One constant, at every con I have ever been too, has been Neal Adams catering too a full gaggle of fans as he smiled, autographed, and sketched for them. Adams is a legend, one of the golden Gods of the comic industry who is as famous for his work on Batman, X-Men, and the Green Lantern as he is respected for his role as a key advocate for creator rights and struggling comic professionals.
Tonight at the New York Comic Con, on Preview Night, I again spied that same sight: Adams holding court. This time though, there was a rare break in the crowd and a moment where I — somewhat selfishly — went over to shake the man’s hand, tell him how much I admired his work and then — in a real height of greediness — I asked if I could ask him a question or two for you folks, and he was nice enough to agree. Here is my question (and a half*) micro-interview with Neal Adams.
The New 52, and all the reboots: do you think that they kind of short change the work that you and your contemporaries have done?
Neal Adams: I don’t see how, I mean what does it do to short change?
Maybe it wipes away the history, takes away the incentive for people to go look at back issues?
Adams: I can’t even imagine such a thing, they’ll [the reader] go look at back issues. And we don’t know what their plans are, do we? It may totally re-present the whole thing. I mean, the only thing that I think about is it seems like they’re trying to start anew by redesigning costumes with really bad designs. It’s like Superman, will we ever see Superman again? Are they doing it because of the lawsuit? I don’t know what the answer is, it just seems like it’s all cloaked in mystery.
And I keep on seeing these guys with these armored suits with lines all over them and wondering whether or not this is a serious attempt at refurbishing characters or just an attempt to draw lines over the suits. I mean, it’s sort of up to the film companies to clutter up the suits isn’t it? Not up to the comic book companies. Artists don’t even like to draw all these lines. So is this a permanent plan or is this a shot in the dark or just screwing around?
I have no idea and I don’t think anybody does.
Do you think the current creators are doing enough for Golden or Silver age creators who are struggling right now?”
Adams: Absolutely. As far as I know, I don’t know any who are struggling, but any problem that comes up we solve it…
Alright, here is where the half a question thing comes into play, and this is one of those “only at a Con” things that I witnessed. Mid-answer, Mr. Adams was greeted at his booth by visionary director and writer Guillermo del Toro who I then happily shook hands with before standing quiet while Adams and he exchanged pleasantries and Mr. Adams said that they should work together. Afterward, I blessed that possible future union, begged Mr. Adams to let me be the first to have witnessed a neat bit of comic book history — the birth of an Adams/del Toro collaboration — and then thanked him and let him get back to his sketching. As I said, only at a con.
Be sure to check out Mr. Adams’ website and keep an eye on Nerdbastards.com for all of your NYCC needs and for more exclusive — though less guerrilla type — interviews for you during the rest of New York Comic Con.