Neal and Ivy.

§ May 2nd, 2022 § Filed under obituary § 3 Comments

As I’m sure you heard, legendary comics creator Neal Adams has passed away at the age of 80, which is pretty shocking to those of us who thought that he was just so embedded in the DNA of comics that it was impossible for him to, you know, suddenly not be around anymore.

And of course, he is still around, in that his best work continues to be reprinted again and again, particularly on Batman and Deadman. His dynamic style showing up in Marvel and DC comics at the tail end of the 1960s almost seemed to spark the feeling in other budding comic artists “wait…we can do comics like that?” Since then, his artistic influence has spread to even today, casting a shadow nearly as long as Jack Kirby’s.

I know some hay has been made about his…odd “scientific” “theories” — I’ve toted a couple of those bales myself — and let’s just kinda let those remain one of those eccentricities creative types occasionally have.

And sure, maybe some of his work wasn’t on the “redefining Batman for all time” scale:

…but that’s okay! The man did what he wanted to do, on his own terms, trying out his ideas and still keeping active even up ’til the end of his life. Most importantly, he was an avid defender of creator rights in the industry. You can thank Neal for helping DC, um, “remember” Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster created Superman and that they should put their credit on every comic, movie and TV show.

Thanks for everything Neal, even all the weird stuff. Especially all the weird stuff. You were an inspiration to generations of artists and will almost certainly continue to be. So long, Neal.

• • •

We also lost this weekend Ivy Ratafia McLeod, the partner of cartoonist/comics scholar Scott McCloud. Unlike Neal, whom I only knew through his work and interviews and such, I had actually met Ivy many times over the years. She and Scott didn’t live too far away from either my old job or my current store, and they would pop in from time to time to say hello. She was always a very charming and delightful person, and it was my great pleasure to have spent any time with her. My deepest condolences to Scott and their family on this untimely loss.

3 Responses to “Neal and Ivy.”

  • Thom H. says:

    So sad to hear about Mr. Adams. His short run on the X-Men blew my mind. I remember thinking, “isn’t this supposed to be the Silver Age?” He was way ahead of his time.

    And I’m so glad books like Batman: Odyssey exist if only because reading recaps of them brings me endless joy:

    And that’s terrible about Ms. McLeod. 62 is much too young. My thoughts go out to her family and Mr. Adams’.

  • Cassandra Miller says:

    Oh my god, I didn’t hear about Ivy. Last time I saw her was…almost 30 years ago, but she was just such a great person. That’s just awful news.

  • BookieParlor says:

    The news of Neal Adams’ unexpected passing was a gut punch as I also expected he would be around for many more years. His 1974 issue of Conan the Barbarian was jaw-droppingly gorgeous and his booth at HeroesCon was a required stop every year in Charlotte. Thanks for so many phenomenal childhood memories, Neal.