Neal Adams and his role in the recognition of the creators of “Superman”

neal adamsthe Legendary cartoonist who died at the age of 80will not only be remembered for his influential work with “Batman”, “Green Lantern” Y “Green Arrow”but also its important role outside the vignettes.

He was a tireless fighter for the rights of the authors of the ninth artmanaging to guarantee the property rights of the creators in the comic industry and that the two big publishers began to return the art to the cartoonists.

It is in that fight where he played a fundamental role so that Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster receive recognition for their greatest creation, “superman”.

Now we can find in the comics and in all the media where the Man of Steel is present that the credit of “Created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster”but for a long time it was not like that.

The cartoonists, being young and inexperienced, sold the rights to the character to National Publications (now DC Comics) for $130. To deposit the first check, both had to sign a contract stamped on the back of the document, assigning the rights to the publisher in perpetuity.

After the great reception of the first issue of “Action Comics”, where “Superman” debuted, the authors regretted the decision and tried to recover it.

After decades in which they did not receive any weight for their successful creation and when the legal channels ran out, Adams enters the scene.

Following the publication of a famous letter in which Siegel condemned the “Superman” movie for not receiving a penny for the production that took his creation to fly on the big screen, his story finally began to be heard by important names.

Adams, then a young and successful cartoonist, contacted Siegel to represent them before the people, seeking to attract attention and start lobbying to turn the situation around.

The cartoonist spoke with Jerry Robinson, then president of the National Cartoonists Society, who had no idea of ​​the lengthy feud Siegel and Shuster were facing with National. From that moment, they were not only remembered. Now people raised their voices for them.

Adams and Robinson negotiated with Jay Emmettthen vice president of Warner Bros. and new owner of DC, managing to make a deal. Siegel and Shuster got “created by” in the “Superman” movie credits and a lifetime pension, in addition to creator credits in the comics and various media involving the character.

“The world of comics had changed, the revolution was underway, Neal had established himself as a giant headache, but a talented enough headache that they put up with me, and I was fighting for the original art and copyrights and everything else and was helping a number of people and helped…“, assured Adams in a 2007 interview.

The cartoonist explained that Siegel and Shuster “signed a contract, but when I walked in they didn’t even have contracts. They were ready to close the deal. They had this statement on the back of the check that says, ‘We own everything.’ I went to a lawyer and he told me: ‘that’s not a contract. Write below or cross it out. It does not mean anything. It means nothing in court. It’s not a contract.’ So we went through this terrible time and it was like being in the Stone Age, it was unreal and it was… you can’t put a definition on it. And the guys who went through it, who suffered…“.

In his departure, we not only remember his work, but also his enormous contribution in defense of the rights of his colleagues and their work.

We wish to thank the writer of this article for this remarkable content

Neal Adams and his role in the recognition of the creators of “Superman”


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