Artist Paul Ryan passed away this weekend, at the age of 66. He was the regular artist on The Flash for two years in the late 1990s, working with Waid/Augustyn on such stories as “Presidential Race,” “Flash of Two Cities” and “Hell to Pay” and with Morrison/Millar on “Emergency Stop” and “The Human Race.”
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.
Legendary artist Joe Kubert passed away this morning at the age of 85. His long association with DC Comics goes back to the early 1940s, where he had an extended run as the artist on the Golden-Age Hawkman, including the Hawkman-themed Flash Comics covers. (Flash and Hawkman shared the spotlight for the series, and alternated covers.) During this time, he also drew several Flash stories and Flash-themed covers, notably featuring the Thorn.
In 1969, he returned briefly to The Flash to draw a series of covers, shocking both in their themes and in their rugged contrast from the sleeker lines usually associated with the character.
In 1990, Kubert drew the cover to the Flash 50th Anniversary Special, and in 2006, he inked his son Andy Kubert’s cover for Flash: The Fastest Man Alive #1. I believe this makes him the only artist to professionally draw all four Flashes during the time they were active as the main Flash.
While most associated with Sgt. Rock and war comics, Kubert’s career spanned many characters and genres. He was active to the end, through the Kubert School and his own art. His most recent work was just published last week in Before Watchmen: Nite Owl, and DC recently announced a Joe Kubert Presents anthology miniseries.
Mark Evanier remembers Joe Kubert on his blog, News From Me. First Comics News has a retrospective on his career and is collecting remembrances from others in the industry. CSBG has a gallery of great Joe Kubert covers. Update: The Washington Post has a retrospective with remembrances from other comics professionals, and The Beat looks back on his “unparalleled life”. Update: More reactions at Progressive Ruin, Being Carter Hall, Fire and Water Podcast.
(Covers via comics.org.)
Classic comic book artist Sheldon Moldoff passed away last Wednesday at 91. He was the last surviving artist to have worked on Action Comics #1, and drew the covers of Flash Comics #1 and All-American Comics #16, the first cover appearances of the Flash and Green Lantern. Moldoff drew the Golden-Age Hawkman for several years, and was Bob Kane’s main ghost artist on many of the Batman features credited to Kane.
Mark Evanier writes about Moldoff’s life and career.
It’s always sad to hear about someone in comics dying, but there are times when it just comes out of nowhere. Yesterday’s news about Dwayne McDuffie’s unexpected death was one of those headlines that just made me say, “Wait…what?!?!”
I wish I had time to write more, so I’ll just toss these out:
1. Justice League Unlimited was fantastic.
2. McDuffie wrote the best Flash story of the short post-“Lightning Saga” relaunch: the Flash/Wonder Woman team-up in Justice League #20.
If you’ve been following any comics news sites over the past week, you’ve probably read that legendary artist Dick Giordano passed away last weekend. I don’t really have much to add to what others have said elsewhere online, but he contributed to more than 70 issues of The Flash from 1970 to 1984.
Funny story: my first introduction to the artist was on the cover of Captain Carrot #14, a funny-animal superhero book which featured the first part of an homage to the classic JLA/JSA team-ups. In addition to the faces of the Zoo Crew on one the left side of the cover and the Just’a Lotta Animals on the other, the bottom of the cover featured funny animal versions of the creative team and others at DC, labeled as Owl Gordon, Duck Giordano, and so on. So I knew his name long before I knew his work!