I was very sad to read of the passing of Neal Adams. Mr. Adams used to come to a lot of Canadian shows with his instantly recognizable oversized booth. He focused a lot of his energies on selling signed oversized prints of some of his most famous covers; we all know how he felt about those record sales for his original art pages. I think I mentioned this before but I couldn’t name you two classic covers he did for Marvel: there were a ton of classic issues like Avengers #93 but not really any iconic covers in the vein of say Batman #227 or Batman #251. Mr. Adams was one of the early innovators to push comics toward the future: we’re all in his debt for rescuing the Caped Crusader from that mid-60s schlock. My cover of the week for our eBay auction that goes up next week is Batman #234 in honour of Neal Adams.

Speaking of eBay auctions, our annual Canadiana eBay Auction starts May 29th. I’m starting to get a lot of items in for the auction and it’s ramping up to be a great event. Some of the proceeds from the auction will be going to Ivan Kocmarek’s Canadian Comic Book Heritage Fund which Ivan uses for events and initiatives that help promote the history of Canadian Comic books. I’ll add a pic in this post for the weeks leading up to the event to whet everybody’s whistle. A gentleman sent us these 13 Canadian Edition EC Comics from the early 1950s. Don’t forget, May 29th.

We’re all a product of our age and sometimes we get tricked into thinking that some things are eternal. Case in point: Saturday Morning cartoons. I used to watch cartoons every Saturday morning for years: this remains a fond memory of my childhood, I was 9 in 1975 so that would be a sweet spot. Scooby-Doo, Yogi and Boo Boo, Bugs Bunny and the Warner Brothers crew were some of my faves. I was a little disappointed to look at the ABC lineup from 1969 and realize that I don’t think I’ve ever seen an episode of any of these except for Yogi Bear, and may an episode or two of Casper. I was fresh off the boat in 1969 and we didn’t even have a TV then! I guess there is a lot of changeover in Saturday morning cartoons, I couldn’t even guess at the 1981 lineup. Check out ABC’s ad in Phantom Stranger #4 promoting their 1969 Saturday morning lineup.

I could have easily used Panic #4 as the cover of the week with its weird juxtaposition of humour and Good Girl Art but I kind of wanted to show off one of the pages on the inside. Spoofs on Marilyn Monroe, Betty Grable and Lauren Bacall can’t be denied, especially when you got Humphrey himself trying to Bogart the panels.

The internationalcollectiblesexchange weekly eBay auction always gives up some interesting results and revelations. This week an unassuming CGC 4.0 restored copy of Detective Comics #99 sold for $404.99 USD, instantly more than doubling the previous restored record of $192. I should probably add the interesting context: there have only been two GPA recorded sales of a restored Detective Comics #99, the last one being the CGC 5.5 that got $192 back in 2008. As a matter of fact, there has only been one copy of this book sold over the last 90 days, a blue label CGC 5.0 that got $646 USD. We sometimes take these later Big Logo Detectives for granted but as you can see from the sales data these things are very very scarce, this was a bargain for the buyer.

Walter Durajlija
Walter Durajlija

Walter Durajlija is an Overstreet Advisor and Shuster Award winner. He owns Big B Comics in Hamilton Ontario.

Articles: 1673

9 Comments

  1. As a young kid, age 10, in the Summer of 1971 my parents told us were going on vacation to a remote cottage. I bought my first comic off the newsstand to take with. DC 100 Page Super-Spectacular #DC-6. The cover (Neal Adams) blew me away. Look at all these comic super-heroes that I don’t know. Open the book and there was a list of first appearances of these heroes and others that came with the book. Doctor Occult from 1936? I need more.

    So, back home, to the local gift shop / TV tube testing location and newsstand and I got my 2nd comic JLA 91 (Neal Adams c), which also had the JSA. Looking over the stand I also saw GL85 (Neal Adams) and picked that up along with a couple more. Then hundreds and thousands more and 51 years later I no longer wonder – it was Neal Adams that got me hooked to comics along with DC’s history.

    As a young kid I remember seeing one of Neal’s splash pages and it had a view from below the chin looking up. The nostrils were asymmetrical. How can that be? I went to the mirror and lifted my head and there they were. Asymmetry!! There is a lot of other things I could add because he had a huge impact on me as well as comics and my appreciation of great art.

  2. I was saddened at the news of Neal Adams passing as well. With all the boxes and stacks I am going through I went and pulled out some of my Adams issues so I could look at them again and feel the power if those images once more. There are some Batman issues, Deadman, Green Lantern, X-men, Inhumans, and Avengers ~sigh~ Farewell Neal.

  3. Alex, our stories are extremely similar. DC-6 is my ur-comic. I cut up the cover to paste the heads and figures in a scrapbook – I think this was because I loved it so much that I wanted to eat it. There have been and are many many great comic artists, but I recognized Neal Adams as the greatest not long after DC-6 was published, and nothing has changed my mind since. Without Neal Adams my life would be absolutely nothing like it is today, for better or worse. There are few people outside my family who have had such an impact.

  4. Jeez, Alex! I was about to add my own sensitive take on the loss of the late, great Neal Adams, and, instead, ended up in the bathroom looking up my nose! Asymmetry, indeed!

    But, seriously, I have always given Adams the most credit for saving Batman after that mindless television show had also managed to derail one of my favourite heroes in print too, adding insult to insult. We would never have recovered our dark knight without him, I think, and Batman may have remained the joke they made out of him in the ’60s. Plus the guy could just draw like no other artist before or since. He brought a lithe realism to Batman’s movements to which no one else ever came even close. And, as a longtime Marvel fan, I was thrilled when he turned his hand to the X-men or the Avengers!

    Sic transit gloria mundi.

  5. Neals’ Batman in the early 70’s was a lightning bolt of change . he made reading Batman a must read for me and my friends . he was the first artist to EVER draw Batman bare chested with hair on his chest and nipples , too ! RIP , Neal , you deserve it .

  6. The kid friendly Batman of the late 50’s and 60’s made Batman fans by the millions. As those fans grew up, Neal Adams made a Batman for them and the adult world. Simple stuff. Remember comics were for kids. A big reason young service men dropped reading them after WW2. Adulthood and building a life and family lay ahead. Comics were an after thought for millions. Neal Adams aloud them to come back to the hobbby, just as todays Marvel Universe has allowed the masses to come join the fun.
    in the early 2000’s at a signing, Mr Adams was flirting with my Russian bride. She was delighted. It was all innocent fun. Heck, his wife and son were present. On a man level, He and I had a wink wink laugh about it.
    Inara, was flattered. On the day of his death, she contacted me , and told me the sad news. Inara has never read a comic in her life.
    God Bless Mr Adams.

  7. Before Neal came on board with Batman, it was Julius Schwartz, Carmine Infantino and Murphy Anderson who resurrected the Dark Night from the doldrums of the Bob Kane, Shelly Moldoff and various ghosts-era.

    They improved his costume, stories and art; even if they were a bit camp, it was night and day. The “new look” Batman brought back all of us fan boys, with Detective #327 I think it was, kicking things off. Yes, memory serves, that is correct. Here’s a note from #327 GCD entry:

    First letters section has editor Schwartz explaining the changes to Detective Comics, including the “new look” and a new back-up strip, Elongated Man. A letter from fan Tom Fagan is also included.

    Adams did a great job, but credit where credit’s due. Schwartz was forced to drop editorship on Adam Strange/Mystery in Space with #91, and Strange Adventures with around #165, in order to take on the Batman family. That was a huge blow to fans of both titles, thinking-fan’s comics and huge fan favorites. They were the very first DC titles that I turned on to as I grew out of my “Marvel zombie” days.

    I think it was Jack Harris who took over both titles and ran both into the ground, with the same schlock as he was doing in House of Mystery and House of Secrets at that time. Ok, both titles have “some” charm at times, but in 1965 on they were pretty terrible until Kaluta, Wrightson, the Filipinos, and the new boys on the block came along.

    And Infantino/Andersoin did introduce Batgirl, and thus some sex appeal came back into the Dark Knight’s titles, too. She was quite the babe.

    What hurts about Neal’s leaving us, for me, is that I spent nearly my entire fan life knowing his wonderful work. I love his Deadman and was buying those off the stands beginning with Strange Adventures #205. Bought so many DC comics sometimes just for his covers…like Infantino a bit later, Neal was kind of the voice of the new DC for some time there. His work was on the level of Steranko and he did far, far more work for DC than Jim’s output for Marvel, right from the get-go.

    It was a pleasure to meet him and have a chance for a long talk at one of the San Diego shows. Very generous with his time.

    Walter…how can I be sure not to miss the Canadiana auction. I’m not keyed into your ICE site and I do almost nothing on Ebay…do I make it a search or want or ? Do you send out an email where you notify people? I really enjoyed the last one and got a nice batch of great comics. I’ll mark my calendar but I am terrible with schedules…

  8. Hi Bud, I’ll update here on this column every week as the auction approaches but I will also email you when the event is live with a link, thanks.

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