April 4, 2013

RIP Carmine Infantino

Category: Creators, Flash History, Timely — By @ 4:57 pm

Comics legend Carmine Infantino, co-creator of the Silver Age Flash, Kid Flash, and most of the early Flash villains, passed away at the age of 87, as reported by IGN, CBR and other sources.

Infantino was one of the few remaining artists from the Golden Age of comics. He was even the artist on a few of the late Jay Garrick stories, and when DC decided to reinvent the Flash in 1956, he did the character design. The new Flash, Barry Allen, was a hit, and Carmine Infantino remained on as artist and cover artist for the feature as it graduated from Showcase to a regular series. Many of the Flash’s most memorable Rogues’ Gallery and other villains were created in this early burst of Silver Age creativity, including Captain Cold, Pied Piper, Mr. Element/Dr. Alchemy, Trickster, Gorilla Grodd and Captain Boomerang.

He later made the move from talent to management, becoming DC’s editorial director and publisher during the 1970s. In the 1980s, he returned to drawing comics including a second extended run on The Flash that lasted until the series ended with Crisis on Infinite Earths. In recent years he was retired, but would occasionally make appearances at conventions.

I never met him, but I count myself lucky that I saw him in person at the 2006 Comic-Con International, where he appeared on the 50 Years of the Flash panel and a career retrospective. One of the stories he told at both panels was about the “war” between him and Julius Schwartz: he’d try to draw ever-more-nasty cliffhangers on his covers, and every time, Julie would come up with a story to go with it. So finally he drew one with the Flash and the Golden Age Flash both racing to save some guy, and said, “There! Top that!” The rest, of course, is history.

Other remembrances: Mark Evanier, The Beat, DC Comics blog, ComicsAlliance, Robot 6, That F’ing Monkey, Nelson deCastro, New York Times, NPR, Mark Waid, Mark Evanier again.

Showcase #4

16 responses to “RIP Carmine Infantino”

  1. Kyer says:

    Carmine Infantino has died. :'(

  2. Flash Fact says:

    http://www.ign.com/articles/2013/04/04/carmine-infantino-passes-away-at-87?abthid=515df9b04d478ff154000012

    Today, one of the greatest artists of all time passed away. his name was Carmine Infantino. He was 87 years old, and he was one of my greatest heroes. you see, Carmine co-created my all-time favorite superhero, the Flash.

    Carmine helped develop the world of the superhero as we know it. His art revolutionized the industry in ways that had never before been seen. He created sleek, streamlined and colorful costumes. He helped develop strange new threats and menaces like Gorilla Grodd, the Cloud Creatures, and the first supervillain mafia, the Central City rogues. batman fans might know him as the one who saved the entirety of the Batman Franchise in the 1960’a. He even created one of Batman’s most enduring villains, Poison ivy.

    His website: http://www.carmineinfantino.com/

    Carmine served as an Editor at DC for many years, and it was he who hired away his close friend, Jack Kirby. At DC, Jack created the New Gods, including Mr. Miracle, Darkseid, and many more characters who still exist to this day.

    Carmine helped to or solely created Captain Cold, the Trickster, Adam Strange, Weather Wizard, Wally West, and so many more. But it was Carmine’s best creation, the Flash we all call Barry Allen that he will always be best identified with. It was Carmine who helped give o us one of the most heroic characters in all of fiction, and it is Carmine to whom I personally owe a huge debt.

    You see, Carmine Infantino saved my life. In my teenaged years, I battled a severe depression that at times, made taking my own life seem like the best way out. Stupid, emo, whatever you want to call it, and it was, but at the time, it made sense. And then out of the blue, at the public library I spotted a collection of Flash comics with art by carmine. Instantly, I was hooked on an age of simple heroics, filled with brave, imaginative characters and strange, challenging concepts. And the art, my God, the art… Every page, every panel, every line was used to its full potential. Nothing was wasted when Mr. Infantino put pen to paper. Barry Allen and Carmine Infantino saved my life, and now, I fear I will never be able to thank him.

    I never got the chance to meet Mr. Infantino personally, but he has always meant so much to me. I pray to God for his family, for his friends, and for us, all of his fans. We have lost one of the greatest minds in the history of Comics, Graphic Novels, or whatever you want to call them. This was a man who gave to us a modern myth about a man who could run as fast as light and would never, ever fail us. And Neither did Carmine.

    Thank you, Carmine.

    Carmine Infantino: May 24th, 1925 – April 4th, 2013

    • Kelson says:

      Wow. What an incredible story.

      • Flash Fact says:

        Thank you, Kelson. I just wanted to articulate everything Carmine meat to so many of us. Barry fans, Wally fans, whatever. Today, we’re all united. We’re just Flash Fans who miss one of our greatest heroes. And we all hurt for this loss.

  3. Kelson says:

    I’ve moved over a few comments from another post that, now that this one is up, fit better here.

  4. Lee H says:

    Carmine Infantino is one of the all time greats. As long as there are comics, he’ll never be forgotten.

    • Flash Fact says:

      Well said. I can’t think of a more lovely sentiment than this. Thank you for putting it so nicely.

  5. Savitar says:

    A true legend and he will be sorely missed. God Bless.

  6. Tony Laplume says:

    Infantino was a giant. He’ll be missed.

  7. OwenKelly says:

    FWIW I also wrote a short appreciation here: http://www.owenkelly.net/3192/carmine-infantino/

    One of the aspects of his work that I most appreciated was the fact that when he returned to Flash in the late eighties he completely reworked his style and did not merely reprise what he was already known for. He carried on pushing himself when he could have coasted.

  8. OwenKelly says:

    The story you told about the genesis of Flash 123 is a very good story, but it left me wondering whether it was really true or a good yarn that had got polished (and simplified) in the retelling.

    I know that DC had a practice of commissioning attention-grabbing covers and then assigning writers to create stories around them, and so the story could well be true. But if it is then it would mean that the whole idea of Earth 2 was an accidental result of a private joke/battle. I had always thought that bringing Jay Garrick back was an editorial decision. Am I wrong?

    If the story is literally true, though, then it stands right up there with the creation of the Silver Surfer. In that story Jack Kirby drew him unannounced into a story to irritate Stan Lee in exactly the same spirit of “get out of that then!”

  9. Golddragon71 says:

    I have his autograph on my Copy of Flash Archives #1
    Sad to hear of yet another Silver Age legend passing.

  10. To the greatest Flash artist of them all, may he rest in peace. His work on the Flash is what made the character the icon he is today to comic’s fans. I still remember as a little boy being awestruck at the incredible covers he did for the Flash, which compelled me to buy them whenever I saw them.

  11. married guy says:

    We have lost another LEGEND of the industry.
    Without Infantino, there quite literally may never have been a Silver Age of comics. The industry would have been a very very different place.

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