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Saturday, November 28, 2009

POST # 15 - "FAIR EXCHANGE" by Neal Adams

Before Neal Adams drew for DC Comics, before he helped give life to Deadman, before he helped re-invent the Dark Knight in Bat-Man and Detective Comics in the late 60's, he did a small number of black and white stories for Warren Publishing. FAIR EXCHANGE is in fact his second Warren tale, from EERIE #9, in May of 1967, and for the most part, no one knew who he was...yet. Previously, he had worked mainly in the commercial art arena of advertising, notably for Goodyear Tires. In 1960 a young Neal Adams found work as an assistant to Howard Nostrand (notable for his Harvey Comics work throughout the 50's), drawing backgrounds for the syndicated newspaper strip 'Bat Masterson' for about 3 months. In 1962 he would become the artist for the syndicated comic strip Ben Casey, written by Jerry Caplin (aka Capp - Al Capp's brother), which would run successfully until 1966, when Adams was looking for something new to do. That next thing was to be a handful of impressive stories with Archie Goodwin for Warren's new horror magazines, before finding his 'home' at DC.

So here we have Adams' second full comic book story ever to see print, and it reveals much of what was to come  --  a one-man revolution in comic book illustration. At the time, there were two big names breaking on the horizon that influenced comic book art from that point on. Adams, for DC, and Steranko, for Marvel. Both broke new ground and astounded the competition, and when Steranko left comics to pursue greater things, Adams continued to help mold and shape DC comics into the 70's. Now, please take a moment and enjoy Neal Adams'...


extra bonus - here's Adams' one page Monster Gallery featuring The Minotaur.
From EERIE #11, 1967.


  1. That was a great Neal Adams story Apocolyte! He was already then "light-years" ahead of most of his peers. His angles, and panel break-downs (like Steranko) show a real understanding of graphic arts and cinematography. And what's more I did not see the "gotcha" ending of the story coming...it got me.
    Love his Minotaur pinup as well (I like the fact that Theseus is holding the twine-line in his non sword hand)

  2. I like the detail Adams added in the Minotaur pin-up~ of Theseus clutching the spool of string to help guide his way through the labyrinth.

  3. Thank you both. You know, I did not notice the spool of string/twine in his hand...!

    Adams was creative with regard to comic panels...I don't know how much is his design, but there is hardly a square box panel in the whole story! Talented man! I remember similar panels in Batman, X-men and other comics he drew as well.

  4. this change is fair, the talent impregnate in this saga is impressive, take your time and look at the arts book in some others pages, by the way the design of the villain are so good.