The Flash #123.
Copyright © 1963 DC Comics
Infantino used his more realistic art style to help made a clean break with the past. The "new look" caused controversy back and forth in the letters pages of fandom for years to come. The Batman books ended up selling well, and Infantino was able to chalk up (make that ink in) another victory.
Other work Infantino was doing at this time included various sci-fi stories for Schwartz, in addition to Batman, Elongated Man, Adam Strange and the Flash (plus covers for these books). His work ethic at the time involved a goal of two fully penciled pages a day.
That was remarkable at a time when most artists could usually turn out one (unless you were Jack "King" Kirby or Steve Ditko, who were known for doing several pages a day with little problem).
By 1967, as it became obvious that books with Infantino covers seemed to be selling better than others, he was charged with designing covers for the entire company.
When DC was sold to National, Infantino was promoted to Editorial Director. He started by hiring new talent, and promoting artists to editorial positions. Dick Giordano was hired away from Charlton Comics while Joe Orlando, Joe Kurbert and Mike Sekowsky became editors. New titles were started with work from new talents like Neal Adams and Denny O'Neil. Infantino was made publisher in early 1971.
His challenge was reversing the company's declining circulation, but complicating matters, the newly merged company owner, Warner Communications and distributor IDN had little faith in the company beyond the marketability of its characters, and newsstand and grocery stores didn't want to handle a magazine with such low profit margins.
Infantino attempted a number of changes. They in included starting several new books in the late 1960s to early 1970s . They included new series like Bat Lash, the Secret Six, and characters like Deadman and The Creeper came upon the scene. In addition, older characters were revamped, such as Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman to mixed results. Sales were not there in the beginning, causing Infantino to cancel the books, some believe too early.
Later in 1971, Infantino scored a major coup in signing super star Kirby from Marvel Comics, after Kirby's dispute with partner Stan Lee led him to leave the company. Kirby had been privately developing new characters in his last years at Marvel, but had been reluctant to use them for that company.
At DC, with Infantino, he and his newer creations were now unleashed. Starting in the Jimmy Olsen book, Kirby launched his Fourth World saga with the titles The New Gods, Forever People, and Mister Miracle.
In the early 1980s Infantino also did runs of Star Wars, Spider-Woman, Nova and others for Marvel. In the late '80's he returned to the Flash at DC, where he was much more at home than in the executive offices.
These days Infantino is retired, but he still does interviews once in awhile and makes convention appearances. He recently published an autobiography called The Amazing World of Carmine Infantino. Published by Vanguard Press, it features a cover collage (designed by J. David Spurlock) of beautiful vintage Infantino cover art.
Since the early 1960s, Infantino has been rightly regarded as one of the Top 5 comics artists of all time. His superb craftsmanship has insured that his position on that very short list has not changed since then, nor will it ever.
The Flash at DC Comics
Infantino at Lambeik's Comiclopedia
Infantino at Barnes And Noble
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