Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Here's to Len Wein & Neal Adams!!

Today I'd like to spotlight two comic book talents whose creative works are two of the main reasons I started reading comic books.

Len Wein's birthday is June 12, 1948. He turned 64 years old yesteday.

Neal Adams' birthday is June 15, 1941. So he'll be 71 on Friday.

When I was growing up, the first comic-book I remember reading, buying, tearing apart and reading again was JUSTICE LEAGUE, written by Len Wein. While I was in junior high school and high school I wrote away to those ads "We sell old comics" and managed to acquire his entire run (JLA 100-114). I will never forget getting the first issues on either side of his run and being disappointed that he was not involved in them.

He went over to MARVEL, where he helped re-create The X-MEN. He was also Editor-In-Chief for a few years, I believe. He mostly wrote THOR and HULK, two titles I did not read (sorry, Len!). Then he came back to DC and edited NEW TEEN TITANS and JUSTICE LEAGUE, making those books absolutely wonderful.

Len Wein is semi-retired, but just finished working on DC's new WATCHMEN series. I may have to pick up a copy of his issues.

I've had the pleasure of meeting Len at several comic-book conventions and I have gotten him to sign several comics of mine. He is a fine conversationalist and I hope he is around for many more years.

What can I say about Neal Adams? He revolutionized the comic-book industry. He was one of the first artists to go back and forth between the two major companies, DC and MARVEL, and not have to worry about being blacklisted by one or the other. He drew XMEN and AVENGERS at MARVEL and almost everything at DC, although he was most famous for working on BATMAN, DETECTIVE, and BRAVE & BOLD. By the time I got into comics he was mostly out of them, doing independant work on his own creations (Ms. Mystic, etc) and non-comic book work. In many peoples' eyes he is a real-life hero for spear-heading the effort to give Superman creators Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel compensation for their creation. And he draws a hell of a Man-Bat, let me tell you!

Happy Birthday, Len Wein!
autographed for me by Mr. Wein
in the upper left-hand corner

Happy Birthday, Neal Adams!
iconic Aquaman pose by the
master, Mr. Neal Adams

Many happy returns to you both!!

No comments:

Post a Comment