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Neal Adams (American, b.1941)

Comic Book Art

Neal Adams (American b. 1941) was one of the first new Silver Age artists to break into the stable of DC artists that had remained virtually a closed shop for a decade or more prior to his arrival. In 1959, Adams sought out a job at DC only to be told, “there is no room for anyone new”, so the young aspiring artist took another job working on Archie comics. Neal also worked as a penciller and background artist on the Bat Masterson strip. After doing other side projects, such as Johnstone and Cushing’s comic strips, Adams decided to try his luck again and applied for DC a second time.

With an impressive portfolio and ambitious energy, the young artist was given a job at DC, and quickly went from the new kid on the block to the prodigious whiz kid. In his time at DC, Adams is credited as a colorist, inker, penciller, and writer. His wide range of illustration skills helped add a fresh take on many different titles including superhero icons Superman, Batman, and Green Arrow at DC and later the X-Men and Avengers at Marvel. He ushered in a dynamic photorealistic style of illustration that revolutionized comic book art for the modern era.

In 1971, Adams and Dick Giordano founded the graphic design studio, Continuity Studios, which initially focused on suppling motion picture storyboards. Today, Continuity offers a wide array of services from producing their own content, such as Bucky O’Hare and Nighthawk, to fulfilling other company’s production needs. During the 1970s, Neal also took an important stand as a creators-rights advocate who helped secure long overdo compensation for artists and contributed to the today’s practice of returning original artwork to the creator, most notably for Superman creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.

Adams has won a slew of awards throughout his career, but his most notable include being inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 1998, and Harvey Awards’ Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1999.

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