Al Plastino, a prolific Silver Age artist best known for his work on various Superman comics, passed away yesterday, November 25. He was 91 years old and was battling prostate cancer.
Plastino's earliest work was on the Dynamic Comics, where he pencilled and inked Dynamic Man and Major Victory. During World War II, he was drafted into the US Army and worked stateside as a designer of war posters and field manuels. After the war, Plastino began to work for DC Comics as an artist for Superman. Among his contributions were 48 Superman covers, and worked on several key Silver Age stories for the Man of Steel. Among his contributions were the first appearances of the Silver Age Supergirl (which he co-created with Otto Binder in 1959) and the Legion of Superheroes (which he co-created with Binder in 1958).
Binder also drew a story featuring Superman and President John F. Kennedy, which was delayed when Kennedy was assassinated shortly before the comic's publication. Plastino recently sued a New York auction house to learn the identity of the seller of that issue's artwork, as he was told by DC Comics that the issue's art was donated to the Kennedy Library. The lawsuit is believed to be unresolved at the time of Plastino's passing.
After working on Superman for 20 years, Plastino worked on retouching Jack Kirby's renditions of Superman and Jimmy Olsen for DC before moving onto comic strips. Plastino drew the Batman and Superman comic strips before moving onto other non-superhero strips such as Ferd'nand and Nancy. Plastino also ghost-drew a number of Peanuts strips for United Media (either during Charles Schulz's contract negotiations in the 1970's or during his heart surgery in the 1980's), which were never published.