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Friday, April 05, 2013

Aquaman Art Gallery: Carmine Infantino

The Shrine had another post planned for today, but now that word has broken that the legendary Carmine Infantino has passed away, I thought it would be appropriate to re-post this Aquaman sketch I received from the man himself back in 2007.

Mr. Infantino and Aquaman didn't cross paths very much; anytime that he got to draw the Sea King in a comic it was usually in the context of an appearance by the entire Justice League of America. So even though he wasn't all that familiar with the character when I met him (still doing conventions at age 83!), he generously agreed to do the sketch, and went above and beyond by doing this half-body shot (despite the protestations of his booth handler, who wanted Mr. Infantino to stick to headshots of two or three of the characters he was most associated with).

In addition to his staggeringly long career as a comics artist (where he was involved in the creation of characters like Batgirl, Black Canary, The Elongated Man, the original Phantom Stranger, Deadman, Animal Man, and a little speedster named The Flash), he was also DC Comics' Editorial Director, in charge of designing some of the company's most iconic covers, including this one:
Later, he was promoted to Publisher, and helped usher in DC's foray into different formats, like treasury editions, digests, and magazines. Basically, if you read superhero comics in the 1950s, 60s, 70s, or 80s, you were probably reading something directly or indirectly influenced by Carmine Infantino, whether you knew it or not. In the world of comics, he was simply a giant.

Rest in Peace, Carmine Infantino.



Wings1295 said...

He contributed so much! He will be missed.

wich2 said...

THE Flash man.

Rest - and thanks - Carmine.


Orin's dad said...

I always liked his work. Sorry to hear of his passing...

Anonymous said...

One of the best designers ever to grace the comic page. The MASTER of cover design. No one did it better.


Richard said...

One might also add that as editorial director Carmine Infantino brought to DC a couple of fellows named Neal Adams and Dick Giordano, and the latter brought with him from Charlton a couple of fellows named Jim Aparo and Steve Skeates. Those four names are, shall we say, not insignificant in the saga of Aquaman. As I wrote elsewhere, the era when Infantino ran DC was an unparalleled time of creative risk taking and experimentation at the company. Creators got to follow their instincts and do unexpected things with comics in a way that could never ever happen today. A lot of great books were published then that wouldn't have happened anywhere without Infantino.

(Carmine also gets a lot of heat for books being cancelled too quickly regardless of success, definitely the case with Aquaman -- but Mark Evanier makes the case that Infantino didn't really have a say in that process.)