Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Neal Adams Man-Thing, A Monster Unleashed!

Finding that Neal Adams pinup yesterday reminded me that wasn't the only time the Nefarious one drew Marvel's muck-monster!

Neal Adams Man-Thing Monsters Unleashed 3 cover, 1973

There was this terrific cover to Monsters Unleashed #3 in 1973, featuring Man-Thing cracking a couple of redneck heads as a young woman looks on in horror.  If she's feeling fear, then I don't like the way Man-Thing is looking at her!

Neal Adams Man-Thing panel from Astonishing Tales 12, 1972

But wait--if we go back even further in time--we can find this Man-Thing story that Neal Adams drew, featured as an interlude in Astonishing Tales #12, 1972.  Ka-Zar, the star of the series, met Man-Thing in the Florida everglades.  Since Manny had only appeared in Marvel's black and white Savage Tales #1, this story introduced him to Marvel's color comics.  Man-Thing would become the lead character in Adventure Into Fear #10, a few months later in 1972.

You'll notice the story doesn't have color, it's printed in black and white with yellow tones.  Perhaps it was originally meant for publication in Savage Tales #2?

Neal Adams Man-Thing panel used in cover logo

One panel in this story always stuck in my memory--the one above where Man-Thing watches an old lady walk across the swamp.  Notice the way Manny stands, left arm braced against a tree, right arm supporting himself on the muddy floor.

Man-Thing corner icon

This same pose was used in the Man-Thing cover, the one Marvel usually put on the left-hand upper corner, featuring an iconic shot of the titular character.  Neal Adams' drawing isn't used line by line--but someone must have used that panel above as a reference.  It's exactly the same pose.  Nuff said!

Update: Comments from my old MT blog...


2 Comments

Yes, you've showcased some great Adams art on Manny here! I'm happy to say I own both the magazine and the inside story. Do you know why the inside story is printed with only yellow colors? It's because it was printed from Adam's pure, uninked pencils -- possibly due to, ahem, deadline-problems? -- and hence regular colors would have made (or so at least the production people feared) the artwork too muddy. This was back in the day when the reproduction qualities of comics was far, far below what we find on printed toilet paper in our enlightened days! But it gives us a through-a-glass-darkly view of Adam's glorious pencil work.
FWIW, four years ago I visited Adams at his fancy NYC Continuity studio -- which employs his whole family, including his ex-wife! There I spent some happy hours talking to Neal about comics in the 60s and 70s, but mostly about his, umm, well, "rather radical ideas" in physics. He is, alas, not fully content with having revolutionized comics, so, in his sunset years, he also wants to revolutionize science. 'Nuff said!
Oh, and the day after visiting Neal, I visited another long-standing Art Hero of mine: Frank Frazetta. Yes, it was a good week. 'Nuff said!
(I posted this some days ago, but it never appeared, hence suspect SNAFU, hence I repost.)
Yes, you've showcased some great Adams art on Manny here! I'm happy to say I own both the magazine and the inside story. Do you know why the inside story is printed with only yellow colors? It's because it was printed from Adam's pure, uninked pencils -- possibly due to, ahem, deadline-problems? -- and hence regular colors would have made (or so at least the production people feared) the artwork too muddy. This was back in the day when the reproduction qualities of comics was far, far below what we find on printed toilet paper in our enlightened days! But it gives us a through-a-glass-darkly view of Adam's glorious pencil work.
FWIW, four years ago I visited Adams at his fancy NYC Continuity studio -- which employs his whole family, including his ex-wife! There I spent some happy hours talking to Neal about comics in the 60s and 70s, but mostly about his, umm, well, "rather radical ideas" in physics. He is, alas, not fully content with having revolutionized comics, so, in his sunset years, he also wants to revolutionize science. 'Nuff said!
Oh, and the day after visiting Neal, I visited another long-standing Art Hero of mine: Frank Frazetta. Yes, it was a good week. 'Nuff said!

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