Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Artist Spotlight - Neal Adams

The incomparable Neal Adams is the subject of today's Artist Spotlight.

By training and calling he is a consummate illustrator who captures the essence, dynamism, complexity and realism of the people and characters he portrays. His rendering of the human form is balanced and alive, and I've always had this desire to live within the worlds he creates in his art.

His Batman and Detective Comics were among the first comics I ever read and I have been hooked ever since. In the years after I've picked up everything of his I could find, and when pressed, I have to admit he is my favorite comic book artist.

For those of you who are familiar with his work, this posting should be a fresh reminder of your own Neal Adams epiphany. If you haven't yet been assimilated as a fan, it's likely you will instantly recognize his style and know that he has already played some part in your life. Okay, maybe that's a little much, but he is a cultural fixture.

And if you, like me, want to find more, you might want to start with his work with Dennis O'Neil on Green Lantern/Green Arrow. It was cutting edge social commentary when it was first published in the 70's and it's just a relevant now. Imagine a comic that deals with big issues like racism, drug-use and religion within the unfriendly confines of the life-draining Comics Code.

I'd be remiss if I didn't point you to the website for the latest in all things Neal. I should warn you that you'll find that Neal has some rather excentric but well reasoned theories on a New Model of the Universe. It's worth a look-see for the closet scientists and rationalists out there and sure to be a great Open House conversation starter if your kids take the discussion to their science teachers as Neal advocates!

According to
Neal Adams studied Industrial Arts in New York, and went to work as an advertising artist at the age of 19. He started his comics career at the Newspaper Enterprise Association. For many years, he worked as an anonymous dailies artist, breathing life into series such as 'Ben Casey', 'Peter Scratch', 'Rip Kirby', and 'The Heart of Juliet Jones'. In the late sixties, Adams began to work at DC and Marvel comics. Ever since that time, he has made his mark with dynamic and unconventional superhero stories
And for those of you who want a little of Neal in his own words, here you go:

"Drawing is less important than thinking."

"I don't know of any great painting that didn't start with what they called thumbnail sketches. Wash drawings. Preliminaries. They're always smaller, and sometimes they're on the side of the canvas; that's really the proper way to do it."

A small GALLERY of Neal Adams art pulled from the Internet
All art and copyrights are the property of their respective owners

Next up: Jim Steranko

Cheers! - Jason

No comments: