Celebrated comic book artist Carmine Infantino has died. He was 87. There is a review of his long career in the comic book industry on IGN here. What I knew him for was his work on the early Marvel Star Wars comics, which I began collecting in the mid-1980s, six or seven years after his contributions. Wookiepedia lists Infantino's artistic credits on Marvel Star Wars in its usual fanatical detail here. He pencilled nearly every issue between numbers 11 and 37, from 1978 to mid-1980, and drew a few more after Empire. His depictions of the characters did not often bear a close resemblance to the actors that played them in the films, but they were full of style and charm.
Infantino's renderings of Princess Leia really caught my attention. Today the "Slave Leia" cosplay phenomenon has turned Leia into something of a sex symbol, but there was really nothing sexual about her in Star Wars or Empire. Under Infantino's hand, however, Leia was smoking hot. Her figure did not quite reach the absurd proportions found in comics today (or even the mid-'80s) but George Lucas's gaffer tape was certainly removed. What really made Leia sexy, however, were the magnificently arched eyebrows, high cheekbones and full lips Infantino gave her:
And especially here:
Now that's sexy. I'll take Infantino's Leia over Slave Leia any day.