Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Unpublished Gems: Justice League of America

Here is another interesting variant of the published cover for Justice League of America #66 for November of 1968. Though not signed it appears to be by laid out by Carmine Infantino, tightened up by Dick Dillin, and inked by Joe Giella. There were a handful of artists DC favored to grace their covers as shown on this Neal Adams' version of the "Dirty Half-Dozen" chosen for print. Compared to the Infantino unpublished piece below, it couldn't have been more different with a triumphant JLA scaring their foes or Adams' super heroes running in terror! Perhaps editor Julius Schwartz just enjoyed the Neal's take on the scene over Carmine's interpretation. Born in 1925, Carmine Infantino attended both the School of Industrial Arts and the Art Students League in New York City, and broke into comic books as the illustrator of Timely's Jack Frost feature in 1942. In 1946, he began working at National Comics (DC), illustrating the Golden Age superheroes Flash, Green Lantern, Black Canary, as well as the Western, Johnny Thunder. In the fifties Infantino's drawings evolved into a streamlined, design-oriented style, influenced by artists Edd Cartier and Lou Fine. Perhaps Carmine's most celebrated work was his Silver Age re-launch of The Flash, which he drew for eleven years from 1956 to 1967. During this peak period of his career, the artist also drew various features including, Adam Strange, Batman, and the origin of Deadman. From the late sixties to the late seventies, Infantino served as the Editorial Director and then publisher of DC Comics. He oversaw many new innovative titles like Bat Lash, Captain Marvel, The Creeper, Hawk and Dove, The Shadow, Green Lantern/Green Arrow, Jack Kirby's Fourth World titles, and Joe Kubert's Tarzan comic books. Under his reign many artists now became editors at DC for the first time. When Infantino was replaced by an executive at DC, he returned to the art board and drew features for Warren Publishing, Marvel, and DC Comics before his retirement.

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