I love how smart you guys are.
Yes! Keep an eye out for our showcase of the esteemed Stuart Immonen. (I’m still sourcing some of the rare stuff).
I want to say a big THANK YOU to all my followers, likers and rebloggers who have joined up over the past few months. I’m honestly stunned at how popular a few of my posts got (I’m looking at you, Batman vs. Predator) and that a number of people whose work and talent I am huge fans of that have reblogged some of the stuff I’ve put up. Most of all, I’m grateful for the decades of work of the artists I feature. More than anything else, this blog exists to celebrate their work!
Comic Artist Evolution will go quiet again for short period while I figure out who I can feature next, do my homework, dig through the longboxes, scour the web, and buy the inevitable missing pieces. I hope you’ll all be around when I get back.
In the meantime, I’d love to hear any feedback you think I ought to hear. For instance, while I hope my commentary adds some value, I suspect it can alternately be a bit subjective, obvious, or vapid.
What do you think of Comic Artist Evolution?
Arthur Adams Wrap-Up:
- 1986: Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition #12
- 1993: Monkeyman & O’Brien Pinup
- 2011: Warlord of Mars: Deja Thoris
This post culminates my look at the evolution of Arthur Adams career to date. I’m such a fan of his work, I have to say it’s a bittersweet experience to be wrapping it up.
The way I see it, Adams’ style went through three fairly distinct phases.
- In the 80s, his figures tended to be particularly lithe, his character designs had a trendy modern style that broke with superhero tradition, and he brought a high level of detail to the page, paving the way for talents like McFarlane, Lee, Liefeld to usher in the Image era.
- But by the 90s, Adams style took a left turn. He became more selective with his use of detail — he could bring it to particular areas of the panel and leave it off his characters. Those characters’ faces began to adopt cartoony exaggeration to emphasize their emotions and experiences, if not to bring a level of outright humor to the page.
- In the 2000’s, while working on Jonni Future, Adams’ female figures became notably more overtly titillating while his male characters became beefier. He found a renewed interest in bringing fine detail to his drawing.
For all the talk of detail, one of the more overlooked aspect of Adams’ work is a wonderfully oddball sort of humor he brings to his pages. His eclectic choice of assignments — from the top titles of the big two, to the most obscure indie comics that are consigned to history — is testament to a willingness and courage to march to the beat of his own drummer.
It’s natural for any fan to wish new work would come out with greater frequency or quantity. But on the other hand, one of the things that make precious metals so valuable is their scarcity. My only hope is that Adams hasn’t given up on book-length pages, because while his covers and pinups are indeed delicious, they don’t give him the opportunity to tell a story.
Here’s hoping that a writer somewhere can image a plot that’s fun and oddball and sexy enough with the requisite amount of monsters, dinosaurs and gorillas to tempt Art back to do a few issues worth of panels.
Arthur Adams Miscellanea: Red Sonja, before and after
- Above: The earliest Adams artwork I found online is this drawing of Red Sonja from 1982.
- Below: His drawing of that same character 30 years later.
Practice makes perfect.
Arthur Adams Miscellanea 1983: Longshot development
- Carl Potts original conception of Longshot
- Adams redesign
- Limahl, frontman of 80’s synthpop band Kajagoogoo — the inspiration for that hair
Arthur Adams 2004: Avengers World #1 wraparound cover art
***It’s a post from the fuuuttuuurrrre****
Next year’s new Avengers title brings us up to date on Adams career retrospective. Marvel released the art for Adam’s wraparound cover in various stages of development. The roster includes a combination of new characters and new costumes for longstanding characters, it’s a fun treat to see his take on so many new character designs.
Arthur Adams 2010-2011: Ultimate X #1-5 (Colors: Peter Steigerwald / Digital Inks: Mark Roslan)
Originally planned as a bi-monthly title, these five issues took 16 months to produce. But the results were astonishing! While there aren’t any costumes, there are a number of money shot splash panels. But what I found so unique about this series is the remarkable detail Adams brought to so many human scale non-superheroic dramatic moments. Adams also gave us one of his patented cameos — a great cameo of an amnesiac Namor at a food bank. And greatest of all (for my money) is the greatest version of any Scarlet Witch costume ever (though it would never be seen again).
As of this writing, these are the last full comic issues Adams has produced.
Arthur Adams 2008-9: Hulk #7-9 (Inker: Walden Wong)
Loeb moved the Wendigo storyline to Las Vegas and threw a whole slew of fun stuff at Adams: both classic green Hulk and Joe Fixit, Moon Knight, Sentry, Ms. Marvel, Brother Voodoo, and a “Wendihulk” thrown in for good measure. This brief arc is 100% over-the-top epic!