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CSBG Archive

365 Reasons to Love Comics #139

Another fine Silver Age artist is featured in today’s column! He’s one of the greatest cover artists DC’s ever had– and all the lads love the way he draws the lasses. His work is so good, in fact, that I may have gone overboard with the images. Don’t worry, though; they’re all beautiful.

5/19/07

139. Nick Cardy

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Nick Cardy (real name: Nick Viscardi) is a fantastic artist. His figurework astonishes me every time I see it, and his dynamic sense of layout makes him one of the greatest cover artists in the industry. Having taken his blows in World War II (receiving two Purple Hearts) and honed his skills in the Will Eisner workshop, Cardy emerged in the Silver Age as one of the premiere artists in his field.

Along with Ramona Fradon, our friend from yesterday, Mr. Cardy is one of the definitive Aquaman artists. You may think that isn’t anything special, but Cardy’s skills speak otherwise. After he finished his run on the interiors, he continued to draw the covers– in fact, he drew covers for quite a bit of DC’s line. Look at his gorgeous Aquaman covers (as with all images here, click to enlargen):

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After Aquaman, he lent his artistic talents to the pages of Teen Titans, where he made these hep cats and kittens come alive! And, once again, he drew some amazing covers. You can find his work in the Showcase volume of Teen Titans, available now from your local graphic literature purveyor.

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And I can’t let a column go by without mentioning his fine work on Bat Lash, with our other good friend from this week, Sergio Aragonés!

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He’s primarily known, however, for his portrayal of lady characters. Now, I’m not one for “good girl” art and the like, and I know we’re all stinging from the Mary Jane statue hubbub, but I have to say, Nick Cardy draws attractive females very well. See for yourself:

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(Wild, wet, and whacky? Fans must’ve loved that one.)

In the 70′s, Nick Cardy left comics to work in advertising, drawing materials for such films as Street Fighter (the awesome one, with Sonny Chiba), Apocalypse Now, and Star Wars. He still visits the fans, however, at comic conventions, and has a seat in the Eisner Awards’ Hall of Fame. He’s one of the greats, and it’s fantastic to see him still enjoying himself at cons.

The official Nick Cardy website may be found here and if you act now, you can purchase a copy of The Art of Nick Cardy from Amazon.

5 Comments

Cardy’s covers are some of the best, if not the best, the industry has ever seen.

Great Reason to Love Comics.

You’re on a roll, Bill. Keep the classic artists coming.

Nick Cardy was ridiculously ahead of his time. I’m very glad to see him featured here. Great choice Bill!

Cardy’s covers are great, but don’t sell short his sequential storytelling. Like Sergio, I was also surprised to see Cardy show up alot in those “Showcase Presents House of Mystery” trades, and every time I came across one of his stories, I thought for sure it was Alex Toth. That’s high praise indeed.

The Kirbydotter

May 20, 2007 at 7:09 am

Oh boy!
Here we go!
Now you’re talking some serious $#!t!

Nick Cardy!
I hunt down Bronze Age DC for this guy’s great classic covers!
I am such a fan, last year I spent a whole lot of money (a few hundreds $) for a long Bronze Age of Superman and Action Comics because his covers had left an imprint in my brain since I was a kid. Well that and the incredibly great Swanderson art! Do any of you guys remember the covers with the Viking from Valhalla? the Superman in a dentist chair? The Man of Steel with half his body in a molten state? I could go on and on!

And remember that Nick Cardy had to follow Neal Adams’s footsteps as DC main cover artist! No mean feat! Adams and Cardy were the best cover of DC’s long history. You could not miss a cover from Adams or Cardy in a comicbook rack. They could “hook” you into buying a title you would not have considered otherwise. Covers were more interesting than the stories inside most of the time and they told a story with a single striking image.

Nick Cardy art was rather cartoony by the time the Bronze Age rolled in, especially in BAT LASH. Unique style, just like yesterday’s Ramona Fradon entry. But even in the 50′s when Cardy had a more classic house style, he was a few notched above every one else. You can see a very nice exemple of hic more classical style in DC’s GREATEST 1950′S STORIES EVER TOLD. There is a cool Cardy-drawn CONGO BILL story. If this was not the best gorilla ever drawn until some of Brian Bolland’s covers (on ANIMAL MAN and CONGORILLA)…

I own and recommend THE ART OF NICK CARDY book. They have some of his best DC covers (with Mr. Cardy’s comments), exemple of his comic strip “ghosting”, beautiful exemple of his amazing paintings (a true artist I tell ya), his movie poster works, sketeches, etc. A must read!

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