Josh Adams - DC Comics House of Mystery #13

Neal Adams was Omnicomic's first interview. And we're damn proud of it. But I figured that you may be curious as to what his progeny are up to. That's why I'm proud to bring you the following interview with Josh Adams, son of Neal. You can check out his work in DC's House of Mystery #13, where he shares pages with the likes of Neal Adams, Eric Powell, Sergio Aragones, Matthew Sturges and Bill Willingham. Enjoy. Omnicomic: I think the first question is what’s it like being the son of Neal Adams? Josh Adams: Well, for most of my life he was just Dad. I mean he was Dad, who drew comics and as his son I thought the world of him. It really wasn’t until my early teen years that I realized my father’s impact on the comic industry, in all aspects. Now my opinion of my father didn’t really change upon that realization, he’s my father, aside from realizing he couldn’t actually fly and was not bulletproof, he still was my father and I grew up thinking he was Superman. Obviously his career is going to affect mine, he was and is a father AND a teacher to me. He created an environment that allowed me to truly enjoy the serious study of drawing/drafting. I looked forward to him coming home in the evenings so I could sit next to him (he has a very big desk,) and tackle the drawing challenges he gave to me. The short answer to your question though: It causes a lot of people to ask me what is it like being the son of Neal Adams. Omnicomic: What did you read while you were growing up? I’m sure there was quite a bit of Batman and Green Lantern mixed in there. Adams: Well, I passively looked at comics, I guess. I actually read a lot of Ren and Stimpy comics, and Dr. Seuss books. It wasn’t until the X-Babies got their own special one-shot book that I actually fell in love with comics. Now, that said, I don’t read comics that often. I’m a fan of the artwork and the storytelling. I often determine whether or not I will give the book a try by whether or not the artwork is of a good quality in both aesthetics and storytelling. Omnicomic: Since you never really read comics growing up, did you always want to be an illustrator? Is there any other job you thought you'd be doing at this point in your life when you were a kid? I guess, what did you want to be when you grew up? Adams: Well, gosh, there are so many things I wanted to be; a pro wrestler, a rock star, an actor, and it was the worst in high school. I pulled myself in so many directions but it wasn't until I was stretched so thin that I was able to find my strong point. The part of me that remained strong when everything was getting weak, illustration, and my passion, comics. Omnicomic: Neal Adams was actually Omnicomic’s first interview at NYCC 2008 (I still have no idea how we pulled that off). Did you want to get into comics because of your dad? Do you feel like his style influenced your style at all? Adams: It’s hard for his career not to have influenced what I would do. That said there was a long period of time where I was searching for my calling, but in the end comics are what I am passionate about. And regarding my style, yea, my father’s work was what defined comics in my childhood, it became the natural standard for me to reach for. Omnicomic: House of Mystery boasts some serious talent (Neal Adams, Josh Adams, Eric Powell, Sergio Aragones, Matthew Sturges, Bill Willingham). How did you get hooked up with these guys to be part of this issue? Adams: My father brought me in on the project as sort of a test. It’s not often someone makes their first published work for DC Comics these days. Omnicomic: Personally, do you think you passed your father's "test" (being brought onto the House of Mystery project)? Adams: Well I guess it's not really for me or him to decide. It's really for the fans to decide. If the fans like it, the publishers take notice and then I become a worthwhile commodity. Sometimes getting into comics is about who you know, sometimes it's simple math, if this guy sells books, then pay him to draw books. If this guy "A" sells more books than guy "B" then guy "A" is more valuable and worth more than guy "B." It' funny how that works. It's unfair for me to say my father was testing me. He is fully aware of my ability and what I should be doing. Throughout his career he has taken artists who simply need to be "discovered" and got them work for Marvel and DC. This is just that, he just happened to have been the one who taught me almost everything I know about comics...aside from what I learned from teachers like Klaus Janson, Joey Cavalieri, Phil Jimenez, David Mazzucchelli and other comic professionals. In short, I'm ready for this business, it just has to get ready for me. Omnicomic: Were you intimidated at all working with some of those guys? Did you have any interaction with them at all, or was it more that you just did your part? You know, I am a big fan of Eric Powell and the Sergio is like family to me, so it was certainly a bit of pressure, but for that most part that just makes my work better. I believe that as an illustrator whoever is the final judge of your work doesn’t care how old or how young you are, simply how good you are, so when I turn in my pages I’m not just doing work in the same book as these guys, I am competing for the attention of the reader. Omnicomic: What can you tell us about your story in House of Mystery #13? Adams: It’s short…as is every story in this issue. I can tell you that I am not the only one making my comic book debut in this story but writer/novelist Chris Roberson is making his comic book writing debut on this little story. Hopefully the readers will think we both merit future work at Vertigo/DC. Omnicomic: Do you think you’ll work on the next issue? Adams: I’m sure issue 14 is well into production and artists have been nailed down for a couple issues in advance. I have no part of it. Omnicomic: Where does your illustrative career go from here? Adams: Trying to stay in the mainstream, I’m stating that this is my year to be put on the map. So we’ll see what happens. Omnicomic: Anything you’re reading right now that people might not be aware of but should be? Adams: Hey, I’m a young comic book artist trying to make an impact, I don’t have a free minute of time to read. I’m chained to my desk. You should be telling me what I should be reading! Omnicomic: If you could pick one writer to illustrate for, who would it be? Is there any one character/team you're dying to take a crack at? Adams: I’d like to work with Mark Millar, whether is stories are good or bad, at the very least he will give you something that gives you chills to draw. I know I get chills when I read it, by way of either properly executed controversy or a payoff that you feel like you’ve been waiting your whole life for. Things to draw…I’d love to draw Batman. People have been telling me that I’d be perfect to draw the new Batman, because my father drew the Bruce Wayne Batman, it would be like taking on the mantle of definitive Batman 2.0 artist/creator. Omnicomic: Anything you want to plug while you have the floor? Adams: My website is and it is due for a relaunch either late June or beginning of July which will feature exclusive looks at my projects as I draw them, my portfolio and sketchbook, access to my products, and webcomics. I’m also drawing a very special issue of Captain Action and I hope to give you readers something amazing to read. It’s being written by the awesome Steven Grant who left me plenty of room to cut loose and show you what a superhero is all about. Also expect me, my older brother Joel Adams and my father, Neal Adams to all collaborate on a story in an issue of Kindergoths. It’s a book that doesn’t fit any of our styles but it should be fun anyway.