Golden Age comic artist Nick Cardy passed away last night in a hospital in Florida at the age of 93. He was hospitalised 2 days ago due a cold that led to respiratory issues and heart failure.

Born Nicholas Viscardi, he attended the Art Students League of New York and started working for the Iger/Eisner studio at the age of 18 and worked there until 1943 drawing non superhero comics side by side with people like Will Eisner and George Tuska. In 1943 he joined the army until 1945. In that time he got two purple hearts for wounds suffered while driving a tank. Upon his return to civilian life, he started working in advertising art. It was in the 50s when he returned to comics in the B&W Tarzan comic strip and later, went to work for DC again in non superhero comics like The Legends of Daniel Boone and Congo Bill amongs many other stories of varied genres (adventure, western, romance, horror, war).

Queen Mera looking lovely

His first long tenure already in the 60s was a run of 40+ issues in Aquaman, designing and drawing first appearances of characters such as Queen Mera and Ocean Master. He also did most of the artwork for the first 43 issues of the Teen Titans and other shorter projects. After that he went for a short time to work in Marvel’s Crazy Magazine and finally come back to DC in the 70s as a cover artist for series such as Action Comics, The Brave and the Bold, Flash, Batman, Superman, and Jimmy Olsen.

Ocean Master in all his fish rage!

Finally leaving the comic business, he went into the movie business illustrating advertising art and movie posters under the name Nick Cardi.

He was inducted in the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 2005 and kept drawing until his last years in conventions and occasionally for friends.

His passing has already resonated in the comic book community:

@KevinNowlan: Nick Cardy… if you saw his art you loved him. If you were lucky enough to meet him you loved him even more

@Al_Ewing: RIP Nick Cardy. One of the all-time greatest artists in the medium.

@GailSimone: Nick Cardy drew the cover to the first comic I ever fell in love with. Without him, I might never have had comics in my life.

@WalterSimonson: RIP. I’ve just gotten word that Nick Cardy caught the last train out at 9:35 this evening. Thanks for everything, Nick. Godspeed.

@MarkWaid: RIP Nick Cardy, a great man, a good soul, and a breathtaking artist. Lucky to have known him.

@KurtBusiek: There are hundreds of great Nick Cardy covers. But this one’s my favorite: http://t.co/G2C0NREmlp

@perezartist: UPDATE: Legendary artist Nick Cardy has passed away. RIP, Nick. You will be missed.: UPDATE: Legendary artist … http://t.co/ssV6LTVfob

Just to get a few legendary names giving his goodbye to Cardy.

I knew his artwork from reading reissue trade paperbacks from ’60s and ’70s DC comics, but I never really focused on who he was. Nevertheless, it’s always sad when a legendary artist pass away especially with the few ones remaining from the generation that created the hobby we all share, even if he had a long and successful career in three different and competitive business (advertising, comics and cinema).

If anyone has better words to say, or has a more personal relationship with the art or the person of Nick Cardy, please tell it in the comments so we can update this story with your own personal view.

There are at leat 3 books dedicated to the work of Nick Cardy:

The Art of Nick Cardy by john Coates and Nick Cardy

Nick Cardy: Comic Strips by Sean Menard and Nick Cardy

Nick Cardy: The artist at war by Nick Cardy

I leave you with a small selection of the cover artwork that made him famous back in the day.

 

And a bonus one

  • captaingenius

    Nick Cardy was the man. I picked up a trade of his Batlash comic the weekend after Conan O’Brien made fun of him. ( I didn’t do it to be a hipster, I’d been on the lookout for the trade for a while, funny how things work out. ) It’s full of amazing art and fun stories, one of the best in the trade was written by Cardy. Also, his women were AMAZING. His Mera is jawdroppingly sexy. That guy could draw anything. We need more comic artists like him. That dude will be missed.

    • CaneTheSutter

      You seem to know him better than I did. I feel sorry for getting to know him better after he passed away, and I would be very happy to include here any words you might like to write about him, his art or even a review of batlash if you want!

      • Bopnrumble

        Same here. I feel sorry for getting to know him after he passed away. But the “More Supermen” cover looked so familiar. The cover even found its way to Holland and Belgium in 1975!!!!!!!! Here is the Dutch version.

      • Bopnrumble

        By the way, respect that you did an obituary, but didn’t know him well.

        • CaneTheSutter

          that’s why I would gladly give this article over to whoever wants to write a more personal piece. I don’t want it to feel detached and cold. Obituaries should be warm and passionate. At least that’s how I feel about doing those. And I wouldn’t want anyone who’s truly a fan of Cardy to think this was just a “business as usual” piece. Hence if anyone there reads this and wants to collaborate we can find a place on this piece or they can add a totally new one or any other thing anyone comes with.

          It’s odd, I never thought about writing any of those and I had to write two in less than a week.

      • captaingenius

        I’m still discovering his work so I don’t have too much to say about him. I’m a big fan of letting an artists work speak for them. The Batlash trade is pretty cheap, even by DC Showcase Trade standards. They usually go for 16 bucks, but since it was such a short series the book was 10. I got it at a comic show for 5. I would easily pay way more for an 11 x 17 hardbound IDW Artist Edition of Batlash. Why? It’s full of beautiful women and fun adventure. As well as beautiful art all around. Conan O’Brien ripped on a pic of Batlash early in his run on TBS. He saw an image from Who’s Who drawn by Dave Gibbons and just slammed it. However, Batlash is a kickass character. He’s a dandy in the wild west, but being written by Sergio Aragones he’s more of a prototype for Groo. A peace loving woman chaser that will drop your ass if you offend him and maybe set your entire town on fire. He’s very much a barbarian that fancies himself as much more. This book is really cheap and a super fun read. I’d never have though that a comic made before I was born would be one of my favorites, but there you go. http://www.amazon.com/Showcase-Presents-Lash-Sergio-Aragones/dp/1401222951 And no, I don’t get money if you click on that amazon link.

  • AlienFanatic

    While I’m not a comic book fan, I can appreciate the talents of great artists. Mr. Cardy had excellent instincts, clean lines, and outstanding figure drawing skills. Truly an exceptional artist in his field.

    • CaneTheSutter

      The older I get the more I appreciate this classic style of drawing more and more opposite to the flashy and messy modern style, specially in comic book superheroes, where you get a lot of artist that really don’t give much of a crap to be able to draw proper humans