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Monday, April 07, 2008

AquaSketch by Carmine Infantino - 2007

Since the New York Comic Con is just a week or two away(and I'm getting in with a Press badge, thanks to the Shrine!) I thought I'd post another sketch from my book.

I got this piece at the last Philadelphia con, from the legendary Carmine Infantino. Once I heard Mr. I was at the con, I made my way towards his booth, figuring he'd have a line of people asking for sketches and I wanted to get my request in early.

But once I found him, I was shocked to see he was sitting there, with no fans/customers around him. What the? This is Carmine frakking Infantino here!
I made my way over and quietly introduced myself to the man, and he was very nice and friendly, and offered his hand up immediately. When I asked if I could get an Aquaman sketch, Carmine directed the transaction to his handler and/or business manager, and after a few moments I started to understand why maybe Carmine wasn't all that busy.

I won't get into the specifics--not to be a tease but because people are allowed to have bad days, and maybe today was just one of those for him. But suffice it to say, I was treated pretty rudely, but I wasn't going to let that deter me from getting a sketch from this talented man.

A few minutes later, Carmine handed my book back to me and while the piece is very loose, its unmistakingly an Infantino, and I gladly handed over the money to his business person.

Carmine was initially only offering head shots, but as you can see he went the extra mile for me(without me asking), of which I greatly appreciated. As I was looking at the book, though, the manager snappishly said to me "He normally just does heads, I hope you appreciate what you got!" which left me sort of shaking my head as I walked away.

As I did, I looked back, and Carmine went back to having no other fans at his table.

Stuff like this bothers me. Carmine Infantino is one of the few legends the industry has left; he should be invited to, and treated at, these comic cons like baseball parks act when someone like Hank Aaron shows up--like visiting royalty. An Official Big Deal should me made, so people who come to con can take a moment to meet one of the giants of the field.


Adama said...

It amazes me how many nice, friendly stars have total assholes running the booth for them.

Its a shame the manager tainted your meeting with one of the greatest comic book legends ever, but hey, you've got some original Aquaman art to comfort you!

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear that. Carmine's a good guy and, as you say, deserves to have a big deal made about him. When I saw him sitting at his table at a convention a year or so ago, I brought my son over telling him he wa s about to meet one of the greatest artists and by far TOP DESIGNERS ever to work in comics. Carmine couldn't have been nicer to Max (then about 10) then he had been to me almost 40 years earlier the first time I met him in the halls of DC when he was editorial director and Paul Levitz and I were publishing The Comic Reader.

Anonymous said...

Oh, sorry, that was me above.

Paul K.

rob! said...

yeah, my interaction with the man himself couldn't have been nicer.

in fact, i tried to get a sketch from CI at the same con a year earlier, but this same guy treated me so shabbily that it scared me off.

but when the next con rolled around (in between having started all these blogs, which got me more interested in meeting all these comic people), i told myself i was going to do it, no matter what. and even though i was treated the same way, i'm glad i stuck it out--i have an original Infantino!

Anonymous said...


Not to sound like an Old Fart, but...

It KILLS me when the Usual Suspect (often Chops-deficient) Flavor Of The Month has a line out the door, and the Legend/Old Pro sits alone at his cafeteria table.

I've seen this with Carmine, with Jim Aparo, with Irwin Hasen, with Mart Nodell, with (etc.)

What the heck is UP with (supposed) Comics Fans?

(Even worse? When the big line next to the small one is for a freakin' Vampi model with her boobs out, or some such.)

Talk about feeding the stereotype of all fans being goobers...

-Craig W.

rob! said...

i agree, craig, but i think more needs to be done from the organizing level.

i don't blame your average (?) 15 year old comic fan for not wanting to talk with a Hasen or an Infantino, because, frankly, their work just looks terrible to most 15 yr olds (i couldn't stand Jack Kirby or Steve Ditko at that age)

but i'd love to see comic cons use the presence of an absolute legend like Infantino as more of a selling point to older fans, the kind that would appreciate seeing him.

have a panel about him, hosted by other pros who are also fans. have a slideshow highlighting his work.

every year the SD show has a Jack Kirby Tribute Panel, hosted by Evanier. i think something like that for the people still with us would be cool.

Anonymous said...

"Handlers" and "managers" ruin many a convention. They seem mostly to be the stereotypical "sleazy" Hollywood agent types, only interested in the big shots, not the peons who actually give them and their clients money. A real shame.

Although this sketch pales compared to others you've shown us here, the contributions that Carmine has made to comics more than makes up for the quickie rough sketch. He was indeed one, if not THE greatest designer ever to work in the medium.

rob! said...

yeah, the sketch is just that--a sketch--but part of the process i enjoy is getting to meet someone in person, shake their hand, tell them i'm a fan, etc.

i get emails like that myself occasionally, and it makes my day, so i figure if i have a chance to do the same...

CI could've given me a stick figure with an "a" on it and i probably woulda been just as happy. :)

Anonymous said...

Meeting Carmine would have been a big thrill for me, but I would have also been dissapointed by the drawing he gave you. It barely qualifies as a sketch. And considering you paid for it I would have expected something just a tad better.

rob! said...

well, Luis, keep in mind two things:

1)Carmine is 83 years old! i think its amazing he still has the energy to do any cons at all. i'm 37, but after a day walking a con i'm exhausted!

2)Carmine was pretty much just offering to do head shots of his most famous characters--Batman, Flash, etc., and he had pre-drawn examples of what he was selling.

without me asking, he drew me a character he's not that familiar with, plus drew more than a head shot in an aquaman-esque pose!

so while, yeah, the sketch is VERY loose, i'm ok with it.

Anonymous said...

"Carmine is 83 years old! i think its amazing he still has the energy to do any cons at all."

"Do cons?"

I see the guy hiking the streets here!

-Craig W.

K.B. said...

I am very saddend when going to these shows and i see the greats of the industry ignored.It isn't right.