Saturday, April 6, 2013

RIP Carmine Infantino

Carmine Infantino — the man who SAVED BATMAN! — died on Thursday at his home in Manhattan. Mr. Infantino, a celebrated comic-book artist who also drew the Flash, was 87.

His agent, J. David Spurlock, confirmed the death.

Mr. Infantino’s dynamic, avant-garde aesthetic helped usher in the “silver age” of comic books, which held sway from the mid-1950s to about 1970. He was known in particular for his long association with DC Comics, where he began as an artist, became an editor and was later the publisher.

Sleek and streamlined, Mr. Infantino’s work married comic-book art — formerly busier and baggier — to midcentury modernism. He was considered one of the industry’s finest pencilers, as the artist who first gives a story visual form is known. (An inker follows behind, filling in the penciler’s lines.)

As a cover artist Mr. Infantino was a master of motion, and on each of the blizzard of covers he drew for DC, the title character seems to spring from the page, straight toward the viewer.

He was also famed for his death-defying resuscitation of two of DC’s most terminal cases: the Flash, selling poorly at midcentury and threatened with cancellation, and Batman, similarly consigned.

Carmine Michael Infantino was born in Brooklyn on May 24, 1925. As a boy, he adored drawing and dreamed of becoming an architect, but family finances amid the Depression put that calling out of reach.

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An original sketch I got from Carmine years ago.
The most cherished piece in my collection.