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Renowned DC Comics Artist Nick Cardy Passes Away

Renowned comic book artist Nick Cardy has passed away, according to multiple reports. Over a career that began in comics’  golden age and spanned multiple decades, Hardy — a member of the Will Eisner Hall of Fame — produced the majority of his comics work for DC Comics, including memorable runs on Teen Titans, Aquaman, and the short lived but highly regarded Bat Lash.

Nicholas Viscardi, a.k.a. Nick Cardy, studied painting and sculpture at the Art Students League of New York. Like many creators of the era — including Jack Kirby, Lou Fine and Wally Wood — Cardy  began his comics career in 1939, at age 18, working for Eisner & Iger, a company launched by Will Eisner and Jerry Iger that produced comics on demand for publishers entering the still new medium of comics. He would work on titles such as Jungle Comics, and Fight Comics, as well as Eisner’s Lady Luck, before being drafted into World War II in 1943. Cardy was awarded two Purple Hearts for injuries suffered during combat.

Upon his return from the war, Cardy began producing art for advertising agencies, before being hired by DC Comics in 1950. He would provided memorable work on titles like Gang Busters and Tomahawk, before being brought on to launch the ongoing Aquaman title. Cardy would illustrate the first 39 issues of the title, and all its covers until #56, the final issue of that initial series. During his run, he would design several characters still closely tied to Aquaman, including Mera and Ocean Master.

In addition to his Aquaman work, Cardy would also have a seminal run on Teen Titans. After first drawing the characters in The Brave And The Bold #60 — the first time Wonder Girl would appear with the rest of the team — Cardy would handle most of the artwork for the first 42 issues of the initial Teen Titans series, from 1966 to 1973. Later, Cardy would illustrate the short lived but now highly regarded western series Bat Lash, written by Sergio Aragones, Dennis O’Neil and Sheldon Mayer.

 

Bat Lash Nick Cardy

 

Later in his comics career, Cardy would focus almost exclusively on cover art, becoming one of the more popular cover artists at DC during the 1970s. Throughout the decade, Cardy illustrated covers Superman, Action Comics, The Brave and the Bold, Batman, Flash, Ghosts, Witching Hour, Secret Origins, Jimmy Olsen, and World’s Finest, among others. He would eventually walk away from comics for good, returning to the world of advertising, as well as working on movie posters for several notable films, including The Street Fighter, California Suite and Apocalypse Now.

Cardy’s singular drawing style inspired many artists who would come after him, including George Perez, who described the late illustrator as “a monumental talent and a class act.” Cardy was inducted, along with four other artists, into the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 2005.

Nick Cardy was 93 years old.

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