Carmine M Infantino v. DC Comics et al: The Fight For The Flash
I don’t know what the hell he’s talking about because in those days we all signed contracts, work for hire. So anything we did, they own. And he never created these things. He became top dog when the editor in chief at DC retired. Because of the problems they were having with sales he decided to bring back the Flash. He influenced Julie Schwartz in the science fiction department to bring back the Flash. He re-designed the new costume so it had the little wings on his hat like the old Flash, and streamlined it. But that’s not creating it. All he did was re-institute something that was always there. It was business move. I don’t think he stands a ghost of a chance. Even Siegel and Schuster couldn’t win and they created Superman. Anything that comes out of you belongs to the company. It’s like Marv Wolfman creating a character for Marvel, but if you’re on staff then its work for hire. You can’t win. Look at Steve Gerber with Howard The Duck – he fought like crazy.
I could say the same thing. Ross and I designed the Metal Men. Bob Kanigher created it in one weekend to get an issue of Showcase out against a deadline. He came into Ross and I and we designed the characters. We never got credit for it. It was always Andru and Esposito artists and Bob Kanigher writer. You always realised that Kanigher was the creator because writers are the creators, so that’s who sues. Just like Kirby did a lot of a creating for Stan Lee. But you never thought of Kirby being the guy behind the Hulk, behind a lot of these characters with Stan breaking down the writing. Kirby brought it out in drawing, and when they had their little story confabs he came up with a lot of ideas because he that kind of a brain, more than Stan Lee about fantasy, science fiction and so on. You never thought of Kirby, you thought of Stan Lee. You never thought of Andru and Esposito, you thought of Bob Kanigher. Years later when they brought it back, when they published new stories of the Metal Men and in the credits, and I’ll never forget it because I was surprised, it said ‘created by Bob Kanigher, Ross Andru and Mike Esposito’ on the splash page. Bob had something to do with that. He realised that Ross and I had a lot to do with the development of those characters. All Bob did was said we have gold, we have lead and all of that, but he couldn’t draw so we designed all the characters.
Julie Schwartz loved Carmine because Carmine did great science fiction. Carmine did a great job in stylising and giving the look for comic books and science fiction. He had that flat, two-dimensional look for the buildings, the skylines and the cities. It didn’t have that depth like Ross Andru. But Ross was terrible when drawing the Flash, although we did it for about four years, and he hated it. He struggled with it and he couldn’t get Carmines look. I could have inked it if it was pencilled that way, but Ross used his Slavic anatomy. Thick legs, thick body, Ross had the same look on his own body and he drew himself. He muscled him up and when you muscle up the Flash you slow him down, visually. You can’t get speed with fat legs. You had to make him very lithe and very thin and put speed lines behind him to make people think he’s flying. When Ross did it he had angles, he had legs and arms bending, he had all this animation, where Carmine had it very straight up, with his arms at his side. Ross’s stuff never looked like he was going swift, although the readers would write in and say “We’ve finally got some good artwork for the Flash!” Those are a matter of opinion because Ross told a great story. He gave depth to the layouts, the angles from looking down. Angles on the Flash from three quarters up from his jaw as he was running. These are difficult things to draw and Carmine gave this quicker, simpler look that was right for what he was doing. Now to pick up the job ten years later and take it over, well it’s going to be so different, like night and day. That’s the sad part. Carmine liked it because it relived him from a job that he didn’t want to do anymore. He was the assistant to the publisher, he almost became the publisher then, in fact he became the publisher later until some internal problems happened and he was forced out.
I really liked Carmine’s handling of the Flash. As much as I loved Ross I have to say Carmine’s Flash was hundreds of time better, for what it supposed to be. It had all of the look, the feel and the swiftness, where Ross’s, as beautifully drawn as it was on a technical sense… It’s like having Rembrandt do it. Beautiful work, but it doesn’t move. It has to be a caricature of real life.