Friday, April 5, 2013

Carmine Infantino (1925-2013)

I'd been outside smoking and returned to my apartment to hear Carmine Infantino being talked about on All Things Considered.  Unfortunately, it turned out that the reason Infantino was being mentioned on the NPR news program is that he died yesterday at the age of 87.
Born in 1925, Infantino began working in the comics industry while still in high school.  His greatest impact came in the 1950s through to the 70s.  In 1956, he co-created with writer Robert Kanigher a new version of the DC's moribund super-hero The Flash.  The revamped character's debut in Showcase #4 is widely considered the event which initiated the Silver Age.  
When the Flash was given his own title soon after, Infantino continued delineating the speedster's adventures until 1967.  Late in his career, he would return to illustrate the final five years of the Flash's comic.  Overall,  between his two stints on the title, Infantino ended up drawing fully half of the character's Silver and Bronze Age adventures.
Infantino's first go-round on Flash ended when he got "kicked upstairs" in 1967,  becoming first DC's first artistic director, then editorial director and finally publisher.  He stepped down as publisher in 1976 and returned to freelancing.
It was as editorial director in 1970 that Infantino helped to bring to a close the very Silver Age he had kicked off with the first Flash story  when he lured Jack Kirby away from Marvel over to DC to create his Fourth World titles.  Many people, myself among them, consider Kirby's defection to signal the beginning of the Bronze Age.
In addition to The Flash, Infantino is best known for drawing Adam Strange and the Elongated Man, initiating the "New Look" Batman in the mid-60s, and a run on Marvel's Star Wars comic.  He also drew the very first Deadman story.
A more complete account of Infantino's career and a full list of his artistic credits can be found at the Comic Book Database.

No comments:

Post a Comment