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Brad Krawchuk
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Posted: 26 June 2009 at 10:15pm | IP Logged | 1  

Went to my LCS today, and therein found all three hardcover volumes of Neal Adams' Batman work and his Deadman slipcased hardcover. All for a LOT less than HALF cover price.

I got the first of the Batman HC's, and had my dealer (as I affectionately refer to the man who feeds my comic addiction!) put the other books aside for me until I get paid next week.

I've never knowingly read any of Neal Adams work before, and certainly not of this vintage since I was born in 1980 and grew up a Marvel Kid. I feel like I'm starting a masters course or something!

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Brian Talley
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Posted: 26 June 2009 at 10:27pm | IP Logged | 2  

Find his X-Men work.

Now!!

Awesome.

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Brad Krawchuk
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Posted: 26 June 2009 at 10:31pm | IP Logged | 3  

I figure they'll release his X-Men stuff soon enough within the Marvel Omnibus series. Didn't X-Men only go 60-odd issues before reprints? I've got the first 30 issues in the first volume, so a second Omnibus would cover everything else before the Uncanny Claremont/Cockrum/Byrne volume.
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Monte Gruhlke
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Posted: 26 June 2009 at 11:14pm | IP Logged | 4  

Speaking of Deadman, I saw Boston Brand's name in one of the Black Lantern promos... if he comes back, what does that make him... Liveman?
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Steve Adelson
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Posted: 26 June 2009 at 11:41pm | IP Logged | 5  

I feel like I'm starting a masters course or something!



That's a good description.  Very approachable guy at San Diego too.  The vast majority of attendees just have no idea.
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Brad Krawchuk
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Posted: 27 June 2009 at 12:06am | IP Logged | 6  

First impressions...

Reading the first couple stories (with the Batman and Superman Revenge Squads, and the "aliens" who turn Batman and Superman against each-other) I'm struck by a few things.

1) The stories back then were awesome! How fun is the relationship between Batman and Superman, and, more surprising to me, between Jimmy Olsen and Robin? Why aren't Robin and Jimmy still buddies? Why doesn't Superman disguise himself as a moving statue to create a mystery for Batgirl to solve anymore? Honestly... these are stories that are cool for me, that I can still show kids at the daycare. Make books like this now, DC!

2) Neal Adams rocks! This is the comicbook equivalent of Citizen Kane in my eyes, because the only comics from the 60's I'd read before this were the Marvel classics. And as much as I love those, they were still panel-panel-panel stop panel-panel-panel stop. This stuff reads like a modern book! The layouts, the odd panel shapes, the "cinematic" effect... except here I assume, like Citizen Kane, it's being done for the first time!

It's so easy to see why Adams is regarded the way he is. I'm seeing John Byrne, Frank Miller, George Perez, Andy Kubert, Phil Jimenez, and Rags Morales in some of the art, and those are just the guys I can name.

I'm tight on cash until payday next week, but man, I'm still considering going to the shop tomorrow to get the rest of that Adams stash so I can read it all this week! It's going to be a long 7 days until I get the rest...

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Joseph Gauthier
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Posted: 27 June 2009 at 1:46am | IP Logged | 7  

Very approachable guy at San Diego too.

****

The strangest con experience I ever had was back in '93 at the old Chicago Comicon.  At some point in the afternoon, long lines began to form on the con floor in anticipation of a signing by a couple of the Image founders (I don't remember which ones, or even how many) and my brother and I were having a very frustrating go of it, attempting to negotiate the human obsticles that materialized as if from thin air in snake-like paths across the isles.  We had just remarked to one another how odd it was that anyone would wish to stand in a line that long for a chance to speak to anyone, when we turned a corner to see Neil Adams sitting behind a table, completely alone.  It was such a strange turn of events that I had to look twice at the name to make sure I was seeing it right.  And sure enough, I was.

My brother, being the DC fan in the family (at the time we weren't familiar with his Marvel work) was the first to approch.  He shook Mr. Adam's hand and thanked him for contributing to the Batman that he grew up with.  Mr.  Adams smiled and said something to the effect of, 'Well, I hope the old man's back isn't too sore these days' providing an obvious reference to the broken back story going on at the time.  We chatted for a few moments more and then excused ourselves, smiling to one another as if we were in on an inside joke with Neil Adams.  He really did seem like a very kind man.

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Stephen Churay
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Posted: 27 June 2009 at 3:50am | IP Logged | 8  

I feel like I'm starting a masters course or something!
+++
You are Brad. Neal is one of the few comic storytellers that moves beyond being great and into the world of almost godhood.
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Glenn Brown
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Posted: 27 June 2009 at 3:59am | IP Logged | 9  

Marvel recently released Neal's X-Men work in the b&w Essentials format, Essential Classic X-Men #3...with zero art retouching.  Absolutely beautiful work from him and Tom Palmer.  Highly recommended.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 27 June 2009 at 4:19am | IP Logged | 10  

An opportunity to view Neal's art in chronological order can be very instructive. First, and most obvious of course, is that you get to see him evolve as an artist. See him refine his line and become more and more confident in his storytelling.

From a modern perspective, tho, there is something that is perhaps even more important. Neal is as close as my generation* gets to a "force of nature" like Kirby. Everything he touched became "his". Batman, of course. Green Lantern, without a doubt. The X-Men, natch. The Avengers, wow. And yet -- and here is the lesson -- he did this without trompling all over what had gone before. His early Batman work, for instance, in WORLD'S FINEST and BRAVE & BOLD. Instantly recognizable as Neal, yet still the same Batman Carmine Infantino was drawing. Neal drew distinctly in his own style, but he drew as if he was looking at the same "live models" the other artists were looking at. Even his X-MEN, a book on which he follow Werner Roth, an artist about as far from Neal as you could get. The characters still looked like themselves.

Unlike modern artists, Neal did not attack the characters. He rarely redesigned costumes, for instance. (Green Arrow is a notable, and outstanding exception). He did not inflict steroidic physiques on slender forms, or zeppelin sized boobs when none such had previously been. His characters stood, sat, walked, ran, jumped like real people (or, as one wag put it, Neal's characters looked exactly like what people would look like if people looked like that). He tailored his art to the story, not the other way 'round. When the story needed "small". he got small. When it needed big, he exploded. Page thru a Neal adams comic and notice how many "ordinary" pages there are. People in regular street clothes doing normal, or close to normal, stuff. Because, unlike too many artists that came after him, he wasn't drawing for the aftermarket. He wasn't drawing his pages to sell them later, he was drawing his pages to tell the story. In a Neal Adams book, you can be sure a trip to the soda shop didn't turn into a session in the Danger Room, because the latter pages would "sell better".

This is one of my favorite pages by Neal…

"Nothing happens" on it -- yet see how he make everything jump off the page, without resorting to bulging muscles and bobbling boobs. No skintight costumes. No grotesque, anatomy defying poses. Just really good drawing.

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Glenn Brown
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Posted: 27 June 2009 at 4:26am | IP Logged | 11  

JB, have you seen the aforementioned B&W Essentials volume of Neal's X-Men run?
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John Byrne
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Posted: 27 June 2009 at 5:14am | IP Logged | 12  

Yes. Plus, a few years back Paul Kupperberg gave me a large German
edition of a whole lot of Neal's Batman, black and white and printed about
2/3rds of the size of the actual art. Very nice.
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