Joe Ahearn here. I felt the need to pay tribute after hearing of the loss today of Carmine Infantino, one of the premiere artists of the Silver Age of Comics who ushered it in starting with DC’s Showcase #4 featuring his new redesign of The Flash , the introduction of Batman’s “new look” in Detective #327 , the introduction of Batgirl and other milestones too numerous to mention. He also had a hand in the cover design of DC’s Captain Action #1 which began his relationship with our hero.
I had the opportunity to meet and work with Mr. Infantino in the late 1990s when as a consultant to the Playing Mantis Captain Action toy line, I met with him and persuaded him to do the packaging art for the toy line. I had read in Chip Kidd’s book, Batman Collected that he took part in the original 60s Ideal Toy line art , so I thought it would be great to have him on board. I later learned Murphy Anderson was also instrumental in the Ideal art and got the opportunity to meet him as well. I had hoped to have both of them do some work but time ran short. (I was happy to make that up to Murphy later on when we got him to do a special variant cover for Captain Action Comics #1 based on an Infantino/ Anderson Batman & Robin Pin Up).
I met with Carmine at his home in NYC and he was gracious enough to take me to lunch at The Palm restaurant who’s walls are filled with great artists’ sketches including a huge Batman sketch he drew on the wall which we sat under. It was a great experience for this kid who grew up reading the comics he drew and an honor to have been able to spend that time with him.
His graciousness toward me ended with him later presenting me a bunch of the roughs he had done for the box art which are among my prized possessions. One of these roughs is featured in our Captain Action trading card set from a couple of years ago.
Upon bringing Captain Action back in 2008 and attending numerous comic cons, I would always stop and say hello to Mr. Infantino if he was on hand. He will be greatly missed and fondly remembered.