Al Plastino worked for the Pentagon at the end of World War II drawing and painting war posters and doing illustrations for army training manuals, but his love for art stemmed from his childhood. Before the war he had even inked some pages of Captain America, so he was no stranger to the world of comics when he submitted some sketches to DC Comics and began drawing Superman and the Superman family as it evolved.
His most famous contributions to the world of comics are as co-creator of both Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes. His list of credits is long and illustrious and he will be sadly missed. DC Comics released this press statement about his passing.
[quote]We are deeply saddened by the news of legendary artist Al Plastino’s passing.
One of the most talented and prolific Superman artists of the Silver Age, Plastino made a name for himself with the Superman family of titles. His biggest contribution to the lore of the Man of Steel was illustrating Supergirl’s blockbuster debut in the pages of ACTION COMICS #252, in 1959.
Plastino’s fluid, graceful linework, paired with a dynamic knack for facial expressions and subtle characterization made him one of the definitive Superman and DC artists of his time, and one held in high regard to this day.
In addition to Superman, Plastino also left a lasting mark on DC Comics’ team of the future, the Legion of Super-Heroes, and lengthy stints on the Batman comic strip.
“We’ve lost a great member of the DC Entertainment family today,” said Diane Nelson, DC Entertainment President. “Al Plastino was one of the most recognizable talents at DC for decades, and his art still resonates with so many fans of the Superman family and the Legion. Our condolences go out to his family and friends.”
“Al Plastino helped redefine Superman in the 1950s,” said Jim Lee, DC Entertainment Co-Publisher. “His work on SUPERMAN’S GIRLFRIEND, LOIS LANE, ADVENTURE COMICS and pretty much any title in the Superman family will be fondly remembered for years to come. He will be missed.”
“When you think of Superman in the 1950s, only a handful of artists come to mind – and Al Plastino’s one of them,” said Dan DiDio, DC Entertainment Co-Publisher. “Along with the likes of Wayne Boring and Curt Swan, Plastino brought a level of humanity to Superman that had never been seen before. This amazing, super-human being now had a smile like you or me. He brought out the human side of a modern myth. It was nuanced but game changing. We can’t think him enough for his work at DC, and we’re thinking of all those close to him during this difficult time.”[/quote] Source
A bit more about the man:[quote]Al Plastino learned to draw from copying the masters of old — literally. “ I used to go to the Metropolitan Museum in NYC — Dad would drop me off. I copied Renoir, Monet, Rembrandt, Raphael, Michaelangelo, all the masters.” [/quote] Source