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.
I think that whlle giving attention to the interesting trivia that he was tapped to do some fill-in for Peanuts, we should not overlook that he did some substantial work on “legacy” humor strips Ferd’nand and Nancy.
I had the pleasure of meeting Al Plastino and his daughter at the 2011 NYCC. This was his first convention and he seemed a bit overwhelmed. (“Are you coming back next year?” “No way!”) He was also surprised at the attention he was receiving and how much his comic book art was commanding. “I re-draw a Superman cover for some fellow and he paid $2000.00! Can you believe it?!” This was 2011, mind you. He was extremely dapper sporting a jacket and tie. At later cons he appeared in more casual fashion at the Heroes Initiative booth. I was always tempted to visit him on Long Island, but never got the courage for fear he might think of me as some lunatic fan. He was an amazing talent and a real gentleman. I will surely miss Al Plastino.
My father was a talented man. His art work is amazing and carried himself with much confidence. He is greatly missed!
Comments are closed.