Friday, April 5, 2013

R.I.P. DC Artist Carmine Infantino

I just heard the sad news that veteran comic book artist (and onetime publisher of DC Comics), Carmine Infantino, passed away. He was 87.

New Flash and Old Flash meet on
one of the most iconic images
ever to grace a comic book cover.
Carmine was a legend in the field for many reasons (aside from helping create the new version of the Flash character and launch the Silver Age of Comics), one of which was his ability to tell a story in clean, simple lines. I don't recall ever having to look at a page he drew trying to figure out what was going on. This simple storytelling is something that many new artists could learn a lot about by studying Carmine's work.

Although I never directly spoke to the man (or met him), I have always suspected that I had a tiny influence on his work on one occasion. 

In the 1980s Carmine was drawing the series Spider-Woman. I was a fan of this series and liked it's dark artwork and unusual themes. But I wasn't always thrilled with the fact that the lead character was always getting her costume torn up, then she was captured and tied up (I like a little teasing artwork every now and then, but it was really getting ridiculous at how often she was knocked out and tied up). 

Being a geeky fan, this bugged me because Spider-Woman can't fly: she can glide with the wings built into her costume. But, that costume had been torn to shreds dozens of times so that she would start the issue in tatters, but as the story progressed, the outfit would seem to magically fix itself (and no, it wasn't self-repairing nano-fibers or unstable molecules). 

Anyway, I wrote a letter to the editors and complained about it. Low and behold, within six months, the title page of an issue opened with her sitting in her apartment, sewing her costume. I loved it!

Without having the issues handy (I still haven't cataloged and reboxed the "S" comics, yet), I don't have the issue references for you. But I still fondly recall how the series addressed my geeky concerns. Whether true or not, I always supposed that my letter was the impetus for that scene... and I thank them.

And I also thank Carmine for all his great years of work in providing solid entertainment and being a guiding force for good in the comics industry. He rightfully deserves to be called a legend and he will be missed.