BLACKSAD: AMARILLO WINS HARVEY AWARD!!
In case, you didn't get your invite in time, the Harvey Awards were held at the Baltimore Comic Con this past weekend and there was some exceptional material honored there. Eisner and Feiffer were inducted into the Harvey Kurtzman Hall of Fame, Russ Heath received the Hero Initiative Lifetime Achievement award, Fiona Staples was voted the best Cover Artist and Best Artist for the epic Saga and the Best American Edition of Foreign Material went to Blacksad: Amarillo...which was co-written by the esteemed Neal Adams and Katie LaBarbera. Congratulations to both writers and to the original witer, Juan Diaz Canales. Also, Juanjo Guarnido should be honored for his exceptional artwork, storytelling and coloring work on all the Blacksad titles. Dark Horse has a real gem here and I hope Guarnido keeps drawing my favorite Black Panther Private Eye forever!
Blacksad: Amarillo has now won an Eisner and a Harvey award and it's a real gift to get some very nice dialogue from Neal Adams.
Which brings up a secondary subject, the writing career of Neal Adams. Starting with Jughead joke pages, Neal moved quickly onto convincing an editor at DC Comics to let him write two issues of The Spectre..issues #4 and #5. "Stop that kid before he wrecks the world" was Neal's entrance into the world of writing superheroes and it was a terrific story. It certainly didn't hurt that he handled the art as well, but the plot and dialogue were solid and very readable. A second issue followed, "A fugitive from justice" which also featured Neal's art.
Moving on to Deadman, Neal took over the writing and art chores of the series, bringing in the Sensei, the League of Assassins and Nanda Parbat. Deadman remains a pillar of brilliant work, both words and pictures. The League and Nanda Parbat have recently appeared in the Arrow TV show.
Neal plotted the work he penciled on The Avengers "Kree/Skrull War" as well as his ground-breaking X-Men run which introduced an unmasked Magneto, the energy-vampire Sauron, the plot used for the first X-Men movie, the Mutates, and Havoc. These stories remain viable and fresh as the day they were created and easily adaptable to other media forms.
Superman Vs. Muhammad Ali was based on a Neal Adams' plot and he finished the story and dialogue when Denny was unable to complete it. It remains a pinacle of Superman excellence. There is a page Neal wrote concerning how Lois, Perry and Jimmy react to this iconic hero. He continues to talk about how alien warriors, seated around distant cookfires who speak with reverence about "the man who would not far down". It is perhaps my favorite page describing Superman and his place in the DC universe.
Neal has written and plotted and created the Continuity Universe, wrote Blood for Dark Horse, Batman: Odyssey and his new Superman/New Gods series. He's spent his life telling stories through words and pictures. While he seldom gets any credit or respect for his work, it's a very respectable body of work. No writer pleases all the people all the time, but Neal's plots and new characters are always well thought out and executed. Some may not like one work, but they love another work. That's the way it goes. Blacksad: Amarillo, however, is a nice nod to a legendary artist AND writer.