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COMIC LEGEND: Al Milgrom going freelance led to Art Adams’ big break.
All comic book creators have “breaking into comics” stories, but I find the tale of how the great Art Adams made it into comics as one of the best since it basically was TWO stories!
First off, Art Adams’ portfolio was seen by the great inker Joe Rubinstein. Rubinstein thought Adams had a lot of talent so he began sending Art’s work to everybody he knew. Eventually Denny O’Neil and Linda Grant gave Adams a shot on a Bizarre Adventures story but the title was canceled before Adams’ short story appeared and as Adams later recalled, he probably wasn’t ready just yet to be a professional artist. So he did not break in YET.
When Grant essentially told him “don’t call us, we’ll call you,” Adams realized that he needed to move forward. So about a year later, he developed brand-new sample pages, presumably showing his growth as an artist in that year. He sent these new samples to everyone he knew of at DC and Marvel but he got no responses.
Then a funny thing happened. Al Milgrom quit.
Al Milgrom was working for Marvel as an editor when he decided he would rather be a freelancer. So he had to give up his Marvel office. When cleaning up his office, he came across Adams’ samples and gave them to Carl Potts, who was succeeding Milgrom.
Potts, always a great eye for talent (he helped bring both Jim Lee AND Whilce Portacio to Marvel), then hired Adams to do a New Defenders inventory story that never was published.
Here’s one page from the New Defenders story (go buy Modern Masters: Art Adams to see another page from the story as well as two pages from the unpublished Bizarre Adventures story!)…
Potts’ ASSISTANT, though, was Ann Nocenti, who had an idea for a story that became….
And right from the release of Longshot two years later, Adams became a star.
But imagine if it were not for Milgrom cleaning out his office!
Thanks to Art Adams and George Khoury for the information!
Be sure to pick up Khoury’s massive (and awesome) interview with Art Adams in Modern Masters: Art Adams from TwoMorrows Publishing!
It’s just five bucks!
Check out some classic Comic Book Legends Revealed involving comic book creators’ big breaks!
Did John Romita break into comics by pretending to be inking a penciler when Romita was actually doing the pencils?
On the next page, learn how an unpublished Logan’s Run comic ended up being used by Marvel elsewhere!
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