Continuity News - From Superman to Planetary Genetics
Neal Adams announced on his web site over the weekend that he's back in the saddle producing an alternate cover for the long awaited All-Star Superman #1 by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely. The announcement was accompanied by Neal's first sketches for the cover, now in production.
The announcement noted that "this alternate cover will be harder to find as only one of nine issues to press will feature Neal’s cover." That means that it's not a 50/50 split between the first and alternate covers, rather ONLY ONE OUT OF EVERY NINE COMICS PRINTED WILL FEATURE THE ALTERNATE COVER!!??
Wow! That's really clever marketing from DC Comics. It's hard to believe that we're talking about the artist who raised DC out of the ashes of mediocrity since the late Sixties with his fabulous covers. The same covers that so many of us remember as the pivotal events of an era that kept DC apace with the explosion and rise of Marvel Comics.
ONE OUT OF NINE. Brilliant!
And it's not like we're talking about an artist whose work stagnated in it's ripe age. Just the opposite, actually. Anyone looking at Neal's new work on his web site can see that he's remained as vibrant and innovative as he was when he first walked into DC's offices. Perhaps even more so. And it's not like we don't know what Neal Adams art does to the sales and collectability of a comic book. The announcement itself also notes that "Alternate covers over at Marvel have driven just released books to $20 to $26 per copy with his [Neal's] alternate covers."
I wonder what the story is. C'mon Dan, I know you must have some brilliant explanation for this fiasco. Hey Paul, I'm waiting for the punch line. I find it hard to believe that you guys couldn't be a little funnier than this.
ONE OUT OF NINE. Tell us it ain't so, guys!
Maybe it's just politics. Or maybe it's the tunnel vision corporate confusion that doesn't dare take a chance with anything not considered HOT by the consumer buzz which the corporate confusion creates. It's actually par for the course for DC Comics, if you think about it. I mean, this is the same corporate enterprise that tells us they're helpless to do anything effectual about the dismal sales figures of the last two decades in the comics industry. The same corporate enterprise that's trying to woo comics fandom with smoke screens of increased sales on infinite countdowns and new universes.
Time/Warner/DC Comics... yeah, right. Tell us another one guys. We're splitting a gut here.
I guess DC Comics doesn't give a damn about comics anymore. Why should they? They make their bounty from Hollywood and the licensing operations. They'll continue to sit pretty so long as the comics are barely surviving. They'll benefit more this way, on the backs of the creators who made DC what it is, because creators are disparaged at the dismal state of comics sales. They'll laugh at the comics makers and lovers - all the way to the bank.
Quite brilliant, actually.
* * *
Anyway, the next item in the news at Continuity, right under the Superman item on the web site, is a story - written and drawn by Neal - that was published in Warren Publishing's Creepy magazine in the mid-1970's. Thrilkill.
When one thinks of Neal Adams being ahead of his time (and I'm not talking about his science project, which we'll discuss right after this), Thrillkill perhaps exemplifies more of what this means than much of Neal's Superhero work.
Hey, Warren Ellis! Chew on this for a moment as you scoff at the Superhero creators. Look at what the Daddy of Superhero artists produced in 1975, when you were still in diapers. Comics wise, that is.
Talk about real-life stories with an Indy feel. Talk about a story to get the wheels of the human - and humane - soul churning. 1975. C'mon Warren, take a close look. Have a good read and get to know what the Superhero makers have done and can still do. Take a good close look, Warren. Just click the numbers below and read this story to discover the glorious yesterday of your tomorrow.
ONE - TWO - THREE - FOUR - FIVE - SIX - SEVEN - EIGHT.
Eight pages of story and art that foretold so much of what the Indies have become.
Neal is hinting he may be offering these pages for sale soon. A thrillkill in the making for original art collectors.
* * *
This brings us to a truly delicious item presented on Neal's Science Project Homepage. It presents a few new videos which talk about - and show - some new aspects of how the Earth and other planets and moons have grown. The videos are most likely excerpts from Neal's science video project now in production. I know this has taken some time in the making, but anyone who's seen a preview of this project can understand why. This video production of A New Model of a Growing Universe is going to be very very big news when it's released.
Remember, you read it here first.
The new videos are listed and linked below with a subject heading. Well worth watching for all you science geeks who are also amused at the fictitious malarkey that the scientific community has been peddling for decades now.
Mars Valles Marinaras Spread
* * *
How the Great Lakes were Made
* * *
What Really Happened to India and the Himalayas
* * *
How the Mediterranean Sea was Made
* * *
Tectonic Spreads on the Earth and Other Planets and Moons
* * *
Ganymede, Moon of Jupiter
* * *
and now, introducing (drum roll, please) . . .
Brilliant as these videos are, however, they're not the luscious gem I was referring to. On that same Science Project Homepage, Neal drops a bomb, of the Enriched Uranium variety, then turns around whistling to the birds, as if he had nothing to do with it.
The above image file is named EarthMarsCompare.jpg. As you look and wonder what the hell we're supposed to be comparing, seeing how Neal offers no explanation except for the image itself - and as you wonder why the Earth map is upside down... Oh... Holy crap! there is something familiar and common to these two images.
There's an Africa on Mars! An Australia too! Even the lines and angles of South America are there! Damn. The shape of our entire continental crust is there in the Martian tectonic plate-scape!
But it can't be! It must be a coincidence, right? It can't be that the lower tectonic plates on Mars resemble our continental crust on the Earth... upside down!
I mean, sometimes we see elephants in the clouds, right? But these aren't clouds, folks. This is the topography of Mars, for Christ's sake!
Hey Neal, are you saying that the planets have some type of genetic code which makes their topography look alike? The way two faces of brothers look alike?
And everyone says I'm crazy. Jeez.
It's not so far fetched, actually. Neal has likened the planets to being the children of the sun. Coalesced from the matter and anti-matter the sun puts out. The mother sun and its children planets. Brothers and sisters can look alike, we all agree, don't we?
This is really big news. That's why Neal is so quiet about it. He knows how big it is.
Jesus Christ Almighty.
* * *
Now, I know that you're all thinking I have this inexplicable fixation on Neal. Well, you're right. But it's for a good reason. Not just because of everything you've read here.
It's because it's a reciprocal fixation, you see. That's right. Neal has the same problem with me. What's that you say? You haven't noticed? Well, let's consider the following.
Remember how I talked about our long relationship, last year, in the comic book narrative, Blood Which Flows from the Heart? Remember how I talked about Neal's new graphic novel, Blood?
Well, here's a recent promotional image from Neal's new graphic novel, Blood.
BLOOD WHICH FLOWS FROM THE HEART?
I know, I know, It's just another one of those coincidences, right? How about this one?
Now, why do you think it is that I remind Neal of crosses and crucifixions?
What? What do you mean that I'm being presumptuous?
Alright. I didn't want to do this but you've forced my hand. I know you didn't look at this last year when I told you to, so take a look now and read it carefully. It's one of the pages from Blood.
Ok. You've read it, right? Now, where from do you believe Neal draws his inspiration for such an idea - in a story about aliens? Where does Neal get an idea for a good hearted guy who blows his mind out on Anemae in the desert, or LSD, or whatever hallucinogenic you want to think it is - and then goes out to a place full of Arabs and Jews to warn the world about an impending doom and nobody listens - as if he's some kind of savior or something? Look at the long haired guy with a beard in the middle of the last panel. Look familiar?
Hell, it's all probably just my imagination.
But it's also in Neal's stories and art. He knows the real score and he's putting it down in his comics. I'd have to be one cold-hearted bastard not to have a fixation on a guy like that.
Neal Adams is back in the saddle, showing the way. That's what a lot of comics creators should begin doing more of.
There's a big story coming our way here.
Time to help make it happen - and start cashing in on it.
All images used in this article are copyright © 2005, Neal Adams.