Posts Tagged ‘The Batman’

R.I.P., Neal Adams

April 30, 2022

The Batman got a chance to feel what it was like to be me in 1969. From “The Secret of the Waiting Graves,” drawn by Neal Adams and Dick Giordano, story by Denny O’Neil, © 1969 National Periodical Publications, Inc.

The inimitable Neal Adams has finally stepped away from the drawing board. He was 80.

Adams was, in a word, a legend. I devoured comic books from my early childhood through college, from Superman to the X-Men, the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers to Mr. Natural, and I’d never seen anything like his art. When Adams took on a character, he nailed it.

“Yeah, that’s how [insert your hero here] is supposed to look,” I’d think. And if some other artist took over, I’d be all like, “Nope.”

Adams helped put the dark back in the Dark Knight, a.k.a. The Batman; made the Green Lantern-Green Arrow series actually worth a look (a not inconsiderable chore); and fought Frank Frazetta to a draw when it came to depicting Conan the Barbarian.

The Batman may have been his crowning achievement, but Adams didn’t limit himself to Gotham City. He drew for both DC and Marvel, tackling Deadman, the X-Men, the Avengers, Superman, even the gleefully blasphemous Son O’ God Comics for National Lampoon. He was like the Buddhist deity Avalokiteshvara, with a pen in each of his one thousand hands. And like Chickenman, he was everywhere.

He was also a pain in the ass, which as you may imagine only further endeared him to me. He worked to see that creators were treated better than Manpower temps and helped win some long-overdue recognition for “Superman” visionaries Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, without whom we’d all have been stuck reading “Archie” comics … another title Adams had a hand in early on.

Peace to him and to his family, friends and fans.

A Giant among men

July 7, 2014
This stretch was one of the fast downhill bits of our old 'cross courses.

This stretch was one of the fast downhill bits of our old ‘cross courses.

Stifling again today, with the high somewhere in the mid-90s and the promised rain nowhere in sight.

It was already 80-something as I stepped away from the iMac and started slathering on the sunscreen after a bracing few hours playing second-chair tuba in the Live Update Guy Symphony Orchestra during stage 3 of the Tour de France.

What a fella wants after all that chin music is a bit of the old bikey ridey, and a little shade to do it in, so I rode south past Colorado College and America the Beautiful Park to Bear Creek Regional Park, where the Mad Dogs used to run their cyclo-crosses back in the day.

The shade is spotty over there, especially if you climb westward through Bear Creek Terrace toward Gold Camp Road, which I did. Then I zipped down 26th Street into Old Colorado City and turned east, toward home.

Nobody would have mistaken me for Marcel Kittel, who I figure can play The Batman anytime he wants to. I’m sure Ben Affleck would be happy to step aside, especially if Marcel has gotten his bad self up to speed.