There is a spark of light at the end of this dark tunnel in Neal’s round-two response at Bleeding Cool. But we’ll need to traverse a little more darkness in order to get to it.
In the comics business-industry, like everywhere else in this world, we are not judged only by people taking what we say about ourselves at face value, simply because we might be good at our craft.
Reading the comments on my first FB post, the volume of people who’ve commented about how pompous, greedy and hurtful Neal is at conventions, where they’ve had contact with him, is disheartening. If Neal does not take this reality to heart, and try to be a little more considerate of others, then his legacy will end in shame, even without the Ms. Mystic debacle.
It’s never too late to consider mending one’s ways.
Neal states: “A year of books (12) would have given Mike participation in my creation, Ms Mystic.”
A year of books for whom? For Neal? Continuity Comics? Pacific Comics?
It would take a truly gullible and ignorant person to take this statement at face value. The first issue of Ms. Mystic for DC was finished in the summer or 1977. Her very first appearance was in the 1978 publication of Superman Vs. Muhammad Ali. Then, the New Heroes portfolio in the same year. The next was in Pacific Comics, 1982. Continuity Comics was only a dream then and did not begin publishing until 1984. Continuity’s Ms. Mystic debuted in 1987.
The last published work I did In the US was for Marvel in the summer of 1980. I left the US in 1981 and was already in Israel long before Neal started publishing. I had no knowledge of the Ms. Mystic series for Pacific until I saw an issue in a used book store in Beirut, 1983.
So what does Neal mean by serving this diced salad of misrepresentations? Is this the subconscious and subliminal indication that Neal felt I abandoned him, and thus decided to punish me for it? Might be, but I’ve already recounted who it was that shut the door on whom, and why.
The way Neal talks about “my quest”, which began in November 1977, seems to suggest a disappointment in him; a feeling that I abandoned the quest also.
“I took him at his word, and he did do exactly what he said he’d do for many years!”
If Neal feels I abandoned him, or abandoned my quest, perhaps it’s time for him to reflect on why he might feel that way; on how he took advantage, as mentor, to take over my project with DC – and then turn it into a project that was all about him; on how he demanded to control something that he could not even understand, and try to mold it, by force, into his own image.
More than anything else, this was the point of the apology page on The New Comic Book of Life website that Rich referenced at the end of Neal’s response. For the record, my previous site complex was discontinued by the host provider, due to an inability to continue funding it, hence the archive.
In that window of time that I vigorously renewed the quest here in Israel, around 2003, several years after the lawsuit over Ms. Mystic, I tried to mend the broken bridge with Neal – even in the face of the terrible things he continued to say about me. Part of it was a feeling of disappointment I sensed in him about my having abandoned that path. I was giving Neal a chance to reconsider what he’d done, from this perspective.
The apology was not for having falsely claimed co-authorship of Ms. Mystic. It was rather for the pain that the lawsuit caused him and his family. The hope was to see a change of heart in him.
25 years later and there’s no change in sight. Neal’s propensity to slander me and my work at every turn Ms. Mystic is mentioned, in light of all my efforts not to respond in kind, have brought us to the situation we’re in today.
On another note, I’m still 62 years young and have not brought down the curtain on all this. Most of my children are now settled into their own homes. Time is drawing near for the final leg of this journey. Here, in the land of the prophets; home of the people who birthed them, a local movement, brewing on the roads and beaches, is destined to soon snowball into a worldwide phenomenon.
Neal Adams does not seem to be able to comprehend what it takes to walk such a path – aside from laying in wait to try and claim credit for it, when it erupts.
This will not happen – certainly not until he also begins to do a little mending himself.