Obituary: Nick Cardy (1920 – 2013), golden age comic book artist.

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:

@perezartist: UPDATE: Legendary artist Nick Cardy has passed away. RIP, Nick. You will be missed.: UPDATE: Legendary artist …

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