Yesterday I found out Nick Cardy
passed away at the age of 93. There have been several deaths of older comics pros in the last few years, but I have to tell you, this one hit especially hard
Cardy was a very talented artist, both on interiors and covers. He was also the reason this blog
. For he was the artist who hooked me on DC Comics
, and thus onto comics in general
Sure, there were other Late Silver/Early Bronze Age
) DC favorites like Neal Adams
, Gil Kane
, Dick Giordano
, or the Curt Swan/Murphy Anderson
team, some of whose styles I may have even liked better than Cardy. But in terms of addicting me
to DC comics during that period, nobody, even Adams, did it better than Nick. And you can bet I was far from alone
in that opinion, especially among old DC fans who are in their late 30's or older. If you couldn't resist checking out a DC comic in the early 70's, odds are it was because it had a cover drawn by him.
Cardy's covers were irresistible
, often depicting their protagonists in unique, seeming Kobayashi Maru
situations, all beautifully staged
. They made you wonder "How are they going to get out of this
one?" while making you care
enough to take a look inside and find out.
You see, my earliest experience with reading DC Comics came from visits to my aunts' and uncles' houses
. I was too young to actually buy any comics myself, and my family was struggling to make ends meet at times. So when we visited our relatives, I often made a beeline straight for their comics stash and lost myself in it. Unfortunately, some of those aforementioned aunts and uncles are no longer alive, so remembering reading those comics has the added bonus reminding me of happier times with them
Here are some of the covers (and, in some cases, accompanying interiors), with which Nick Cardy owned me, body and soul, as a young boy. My one rule: I'm keeping things honest by limiting the comics shown to my actual childhood expriences
, way before Google
or the Grand Comics Database
or whatever could fill in the blanks. With some of these I've only seen the covers, either through in-house ads or through seeing the covers at my local grocery store or drugstore. But I'm including them anyway because they made me crave the interior stories, too, even if I never got to satisfy
Let's start with my first
Cardy memory: His Aquaman
(Confession: My Cardy-era Aquaman solo series exposure was more limited
when I was a kid. Brian Snell
has some more tasty Cardy Aquaman covers I found out about in my adulthood, which you can see if you click here
But where Cardy really
addicted me was on Teen Titans
, where he illustrated both the covers and
most of the interiors. He really started hitting his stride around this issue
And it only got better
Cardy's art was versatile enough to also thrive in a wide variety of other non-superhero genres (yes, DC and Marvel actually had other genres back in the day, believe it or not), including romance....
And then there's Cardy's work on my favorite hero, Superman
True, Cardy never drew any Superman solo stories
that I can think of. In fact, the only interior art I can recall Cardy doing of the Man Of Steel may have been his cameo
in this Titans issue.
But his Superman covers
, on the other hand?
Here's the first comic book that I bought with my own money
. With a Cardy cover. Of course.
Here are some more
seductive Cardy Superman covers.
But the Man Of Steel's solo adventures weren't the only Superman-related comics where Cardy's covers shined. There were also his team adventures, both as an adult.....
....and as a teenager.
There were also the Cardy covers with Superman's best friends....
...and even his own son.
Thank you for hooking me all those years ago, Mr. Cardy! You WILL be missed.