Legendary comic book illustrator Nick Cardy passed away on November 3rd at the age of 93. The prolific artist worked on a wide range of comics from romance titles to the western ‘Bat Lash’ and also provided covers to various titles, but is most closely identified with ‘Aquaman’ and the original iteration of ‘Teen Titans’.
Born Nicholas Viscardi, the artist entered the world of comic art in 1939 at Eisner and Iger Studios, created by Will Eisner and Jerry Iger. He got his start on such books as ‘Fight Comics’ and ‘Jungle Comics’ and then in 1941 he landed the prime gig of both writing and illustrating ‘Lady Lucky’ as part of Eisner’s hugely successful and influential ‘The Spirit Section’ strips in newspapers.
Like many other creators, he took a break from comic book work to serve in the military during World War II from 1943-45. Upon returning, he worked on newspaper strips before going to work for DC in 1950. He drew the first 39 issues of Aquaman’s first series and drew the origin of the Teen Titans in ‘The Brave and the Bold’ #60, before going on to provide art (whether pencils, inks or both) to every issue of their first series, which ran for 43 issues. He is also noted for redesigning Wonder Girl’s costume, essentially a more youthful version of Wonder Woman’s, into her more famous star-trimmed red jumpsuit. During the seventies, he became DC’s go-to cover artist, rendering covers for ‘Superman’, ‘The Flash’ and many others.
He later, changing his pseudonym to “Nick Cardi,” segued into commercial art, providing illustrations for magazines and movies, such as ‘California Suite’, ‘Movie Movie’ and ‘Apocalypse Now’.
He didn’t completely turn his back on comics, though. He fittingly illustrated a special one-shot ‘Silver Age Teen Titans’ as well as a variant cover to ‘The Spirit’ which DC had acquired he rights to publish.
In 2005, Cardy was inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame.
He has also had several books published showcasing his influential artwork as well as his life.
Our thoughts go out to his family, friends and co-workers.