Meeting Neal Adams! 2019 Milwaukee Comic Convention

Meeting Neal Adams! 2019 Milwaukee Comic Convention

I had been looking forward to meeting Neal Adams for quite some time, and it finally happened at the Milwaukee Comic Convention in 2019.

When I was 11 years old page 21 of Batman No. 251 caught my eye and I had to draw it. it was my toughest drawing to date. I have successfully drawn other artists such as Jim Starlin, Steve Ditko, and John Romita Jr. 

  • Page 21 of Batman Issue no. 251Original
Page 21 of Batman #251



Once into the process, I realized the drawing had complexities and subtleties I had not seen in my previous sketches. I wanted to exaggerate certain aspects of the subject’s anatomy as is usual fare in comic book illustrations, i.e., bigger muscles such as the biceps and triceps, forearm and legs but this piece was eye-catching because of the gesture, anatomy, proportion, perspective - concepts beyond the mind of an 11-year-old, this 11-year-old anyway. I knew I was not capturing the essence of the piece. I tried many times to get it right-note the erasures in the piece. the paper is a normal bond - very thin. It will not support any more corrections before burning through the paper. 

Immediately before this drawing my favorite drawing was of Gil Kane's Warlock. My recollection of the drawing was positive. I drew it with a 3 color Bic pen and watercolor and ink to go over the outlines. 

I recall vividly the time when my younger sisters, then aged 3 and 5, decided to add their creative touches to my artwork. Their innocent scribbles, though endearing, the drawing was ruined. Again, the drawing gave me confidence in my artistic abilities, to take on the Neal Adams challenge.

Years later, an artwork that had survived my sister's desire to add to my artwork was sitting in my portfolio. I have been meaning to attend a comic convention and finally, curiosity got the best of me and led me to explore the guest list for the Milwaukee Comic Convention, where I was thrilled to discover Neal Adams among the esteemed attendees.

As I processed this information, a quirky idea began to form in my mind: to meet the man and have him sign my drawing as a stamp of approval, symbolizing the timeless value of my artwork and the tremendous effort I put into it as a young child. But doubts crept in, second-guessing myself - was my drawing good enough? Was he even willing to sign it? I was torn between feeling confident and uncertain. With encouragement from my wife, I mustered up the courage to present my drawing. I nervously explained that I created it when I was just 11 years old. To my surprise and an act of pure generosity, he agreed to sign it. As he signed, I noticed he was using a light pad - a tool mainly used for tracing.

Intrigued, I purchased one soon after. I could see the potential of such a device - it would greatly improve production time - no need to start from scratch if you make a mistake during the creative process. For the rest of our encounter, I also purchased his book of illustrations and Detective Comics issue no. 1,000, both of which he graciously signed for me.

Together, the talented duo of the illustrator and his trusty collaborator Mr. Dick Giordano created a masterpiece within the pages of Detective Comics. With Mr. Giordano's detailed inking, their combined efforts produced an impressive collection of comic books that revolutionized and propelled the industry forward.

Book of Illustrations - Neal Adams


 To anyone not familiar with Neal Adams - Wikipedia. In future blogs I will recreate this iconic piece with my older eyes to see if I can do better. Stay tune.



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