'Young Captain Adventure' (Penthouse Comix #8, July-August 1995).

Joel Adams is an American comic book artist, illustrator and animation character designer. He has worked on licensed properties ranging from 'Harry Potter' to 'Power Rangers' to 'King of the Hill', and created comic book art for Alpha Production, Continuity Comics, Penthouse Comix and Contraband Comics. Since 1989, he has been illustrator and then art director of the Burbank division of Continuity Studios, the commercial art firm of his father Neal Adams. He is also known for his 'Lilz' pin-up characters, that have appeared online and on prints and merchandise.

Early life
Joel Adams was born in 1966 in New York City as the eldest son of the legendary comic book artist Neal Adams and comic book colorist Cory Peifer. His siblings Kris, Jason and Zeea all ended up doing artistic jobs; his half-brother Josh (born in 1987) also works as a comic book artist. While still a teenager, Joel Adams spent summers as an apprentice at his father's company, Continuity Studios. Between 1984 and 1988, he studied at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, graduating with a B.F.A. in Illustration.

Continuity Studios
After graduation, Adams went to work as an illustrator at Continuity fulltime, helping out on titles from the company's comic book line, such as 'Ms. Mystic' (by writer Peter Stone and several artists) and 'Bucky O'Hare' (by Larry Hama and Michael Golden). In August 1989, Adams moved to Los Angeles, California to work at the west coast offices of Continuity, the Burbank-based "Transcontinuity Studios". In 1994, he was promoted to Transcontinuity's art director and eventually to manager. Just like the NYC division run by his father, Transcontinuity specialized in providing clients with services ranging from storyboards and traditional animatics to computerized special effects and full CGI animation.

Comic book work
On the side, Joel Adams continued to do occasional comic book work, including cover artwork for the 1990s vampire comic 'Blood Thirst' by Alpha Productions and story penciler on the mid-1990s erotic superhero adventures of 'Young Captain Adventure' in Penthouse Comix magazine, written by the editors George Caragonne and Tom Thornton. Years later, he did variant erotic cover art for comic books like 'Notti & Nyce' by Marat Mychaels and Jacob Bear (Contraband Comics, 2014), 'Zombie Tramp' by Dan Mendoza (Action Lab Comics, 2018) and 'Black Betty' by Shawn Gabborin and Rafael Dantas (Action Lab Comics, 2018).

Variant cover art for the comic books 'Notti & Nyce' and 'Black Betty'.

Character designer
Through Transcontinuity Studios, Adams has been mostly active in the animation industry and as an illustrator for licensed products. In the second half of the 1990s, he did all the character design for Marvel's 'Hulk: Animated Series' and then designed characters for the Emmy Award-winning 'King of the Hill' by Mike Judge, for FOX/Film Roman, as well as the Fox Kids series 'NASCAR Racers'. He subsequently did character design for DiC Entertainment's 'Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century' (1999-2001) and Coote-Hayes Productions' 'Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World' (1999-2002).

While working for animation companies, Adams was also hired for all of the licensing art for these shows and others by the licensing companies handling them. Over the years, he has done licensing style guide art or illustration work related to properties like 'Harry Potter & The Prizoner of Azkaban' (Warner Bros.), 'Harry Potter: Goblet of Fire', the animated series based on the movie 'The Mask' (New Line) and several 'Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers' series by Saban Entertainment.

In addition to working on licensed products, Adams developed his own property, a merchandise line of big-eyed pin-up girl characters known as the 'Lilz'. The project started after a suggestion of his sister Zeea, who told her brother that King Features Syndicate wanted an updated version of Max Fleischer's Betty Boop for the new millennium. Adams began working on the character, giving her a new body and more modern clothing, but maintaining her trademark large head. In the end, a completely new character came about, that had very little to do with Betty Boop anymore. 

Encouraged by fans and friends, Joel Adams decided to pursue his own character line. Starting in September 2000, he created his 'Lilz' line of big-headed and wide-eyed "cutie" girls, who include comic book heroines, party girls, devils, angels, goth, steampunk and fetish girls, as well as pirates, mermaids and fairies. They were quickly picked up by the online community, and used without permission in signature tags at MySpace and other social networking sites. Instead of complaining in vain, Adams decided to start the discussion and educate users about the theft of copyright-owned images. Eventually, Adams was among the more than 100 artists represented by Anthony Guerra's Creative Image Licensing and Management to license his work online. His sassy, edgy and provocative creations have appeared on products varying from prints and portfolios to T-shirts and coffee mugs.

Work with Carrie Leigh
Between 1997 and 2000, Adams was also freelance creative director for CLPleasure.com, an erotic website maintained by actress and former Playboy Bunny Carrie Leigh. Between 2007 and 2012, Joel Adams was also creative consultant, artist and web designer to Carrie Leigh's NUDE magazine, a fine art, black-and-white, artistic nude photography and art periodical.

Lilz characters created in 2003 and 2008.

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