Golden age artist Al Plastino has died after a long battle with prostate cancer. He was 91.
Plastino was best known as a Superman Artist—he was the last surviving Golden Age Superman artist, in fact. Among the characters he drew first: Supergirl, Saturn Girl, Lightning Lad and Cosmic Boy. He also co-created the Parasite and drew comic strips including Nandy and was in general the model of a busy cartoonist.
In recent days Plastino was involved in a struggle to retrieve some artwork featuring JFK that he had donated to DC Comics some 50 years ago. Plastino was surprised to see the art up for auction on Heritage, and a battle to find out why the art had not been donated and who really had claim to it was underway.
Plastino was known as a guy with the perfect clean style. This led to two rather bizarre episodes in comics history. In one, PLastino was hired to redrew Jack Kirby’s Superman pages to make them adhere better to the house style.
In another, when United Media thought that Charles Schulz might not be returning to Peanuts following surgery, they hired Plastino to do some fill-in strips. They never ran.
You have to be a pretty good cartoonist to sub for the two greatest American cartoonists ever.
You can read the Mark Evanier obit here.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.