Saturday, June 10, 2017

Adam West (1928-2017)

     Adam West died last night in Los Angeles at the age of 88. He died peacefully, surrounded by his wife and large family of children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. II had no idea he reached the ripe old age of 88, nor that he was battling leukemia. It appears to have been a short battle that ended with as little pain as one could hope.
      West was bet known to me, like most everyone else, as Batman. I was a fan of comic books from a young age. Marvel comics were my thing, so my only concept of batman until the late '80's was west's campy portrayal. Since the late '80's, I have become more familiar with the DC Universe in general and Batmn in particular. The batman in the comics was the dark, brooding character as interpreted by writers Neal Adams and Frank Miller. I embraced the edgier character as much as a marvel Zombie could, but it never felt right because the fun of the television version I knew was absent.
      Like many comics fans, I was embarrassed much the image of comics and its comics readers were negatively presented by the show. It was, after all, essentially mocking comics. Thee were not a lot of comics fans who would speak highly of the series, but we all liked West. How could you not? It was clear to all what an affable, good matured guy he was. The television series all but ended his serious acting carer while surprisingly not making him wealthy. We made his money on the autograph circuit at conventions. Batman was a mined blessing for West, but he made the most of it.
     In recent years, West got into voice over work in animated series. I am most familiar with his portrayal of mayor Adam West on Family Guy. The role was a satirical look at politicians in which West playfully poked fun at himself. I am not certain what will happen to the character now, but I hope he gets a good send off.
      Godspeed, old chum.

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