The legendary artist, art director and publisher passed away Thursday, April 4, 2013, less than two months before his 88th birthday.
“Like many other comic book fans my age (and many who came after), I grew up on Carmine’s Flash. His linear style of art, which certainly increased over the years, lent itself to the fast-moving action of Barry Allen’s adventures and really helped pull readers in,” said Steve Geppi, President and CEO of Diamond Comic Distributors. “He was a good paisano, and while I am saddened by our loss, I am thankful for the rich and lasting legacy of storytelling he leaves behind.”
"Carmine was a unique talent in comics history: one of the most refined artists of the Golden Age, the artist who launched the Silver Age, the artist who won the fan awards as they were first launched, the designer of many of DC's most memorable covers, an editorial leader who launched a wave of experiments and the only artist ever to lead the #1 comics publisher. He had a sharp eye, a willingness to take chances on people and ideas, and I'm honored to have served my apprentince years at his DC," said former DC Comics President and Publisher Paul Levitz.
“Carmine Infantino was a tremendous force for innovation in the comic book industry. From co-creating the Silver Age Flash to giving the go-ahead for Jack Kirby’s Fourth World titles, he was frequently an engine for change. He helped make the first meeting of Superman and Spider-Man possible, and later drew a number of now-beloved issues of Star Wars for Marvel. I was glad to have his work on the cover of The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide, and I suspect his influence will last in our industry for a very long time,” said author and publisher Robert M. Overstreet.
Showing his illustration and design talents on characters ranging from the science fiction adventurer Adam Strange to serious superhero Batman to somewhat silly hero Elongated Man, Infantino became DC's Art Director, Editorial Director and eventually Publisher, supervising among other things the first Marvel - DC crossover, Superman vs. The Amazing Spider-Man. Following his staff tenure, he returned to work as a freelancer, illustrating Star Wars, Nova, and Spider-Woman for Marvel and various others for DC.
As with many of the greats, it’s difficult to measure their impact solely in terms of their own work on the printed page. Often is their impact on others by which their true measure is taken.
“So sad to learn of the passing of another comic book legend. Carmine Infantino was one of the great influential artists in the history of the medium and I will always look upon his Adam Strange, Flash and Space Museum stories as wondrous examples of fantasy made even more magical at the hands of a master. RIP, Carmine,” artist George Pérez posted on his Facebook page.
“Carmine was one of the first comics artists whose style I could recognize on sight, back as the regular artist on Marvel's Star Wars book,” posed Star Wars writer John Jackson Miller.
“When you think of the definitive Flash, you think of Carmine’s brilliant work. His innovations with speed lines, ways of delineating super-speed in a panel made Flash just so much fun. Carmine will be sorely missed. My condolences to his family. We are all at a loss,” said Vincent Zurzolo, Chief Operating Officer of Metropolis Collectibles.
“I'm extremely sad to learn that DC artist, art director, and publisher Carmine Infantino has passed away today. He was interviewed and featured in our book The Batcave Companion. Carmine was the inspiration for my cover design of the upcoming issue of Noir City. Infantino was a legend in the comic book business, he redefined both Batman and The Flash and was DC's publisher when I was reading their comics as a kid,” writer-designer-historian Michael Kronenberg posted.
“There are few people in this world that have had as much of an impact on the industry as Carmine. He bridged both the Golden and Silver Ages of comics, shepherding in some of the most successful periods in our history and setting the course of our characters that is still seen today. He will be greatly missed, but his legacy will remain forever,” DC Entertainment Co-Publisher Dan DiDio said.
“A piece of my childhood died with the passing of Carmine Infantino. Without doubt, his wonderful imagination, talent and style were unique and formed the foundation for the love of comic books that I carry with me to this day. Many years ago, I walked up to him at a convention, shook his hand and said a simple thank you. Form him it probably was a moment played out countless times before and since. For me, it was like meeting Mickey Mantle. Carmine Infantino has died but his I know this imagination lives on in the form of millions of comic books fans around the world,” said Metropolis Collectibles founder Stephen Fishler.
“Carmine was a legend. The number of classic covers he created are innumerable. His influence, reach and impact is humbling and will always live on,” DC Entertainment Co-Publisher Jim Lee said.
“When I was a little kid, Carmine was the first artist whose work I could instantly identify, thanks to stacks of gogo check era comics I inherited from an uncle. When I hit my teenage years, he was ‘my’ Flash artist, as he and Cary Bates were firing on all cylinders on their amazing early 80s run on the book, left to their own devious devices while DC slowly plotted out Barry’s demise in the leadup to Crisis. His clean, architectural style and superb sense of composition defined the pop-art 60s as much as did Kirby, Steranko, or Adams, and perhaps even more so, since his dramatic cover layouts dominated the newsstands for DC for nearly a decade. I had the very great privilege of spending an evening with him in San Diego during my first trip to the con some years ago, and his irascible humor and still-youthful spirit were a delight and a treasure. His name might not have been known among the casual comics fans, but his work always resonates with anyone I show it to, and his influence on the modern comics landscape is undeniable. He was one of the last true comic pioneers, and we are poorer for his loss,” said Frank Cwiklik of Metropolis Collectibles.