Thursday, 22 January 2009

Neil Adams



I went to London today and bought a copy of Death Ray magazine to read on the train. They have kindly listed me in their roundup of the things they liked in 2008. As well as this welcome plug for me, it also contained a tribute to the great comic book artist Neil Adams.

I was in awe of Neil Adams when I was a young reader of American comics. He seemed to be able to draw anything, and his grasp of human anatomy was fantastic. The way he used light and shade was something new and before its time and he is particularly good in the way he uses and renders blackness and shadow. While most artists were still outlining, he was modelling. His design of the Batman image is still among the most elegant. He helped make DC comics cool. Adams' drawings for Deadman, Green Arrow and Green Lantern are so vivid.

I also bought a copy of Esquire to read on the train home (Obama on the cover, natch). I only ever buy magazines like Esquire or GQ when I am catching a train. And there, nestling between gadget reviews, preposterously expensive shoes and cheesy glamour shots was Professor Joad Raymond looking very suave and sophisticated and far too good-looking to be an English professor.

Joad could have been telling us about early newspapers or Milton (and I would have read such an article with great enthusiasm) but instead he was one of a group of people 'with an interest in fitness' (Joad is a marathon runner) who were supposedly having a chat about the current financial malaise seemingly on the grounds that the words physical fitness and fiscal fitness sound almost identical after a couple of glasses of Rioja.

I eagerly await the article featuring nurses talking about the health of the economy and goalkeepers chatting about the importance of saving.

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