Tuesday, July 18, 2017 | 2 a.m.
While super in their own right, as evidenced by the long lines awaiting their signatures, the creators of Spawn, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Deadpool, Punisher, etc., weren’t the real heroes of the Las Vegas Comic Con. Stan Lee was not even the man. That title went to a mild-mannered artist in a back booth, Eddie deAngelini. Just days after “Batman” star Adam West died, deAngelini fleshed out a moving memorial to the 1960s TV star and posted the color version on his weekly comic site, collectorscomic.com.
His powerful homage to Adam features Robin peering up the bat shaft yearning for Batman to descend, with a word balloon filled with a broken heart, and a single tear rolling down his cheek. The work was all the more poignant because Adam was slated as one of the main attractions to appear at this Comic Con. Although Eddie’s work is comedic, love is key, as his series is a “love story of a husband, a wife and a comic book collection.”
I fought sluggish crowds in vain at the Con in search of the right piece to get signed by Burt Ward, until I came to Eddie’s lonely booth in the back. Initially, he said he had nothing with Robin, but then searched in a box and found the magic piece — the original black-and-white drawing of the West memorial. It was the perfect piece. I bought it right away, and headed to the “Batman” ’66 signing table. After a wait, I paid an $80 signing fee and reached Burt Ward. Before signing the artwork, Burt had a moment of silence, longer than all the other artists I received autographs from.
Time seemed to freeze for a moment as he stared at the drawing. The gentle smile that followed warmed my heart. I almost thought I saw a tear, eerily similar to where it was on Robin’s face in the drawing.