known for: comic book-Batman and commercial artist

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Neal Adams
from Auction House Records.
Neal Adams Batman #210 Catwoman Cover Original Art
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Neal Adams (born 1941, Governors Island, Manhattan, New York) is an American comic book and commercial artist known for helping to create some of the definitive modern imagery of Marvel Comics and of the DC Comics characters Superman, Batman, and Green Arrow; as the co-founder of the graphic design studio Continuity Associates; and as a creators-rights advocate who helped secure a pension and recognition for Superman creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.  Among his most notable works are Batman, Detective Comics, X-Men, Brave and the Bold and Strange Adventures, Ben Casey, and Superman

Adams was inducted into the Eisner Award's Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 1998, and the Harvey Awards' Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1999.

Adams attended the School of Industrial Art high school in Manhattan. After graduation in 1959, he unsuccessfully attempted to find freelance work at DC Comics, and turned then to Archie Comics, where he wanted to work on the publisher's fledgling superhero line, edited by Joe Simon. At the suggestion of staffers, Adams drew "three or four pages of [the superhero] the Fly", but did not receive encouragement from Simon. Sympathetic staffers nonetheless asked Adams to draw samples for the Archie teen-humor comics themselves. While he did so, Adams said in a 2000s interview, he unknowingly broke into comics:

Adams' art style, honed in advertising and in the photo-realistic school of dramatic-serial comics strips, marked a signal change from most comics art to that time.

During the 1970s, Adams was politically active in the industry, and attempted to unionize its creative community. His efforts, along with precedents set by Atlas/Seaboard Comics' creator-friendly policies and other factors, helped lead to the modern industry's standard practice of returning original artwork to the artist, who can earn additional income from art sales to collectors. He won his battle in 1987, when Marvel returned original artwork to him and industry legend Jack Kirby, among others.

Adams notably and vocally helped lead the lobbying efforts that resulted in Superman creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster receiving decades-overdue credit and some financial remuneration from DC.

Inker Bob McLeod recalled in the 2000s the unique place Adams held in the industry when McLeod broke into comics in 1973:

Pat [Broderick] told me I really ought to meet Neal Adams, whom he had met at DC. . . . At that time, Neal held a position of respect in the industry that no one in comics since then has achieved. He was the single most respected artist in the business. . . . Neal looked at one of my samples and asked me what kind of work I was looking for. I said, 'Anything that pays.' (By that time, I was down to my last $10. . . .) He just picked up the phone and called the production manager at Marvel and said, 'I've got a guy here who has some potential as, well, some potential as an artist, but I think he has a lot of potential as a letterer.' I was immediately hired at Marvel in the production department on Neal's recommendation, and they still didn't even want to see my portfolio. If I was good enough for Neal, I was good enough for them.

In 1978, Adams helped form the Comics Creators Guild, which over three dozen comic-book writers and artists joined.  In collaboration with Rafael Medoff, director of the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, Adams has championed an effort to get the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum, which is operated by the government of Poland, to return the original artwork of Dina Babbitt. In exchange for his sparing her mother and herself from the gas chambers, Babbitt worked as an illustrator for Nazi death camp doctor Josef Mengele who wanted detailed paintings to demonstrate his pseudoscientific theories about Gypsy racial inferiority.

Awards and honors:
Adams' first Deadman cover won the 1967 Alley Award for Best Cover.
A Batman/Deadman team-up in The Brave and the Bold #79 (Sept. 1968), by Adams and writer Bob Haney, tied with another comic for the 1968 Alley Award for Best Full-Length Story.
In 1969, Adams won the Alley Award for Best Pencil Artist; the feature "Deadman" was elected to the Alley Award Hall of Fame; and Adams received a special award "for the new perspective and dynamic vibrancy he has brought to the field of comic art".

He also won Shazam Awards in 1970 for Best Individual Story (No Evil Shall Escape My Sight in Green Lantern vol. 2, #76, with writer Dennis O'Neil), and Best Pencil Artist (Dramatic Division); and in 1971 for Best Individual Story (Snowbirds Don't Fly in Green Lantern vol. 2, #85, with O'Neil).

He won an Inkpot Award in 1976, and was voted the "Favourite Comicbook Artist" at the 1977 and the 1978 Eagle Awards.

In 1985, DC Comics named Adams as one of the honorees in the company's 50th anniversary publication, Fifty Who Made DC Great.

Adams was inducted into the Eisner Award's Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 1998, and the Harvey Awards' Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1999.

Personal:
Adams has three sons, Jason, Joel and Josh Adams, who are also artists. Jason works in toy and fantasy sculpture, while Joel and Josh illustrate comics and do design work on TV shows. Josh illustrated a pinup of Batman in the first issue of the 2010 miniseries Batman: Odyssey, which Neal wrote and illustrated.

Source:
"Josh Adams", Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neal_Adams


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