Happy Birthday: Neal Adams
Born on Governors Island, Manhattan, New York in 1941, Neal Adams attended High School Industrial Art in Manhattan and then went to work in the advertising industry. He had actually applied to work at DC Comics but didn’t get a job offer — Adams did do some freelance work drawing Bat Masterson and Archie Comics but was not credited for it. In 1962 he was hired as an assistant at the Newspaper Enterprise Association (NEA), and worked anonymously on several comic strips before being given his own strip, Ben Casey.
In 1968 Adams approached DC Comics again and was immediately hired to draw a Deadman feature in Strange Adventures #207. Adams quickly became well-known for his DC covers. He moved to Marvel to work on X-Men with Roy Thomas, and after the title ended they moved to The Avengers together. In the early 1970s Adams returned to DC, where he and writer Dennis O’Neill teamed up to revamp Green Lantern and Green Arrow, and then Batman. Adams and Dick Giordano formed Continuity Associates to supply storyboards to motion pictures, and around the same time Adams worked on the science fiction stage play Warp, which ran in Chicago, Washington DC and (for one week in 1973) on Broadway.
Adams also helped push the comics industry to more creator-friendly practices, like returning original artwork to the artist. In the early 80s he formed Continuity Comics, an offshoot of Continuity Associates, to produce his own original comics. Adams has won several Alley Awards and was inducted the Alley Award Hall of Fame in 1969. He has also won several Shazam awards, and was inducted into the Harvey Awards’ Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1999.