The history of comics pivots on the career of Neal Adams. He ushered an era of naturalism illustration to comic books. It had been present in newspaper strips but hadn’t caught hold in comics, at least to the level of photo-referenced art Adams was doing, before he hit his stride with Batman, Green Lantern/Green Arrow and X-Men. I always see comics art in two camps: the Kirby school and the Adams school. The first is devoted to they manipulation of cartoon symbols to tell a story effectively. The other is devoted to replicating photo-realism with pen-and-ink as closely as possible to anchor the story in a knowable visual reality for the reader. The Adams school made comic art more precious and labor intensive. It saw deadlines as secondary to the quality of the artwork. The Kirby school puts the deadline ahead of everything else. All art decisions are about being efficient enough to ensure the schedule isn’t affected. Because the deadline isn’t in danger, due to a simpler cartooning approach, storytelling is also given its deserved attention. While panel-to-panel storytelling might not be Adams’s priority in his interior art, storytelling weighs heavily in Adams’s covers. Each cover provides a healthy dose of narrative information. The vast majority of his covers provide figures within a setting interacting with one another to tell a story, or give the viewer enough information to imply a story. Also in the recipe is pathos, emotion, movement, and inventive composition. These covers provoke the urge in the viewer to open the book and find out what’s happening. 

Benjamin Marra is the creator, writer, and artist of the comics NIGHT BUSINESS, AMERICAN BLOOD, and TERROR ASSAULTER: O.M.W.O.T. (One Man War On Terror), all published by Fantagraphics. Acclaimed writer Grant Morrison chose Marra as a collaborator on the first issue of the relaunched HEAVY METAL Magazine. Marra had two serialized webcomic series appear on His most recent book is JESUSFREAK, written by Joe Casey and published by Image Comics. In 2016, he was named one of the Art Directors Club's Young Guns. He illustrated the cover of American Illustration 35. In 2017, he was nominated for a Grammy Award for his album art of Wayfaring Strangers: Acid Nightmare, a collection of obscure 1970s post-Age-of-Aquarius Heavy Metal.