Superstar artist MIKE ALLRED recalls the first time he met the Greatest Batman of Them All.
I’ve said this before but it bears repeating today: If you’re reading this it’s because of Adam West. His Batman was my gateway to the wonderfully wild and colorful world of comics, as it was for so many of my generation. It’s why I write so much about Batman with my BATMAN’S HOT-LINE column and why so much of that column is devoted to Batman ’66.
Now I had the odd coincidence of interviewing him on his birthday last year — and so much of what I had to say about him from a personal perspective is in that piece (written before I changed the name of the Batcolumn). Check it out if you like.
In another odd coincidence, just this week I was chatting with one of my favorite artists, a guy whose work you see on here all the time, Mike Allred. Mike, too, has a deep devotion to Adam West. He’s even the cover artist on DC’s superb Batman ’66 comic, for Bat’s sake!
Well, Mike told me this wonderful tale of his first encounter with his — our — childhood hero. Here’s Mike:
Adam West is like a second father to me and I’ve told him that. Early on, I was very wary of meeting my heroes. In fact, the first few times I had the opportunity to meet Adam West, I avoided him because he was SO important to my childhood I didn’t want him to be MEAN to me and be crushed with disappointment.
So the first time, I sent (my wife) Laura over to get something signed for me. Then one year I saw him alone. It was in New York, actually, and he was by himself and just kind of twiddling his thumbs. At that point, I had done the DC Solo cover of him doing the Batusi, which was in all the solicitations. It was all over the Internet. But at the last second, it didn’t go to press because DC was concerned they didn’t have the rights to his likeness.
And he was just amazing to me and we talked about all kinds of things. He was the one that made me feel welcome. I was ready to say, “Hi, nice to meet you. You’re a big deal…Take care!”
I’m the kind of person that’ll cut out before I overstay my welcome and he made me feel welcome and so since then I’ve seen him several times and now I’m his official cover artist! So, from my worst fear to my greatest dream fulfillment!