Tuesday, February 05, 2013

What An Octopus Of A Thing

Neal Adams is widely - and correctly - regarded as an iconic, legendary figure in the world of comics.
He is a tremendous artist and in addition to being one of my personal favorites he was also a major influence for many of my other favorite artists.
Plus, back in his youth he looked like he should be featured on the cover of a book entitled "How To Be Handsome."
Seriously, when I saw a picture of him from his younger days - which I can't find now - and saw what he looked like and considered his tremendous talent, I thought, "That hardly seems fair."
If someone were to point you to pretty much any of his work of the past several decades it would be easy to see why and how he has attained his legendary status as an artist.
Many consider his Batman to be the definitive Batman, and I'm hard-pressed to argue against that (Though in my mind, Jim Aparo's Batman is the definitive one.  Not because Aparo was the superior artist - though he was a fine artist and I admire his work a great deal - but simply because his was the Batman I saw most often in my youth.  Similarly, when I think Superman I picture Curt Swan's Superman.).
And it's Batman that leads me to this post.
Some time back, Adams produced a comic called Batman:  Odyssey*, serving not only as the artist, but also as the writer.
It was, by all accounts - particularly those accounts posted on Comics Alliance - a rather...unique story.
Given that Scott learned of the existence of the comic (and the postings about it on CA) shortly before Christmas, and subsequently said, "Please tell me you own this," it was a no-brainer as to what my gift to him would be when I saw the complete run collected in a handsome hardcover volume at the comic shop.
Having recently finished reading it himself, he loaned it to me so that I could get the full experience.
My reaction as soon as I began reading it was what is this I don't even.
I may try to post some additional thoughts about it at some point, but having just finished reading it, I don't think I can form a coherent thought about it.
Which, all things considered, is probably fitting, but even so.
I suppose that I can take comfort from it.  After all, he checked off the talented artist and very handsome man boxes, so I don't think I would have been able to accept him also excelling as a writer.
I will say, though, that the art was very nice.

*Alternatively titled Shirtless Batman Explains It All.

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