Realism without losing dynamism. It’s an incredibly hard thing to do as a comic artist. Neal Adams was one of the first to do it, and the best. He passed away this week and left behind a massive legacy, both on the page and off.
It’s wild to think of a time when comic artists’ original pages were never returned to them. At companies like Marvel and DC, the pages sent in for production were treated as their property, with the artists having no ownership over the physical pieces. They were tossed in closets, in the garbage, cut up. Neal Adams championed the return of these pieces of art to the artists, providing a huge income stream to creators like Jack Kirby, the guy who created everything you love yet owned none of it.
He fought for Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel to receive credit and remuneration for creating Superman, he fought to bring freelancers together in the face of onerous contracts. He fought. He was a fighter.
What are you?