Comics were born in the underbelly of NYC back in the 1930's, and continue to provide generation after generation of new artists to make their mark in comics.
I know all the guys in my generation, personally. [Neal Adams’ studio] Continuity was the boy’s clubhouse, and you’d be there four to seven times a week. It wasn’t too far from DC and Marvel. You got to see a lot of stuff and talk about comics with other artists. You’d walk there and see Russ Heath drawing Sgt. Rock. I’m sorry, but the web just isn’t a substitute. In an odd way, it was being part of something bigger than yourself, and it was very exciting and energizing.I know that even 9 years removed from living in Brooklyn, the images of NYC remain seared into my brain. I recall, one evening, out on the balcony of the Defiant offices on 37th street, the Empire State Building dominating the sky just 3 blocks away, staring at the huge edifices of concete and brick with colorist Tim Perkins. The sun was setting, searing all the buildings with a bright red/orange and we were just marvelling at the "being there", seeing the huge valleys that the buildings carved out, and Tim says, "I "get" Spider-Man now." Being surrounded by all these other energetic people with different backgrounds in art and design did make you feel part of something bigger, and it certainly suffused your creativity with an adrenaline charge like no other.
Christopher Irving writes the words for Graphic NYC. I'll certinaly be keeping an eye out for his upcoming book, From Four Color to Silver Screen: The First Movie Superheroes in summer of 2009. Take a look, take a read, fun blog.