Adams was also an outspoken advocate of creators rights and was central to the attempts to help Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster earn pensions from their creation of Superman and in the setting up of the Comics Creators' Guild. His father deserted the family when Adams was only 13 and, with college financially out of reach, he attended the School of Industrial Art, a vocational school in Manhattan.
A sample of The Fly earned him his first professional appearance when a panel from his sample was used in Adventures of The Fly 4 Jan Adams was soon drawing fillers for Archie's Joke Book Magazine and was recommended to Howard Nostrand, who needed an assistant on "Bat Masterson", a syndicated newspaper strip based on the TV series. Adams, following a recommendation by Jerry Caplin brother of Al Capp , was asked to produce samples for a new strip to be based on the popular TV drama Ben Casey.
The strip was successfully pitched and was syndicated from 26 November with a colour Sunday strip added on 20 September The TV series came to an end in March and the strip followed on 31 July Adams attempted to return to advertising work but needed to fill in, ghosting a few weeks for Lou Fine on the syndicated hardboiled detective serial "Peter Scratch", Stan Drake's "The Heart of Juliet Jones" and was hawking around a strip of his own, "Tangent".
Adams made his first splash in comic books drawing horror stories for Warren Publishing before exploiting the gap left by Kubert at DC Comics. However, it was with the supernatural hero Deadman that Adams found his first real success. He took over the artwork with Strange Adventures and illustrated the stories and covers for eleven issues, also taking over the scriptwriting with issue Adams also briefly drew and even more briefly wrote The Spectre in Adams was assigned numerous covers at DC and, in , also began working for Marvel Comics, pencilling several issues of X-Men, then under threat of cancellation.
That same year Deadman entered the Hall of Fame and Adams received a Special Award for "the new perspective and dynamic vibrance he has brought to the field of comic art. Adams continued to draw horror comics for Marvel Tower of Shadows and Warren Vampirella , but it was his debut on Batman which was to cement his place in comics' history.
Adams' talent to draw realistic figures helped ground the series in the real after years of camp adventure that had overtaken the comic book following the success of the TV series.
The series ended with issue 89 May Speaking in , Adams told The Comics Journal, "It takes a good year to get somebody used to a new idea, to get a market used to a new idea It takes a while for the news to get around. The Amazing Spider-Man and Superman vs.
Muhammad Ali , the latter a page story teaming Superman with boxer Ali to battle aliens. A studio was set up in New York through which dozens of artists passed. Advertising work would often be passed around various artists with Adams and Giordano inking the main figures.
This team effort was often credited to the "Crusty Bunkers", including numerous inking jobs for DC Comics, in the period Adams was also the art director and costume designer for Warp! By the late s, Adams was almost invisible at DC or Marvel due, he said, to the introduction of a Work-For-Hire contract which he considered to be "against the intent of the new copyright law.
The Guild, says Adams, achieved many of its aims. It starred Adams, his children Jason and Zeea and comic personalities Gray Morrow and Denys Cowan and told the story of two children who protect an invention of their father's from crooks with the aid of a toy monkey. In the s, Adams was tempted back into comics and produced Ms. Mystic and Skateman for Pacific Comics, the latter lasting only a single issue which was cited as the worst single comic of the past 25 years by Kitchen Sink Press's World's Worst Comics Awards Mystic, a witch in the modern world, appeared only twice from Pacific before transferring to Adams' own company, Continuity Comics in Continuiuty entered the superhero market with Armor , Revengers , Toyboy , Samuree , Zero Patrol , Ms.
Mystic , Urth 4 and Megalith A relaunch saw a number of series revert to issue one and new titles appear, the Continuity line-up now including Armor, Cyberrad, Earth, Hybrids, Megalith and Ms. Continuity were caught up in the collapse of the speculative comics' boom in part-way through a company-wide crossover. Adams continues to work with Continuity Studios to produce material for companies, including motion capture comics such as Astonishing X-Men: He has also recently been involved with the Disney Educational productions to produce They Spoke Out: American Voices against the Holocaust, an online educational motion comics series that relates the stories of Americans who protested the Nazis or aided Jews during the Holocaust.
The first episode was screened in April Neal Adams' Monsters, the long-promised story featuring Frankenstein, the Werewolf and Dracula, appeared as a hardcover book in Odyssey for DC. Adams has also been involved in a 5-part Wolverine project. Adams has been twice married, to Cory Adams and Marilyn Adams.