Last week the comics community celebrated Neal Adams’ 77th birthday. Among the chorus of accolades poured, some noted that everyone who receives their original art back from publishers, or receives a royalty check, owes a large part of that to Neal. Others noted that Neal was one of the people who helped make their aspiration to draw comics a reality.
I thought to wait a little before adding my thanks and birthday wishes, so as not to rain on that parade.
1) Happy belated birthday, Neal Adams, and thank you for inviting me to join Continuity and for making my career in comics possible. Thank you also for doing everything you can to destroy me and my career in comics, once you decided to take Ms. Mystic away from me, because I did not conform to your narcissistic and manipulative way of conducting myself and my career.
2) Thank you Neal for being such a great craftsman who influenced a generation of artists, including myself. Thank you also for your artistic spirit, or more specifically, the lack of it – that allows you to believe that if you can bring the cold, over-acted, pretentious art of 1950’s advertising into comics, then you’ll become the greatest artist ever. Thank you for showing me that I wasted years following your lead until I began to see how vain you, and your art, are. Thank you for recently producing Batman: Odyssey, Coming of the Supermen and Deadman – and for showing me what a shallow creator you’ve become and how contemptuous you are of your fans whom you milk every for every dollar, to pour it into your bucket of vanity.
3) Thank you Neal for taking me in to your studio and treating the newbie me with kid gloves. I knew it wasn’t a free ride and I tried to work hard to earn it. Thank you for bringing me into the well paying advertising work, so I can remember why I despise doing that type of work. Thanks for the hub of comics creators that the studio became. The diversity of talent and personalities helped expose the limited view of people and art you tried to impose on me.
4) Thanks for showing me, from the first day we met in Detroit, the difference between people who are genuinely good and others who are more mean spirited beneath their pretensions. I felt it right away on that first day in the cab ride as we went out for lunch. From the back seat, you feigned an interest in the cab driver, only to flip him several birds which he couldn’t see, when he started responding to you. I truly appreciate that you tried to impress us so much with your manipulation of people for your own pleasure. I’ll never forget that.
5) Thanks for all the original art I got back from the publishers, which remained in your studio after you completely shut me out for your selfish reasons, while maligning me, as if I was the one guilty of your week character that could not stand the temptation of stealing my ideas and work . I suppose you can hold onto the art as long as you want, considering what a monster you’ve made of me in your mind. Maybe it’ll feel like a worthy recompense for all your feigned suffering, which you never really suffered.
6) Thanks also for never returning my nicely penciled Ms. Mystic #1 original art, which you wouldn’t really want anyone to see, so that you can continue telling lies, about it being just “some layouts”.
7) Thank you Neal for worrying about me and trying to help me when you thought, in your self-righteous vanity, that I had lost my mind to be a messiah, and needed your help – when I was the one thinking that it was you, and everyone who behaved like you in this world, who was needy of help.
8) Thank you, Neal Adams, for refusing every overture of mine to try to bridge the gap between us over Ms. Mystic. Thank you especially for your interview in Back Issue, where you finally showed your true colors and proved to me that you are hell-bent on destroying my name and career. Thanks for not being able to keep your big mouth shut about me for 20 years and for convincing me that I have no other choice than to call you out as the vicious lying thief that you are. Thank you for making it clear that for you, it’s all about you, and nothing, or no one, else.
9) I hope you had a marvelous birthday, Neal. I also hope that we’ll be able to say the same thing next year. The way things are going, it won’t be easy.