Dan Adkins : biography
Dan Adkins (March 15, 1937 – May 8, 2013) was an American illustrator who worked mainly for comic books and science-fiction magazines. He died in May of 2013, at age 76.
Early life and career
Dan Adkins was born in Midkiff, West Virginia, where, as a child, he walked three miles to school in a remote area where creeks were crossed with wooden planks on top of rocks. He lived in West Hamlin, West Virginia, and then moved to East Liverpool, Ohio. In 1950, when he was 11 years old, Adkins had a bout with rheumatic fever that left him paralyzed from the waist down for six months, and he began to spend time paging through such comic books as Curley Kayo and Red Ryder. Reading EC Comics a few years later, he closely studied stories illustrated by Reed Crandall, Jack Davis, George Evans, Al Williamson and Wally Wood.
Serving in the Air Force in the mid-1950s, Adkins was a draftsman, later describing the job:
Launched in 1956, that publication was Sata, filled with fantasy illustrations and reproduced on a ditto machine. In Phoenix, Arizona, Adkins met artist-writer Bill Pearson who signed on as Sata's co-editor. In 1959, Pearson became the sole editor of Sata, ending the 13-issue run with several photo-offset issues. Adkins contributed to numerous other fan publications, including Amra, Vega and Xero.
When Adkins moved to New York City, he freelanced illustrations for several science-fiction magazines while working for several commercial studios, including Kram and Chartmaker's. At age 24, he was an art director for Hearst's American Druggist and New Medical Material, as he recalled:
Silver Age of comic books
Dr. Strange #169 (June 1968). Cover art by Adkins. In 1964, during the period comic-book fans and historians call the Silver Age of Comics, Adkins joined the Wally Wood Studio as Wood's assistant. Wood and Adkins collaborated on a series of stories for Warren Publishing's black-and-white horror-comics magazines Creepy and Eerie. Adkins was among the original artists of Wood's T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents, for Tower Comics, drawing many Dynamo stories during his 16 months in the Wood Studio.
His work as a penciler and inker appeared in 816 comic books, and he inked over 70 artists in the comics industry. He drew 132 covers for Marvel Comics, in addition to his many pages for Doctor Strange and other Marvel titles. Adkins has worked for a variety of comics publishers, including Charlton Comics, DC Comics (Aquaman, Batman), Dell Comics/Western Publishing, Eclipse Comics, Harvey Comics, Marvel, and Pacific Comics.
In addition to penciling and inking, Adkins has also done cover paintings, including Amazing Stories, Eerie (issue 12) and Famous Monsters of Filmland (issues 42, 44). His magazine illustrations have been published in Argosy (with Wood), Amazing Stories, Fantastic, Galaxy Science Fiction, Infinity, Monster Parade, Science-Fiction Adventures, Spectrum, Worlds of If and other magazines.
Later life and death
In the 2000s, he illustrated Parker Brothers products, and his artwork for Xero was reprinted in the hardback The Best of Xero (Tachyon, 2004).Lupoff. Dick. The Best of Xero. Tachyon, 2004.
On May 8, 2013, J David Spurlock reported that he (indirectly) "received word from Adkins' son that Dan left this world last week." http://scoop.diamondgalleries.com/Home/4/1/73/1012?ArticleID=134705
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