Famed comicbook artist and icon Neal Adams celebrates his 80th birthday today, June 15, 2021.

The amazing Mr. Adams was born June 15, 1941 in Governors Island, New York. He is one of the most respected artists in modern comic books. Adams has been a writer, a penciller, an inker, an editor and a publisher. He has filled almost every role in the comic book industry, other than standing on the corner selling comics.

Awards and Honors

Adams was inducted into the Eisner Award’s  Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 1998, the Harvey Awards’ Jack Kirby Hall of Fame  in 1999, and the Inkwell Awards’ Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame in 2019 – and now in 2021, he can add octogenarian to that.

This cover won Adams the 1967 Alley Award for Best Cover. {image via DC}

He has worked for Marvel, DC, Warren Publishing, Pacific Comics, and Continuity Associates. He co-created Ra’s al Ghul, one of Batman’s principal opponents, and Man-Bat. He is well-known for his time on Deadman. He also worked on the Bat Masterson and Ben Casey comic strips for newspaper syndication. Neal Adams and Dennis O’Neil were responsible for the controversial Green Lantern/Green Arrow story arc when Green Arrow’s sidekick Speedy became a drug addict.

Galloping Genres, Batman!

Nifty Neal Adams never permitted himself to be limited by genre: he worked on soap opera comics The Heart of Juliet Jones, superhero comics, notably Batman, Superman, and the Uncanny X-Men; horror, Vampirella, Dracula Lives, fantasy, Conan the Barbarian; and novelty/comedy comic books, Bob Hope and Jerry Lewis.

Creators’ Rights

Traditionally, comic books were done as work-for-hire, with artists and writers seldom acknowledged, nor fairly recompensed. The astounding Neal Adams lobbied for creators’ rights. He helped found the Comic Creators Guild in 1978. Two of his greatest successes in this field were lobbying to get Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster overdue credit and financial renumeration for creating Superman. He also worked to have original artwork returned to the artists rather than kept by the publishers. Original artwork can be sold to collectors for a very good price.

Here at SciFi.radio, Neal Adams has been an important part of the lives of most of our cast and crew since we learned how to read. If you’ve read comic books in the second half of the 20th century or the beginning of the 21st century, the odds are good you’ve seen his work. He has been a major influence on other artists.

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Susan Macdonald
Susan Macdonald

Susan Macdonald is the author of the children’s book “R is for Renaissance Faire”, as well as short stories in “Alternative Truths”, “Swords and Sorceress #30”, “Supernatural Colorado”, “Barbarian Crowns”, “Cat Tails””Under Western Stars”, and “Knee-High Drummond and the Durango Kid”. Her articles have appeared on SCIFI.radio’s web site, in The Inquisitr, and in The Millington Star. She enjoys Renaissance Faires (see book above), science fiction conventions,  Highland Games, and Native American pow-wows.