It’s Adam West’s 88th birthday, and his official DC Comics cover artist pays tribute.
UPDATED 9/19/16: It’s Adam West’s birthday once again! We re-present artist Mike Allred’s personal tribute. Enjoy! NOTE: If you want to hear more from Mike about his love of all things Batman ’66 — and you do — click here.
Artist and writer Mike Allred goes way back with Adam West. Like millions of us, Mike was a devoted watcher of what we now call Batman ’66. Now, he not only illustrates the covers for DC’s Batman ’66 comic, he’s personal friends with West himself. I asked Mike if he’d be interested in writing a tribute to Adam West on the occasion of the actor’s 87th birthday — and POW! he wrote it immediately. Thanks, Mike! Happy birthday, Adam! — Dan
For more Adam West Bat-stravaganza, click on these tributes:
ADAM WEST’s Top 13 Grooviest Moments as BATMAN — RANKED. Click here.
13 COVERS: An ADAM WEST Birthday Celebration. Click here.
An #ICYMI Special: An Interview With ADAM WEST. Click here.
By MIKE ALLRED
I can’t over-exaggerate how big Adam West is to me. He is MY Batman in the way that Sean Connery is THE James Bond. He always will be. As much as I love every incarnation or take on the Caped Crusader, for me, it will always be about Adam West.
When I became aware on this planet, “BATMAN-MANIA” from the TV show was in full swing. We kids couldn’t go to the supermarket, the drug store, the gas station, or other kid’s houses without the Adam West Batman being ever-present and represented in some way via all the crazy fun merchandise. It just “was.” In every wonderful way. And the show itself was a daily ritual. Usually two shows a day in syndication.
My big brother, Lee, had to suffer with the original airings when you’d see Batman and Robin get in a pinch, and then miss how they got out of it because our folks watched another show on the second night. I only remember that torture once when Robin got swallowed up by a giant clam and I never got to see how he got out of it, for years. I would even miss it in syndication. I started to think I imagined it until I finally saw Adam West’s Batman dig deep and rip Robin out to safety.
When I first met Adam West I’d only done the infamous “Batusi Solo cover” which finally saw print as the cover to the DC Solo collection. He didn’t know me from “Adam,” but he couldn’t have been more kind and we had just enough alone time to make it a spiritual experience. I could have met him years before, but I was terrified of my childhood being destroyed if it was a bad experience. After finally meeting, I realized how ridiculous I was and why everyone only ever had gracious things to say about him. A class act all the way!
Now, through the eyes of a child, THIS child, the Batman TV show was deadly serious. And if Adam West’s Batman told me to wear my seatbelt or look both ways before crossing the street, I listened and took it to heart. When he, Robin, and Batgirl were in danger I took it very seriously.
The last time I was able to spend time with Adam West I was established as his official cover artist. I still pinch myself and doubt the reality of this super swell position I’ve somehow found myself in. Just that Adam West knows who I am thrills me like crazy. Having any kind of association with him is pure bonus.
The coolest thing? He personalized several of my original Batman covers to my offspring.
ADAM WEST BATMANIA lives on!
Mike, wife Laura and brother Lee will be producing the final monthly installment of Batman ’66 together. That’s Batkarma, if you ask me. Here’s the picture-perfect cover, which I really, really, really want made into a print: