NEAL ADAMS AND ALAN DAVIS: Two Similar Artists Who Couldn’t Be More Different

A NEAL ADAMS CHRONICLES birthday tribute to the British illustrator, who was born 68 years ago, on June 18, 1956…


Alan Davis considered drawing to be more of a hobby than a career. He was loading trucks when he got a chance to work with Dez Skinn in England.

Not to say anything askance about his early career, but it seems like he loved the work of Neal Adams. He was about the right age and emerged about the right time. I was in my first year of college when I first encountered his art in Miracleman. How lucky are you to get Alan Moore as your writer for one of your first stories? And before that, he had worked with Moore on the English version of Captain Britain. Marvel reprinted that years later, after Moore had decided not to be associated with the publisher in any way shape or form.

I was a true fan of his Detective Comics, Excalibur, JLA, X-Men, and his own creation ClanDestine. So when there was a New York Comic Con a few years ago, Alan and his lovely wife decided to stop by the Continuity studio. Alan was already a friend of Joel Adams, Neal’s eldest son, and they talked about art all the time. I scrambled around for comics that Alan had drawn, hoping to get a signature. No luck. The only comic we had was Neal’s cover of Miracleman #1, drawn by Gary Leach. A great issue, but not Alan Davis.

The most interesting thing about Davis is that he’s such a nice guy. He sat at our conference table and talked and laughed with Neal as if they were longtime friends. Neal asked him about his current and future work, allowing Alan to say that he was pulling back from the monthly grind and considering a sort of retirement. Neal, of course, was stunned. Why would you ever want to stop? Alan talked about the wonderful English village he lived in. He could see his grandchildren and decide what he wanted to do next.

Neal didn’t understand. Here was a man who had drawn almost every single Marvel and DC character, done single character books, written massive crossovers, even created his own group of characters. How could he stop?

But that was the interesting dichotomy of Neal and Alan. Alan was happy with retiring to what I can only assume was a quiet home with a warm fireplace where he could play with his grandkids and draw when he wanted to. Neal was a force of energy. Honestly, I don’t think Neal ever wanted to stop drawing or fighting against the “power” They drew the same characters, the same kinds of stories, but they were vastly different.

They certainly respected each other, but they were not the same. Meeting Alan Davis and his super-nice wife was wonderful and it made me see that not everyone has to be a revolutionary. Alan is a pillar of Marvel and DC, a great artist that even Neal’s son, Joel, loves.

Can’t ask for more than that.


— 13 COVERS: AN ALAN DAVIS Birthday Celebration — X-MEN. Click here.

— 13 COVERS: AN ALAN DAVIS Birthday Celebration — EXCALIBUR. Click here.

Peter Stone is a writer and son-in-law of the late Neal Adams. Be sure to check out the family’s twice-weekly online Facebook auctions, as well as the, and their Burbank, California, comics shop Crusty Bunkers Comics and Toys.

Author: Dan Greenfield

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1 Comment

  1. Always loved his BATMAN and The Avengers too! Happy Birthday!

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