Leaping Tall Buildings: Neal Adams, Denny O’Neil, Christopher Irving, Seth Kushner Talk Comics
Housing Works’ Bookstore Café (126 Crosby St., Manhattan)

When writer Dennis O’Neil and artist Neal Adams teamed up in the early 1970s, their take on Batman restored the Dark Knight to his brooding roots, and established the version that is reflected in the Chris Nolan blockbuster films. Just as importantly, they introduced social relevance into superhero comics with Green Lantern/Green Arrow, most famously tackling the drug abuse issue, and elevating superheroes to a more adult level. A former crime reporter, O’Neil brought real world grit to superhero comics, while Adams’ photorealistic art style and design brought both a realism and dynamism to the superhero comic book. As an editor, O’Neil edited the Batman comics that introduced Bane, the arch-nemesis of this summer’s The Dark Knight Rises, and played by Tom Hardy. Adams continues to draw comics, most recently with DC Entertainment’s Batman: Odyssey series, and he will next draw The First X-Men for Marvel Comics, which will be co-written with Christos Gage.

Leaping Tall Buildings: The Origins of American Comics (powerhouse Publishing) writer Christopher Irving and photographer Seth Kushner, and Housing Works Bookstore Cafe, reunite Denny and Neal for a special benefit panel on social relevancy in comics. Leaping Tall Buildings: The Origins of American Comics outlines the history of comic books through the creators, documented in Irving’s interview-based essays and Kushner’s photography. The Wall Street Journal calls Leaping Tall Buildings “a living history,” while The New York Times considers it “a great survey of many of the talented men and women behind the characters,” and Publisher’s Weekly calls it “nearly as epic as the field’s history itself.” Huffington Post refers to Kushner’s photography as “remarkable.”

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