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Thursday, October 10, 2019

The Illustrative Excellence of Nick Cardy

What do you think of when you think of Nick Cardy? Is it the Teen Titans? Aquaman? BatLash? For me, it's usually the Silver Age Teen Titans.

Cardy's illustrative style was endearing to me. Whether on the many covers he penciled or as a narrative storyteller, Cardy's work seemed to have a storybook quality to it. And although he was often working from a hokey script from Bob Haney (which I have come to appreciate as I've aged), Cardy always delivered the goods. From everything I've read about the man, he was a true pro.

Most of the man's output was for DC Comics. I found a few color jobs for Marvel Comics, but couldn't locate the original art. A shame, because it would have been fun to see Cardy get hold of some of Marvel's characters. I've included a Captain America sketch cover to whet your appetite for what might have been.

Leave a reminiscence of the man and his art if you're so inclined. And as usual, many thanks to the collectors who own these gems and provide them on the Internet for all our enjoyment!





  1. What a beautiful set of images.
    By the time I started reading comics in the mid-'70s, Cardy had pretty much stopped doing interior art; however, I first saw and loved his work in DC Super Stars #7, which featured a bunch of Aquaman reprints (of course, I was still a little kid then, and not paying much attention to creator credits). Some of the later DC digests also featured his work, esp. on the Teen Titans, but I still associate him more with Aquaman.
    By the way, as in the case of Reed Crandall's work, you can find a lot of Cardy's early work from the 1940s and 1950s that's now in the public domain at the Digital Comics Museum.

  2. Hiya,


    The Sheer Beauty (capitalized for effect) of Nick Cardy's covers compelled me to buy more comic books with lousy stories and artwork by others than logic can possibly explain.

    When I had the opportunity to tell him this he apologized.



  3. I to bought many a poor comic based solely on Mr Cardys wonderful covers. I always loved his Teen Titans interior art and covers, with issue 16s cover being one of the best ever

  4. Hi, everyone -

    Great point about Cardy's covers. That's so true for other artists as well, isn't it? Throughout my comics buying career I often felt the victim of the bait-and-switch. Man, how often did it go the other way? I'm sure there were times when I didn't care for the cover artist, but my familiar monthly team was on the job on the inside.


    1. The first cover that comes to mind as an "other way" example is Avengers Annual #10. That god-awful cover with blurbs and those pictures in boxes which Milgrom probably slapped together in a half-hour - and then inside glorious art by Michael Golden...

    2. Hiya,

      I want to say this carefully so that I'm not misconstrued ((thanks Paul)), but even though I admired him as an artist I never once bought a comic just because Gil Kane had drawn the cover. There was a time during the early Seventies when finding a Marvel without him rendering the front piece was the exception to the rule.

      A good cover artist in addition to his other talents, but, damn; sometimes you just want some variety in your diet.



  5. Man, those are some mighty nice drawings. Cardy was one of DC's finest. Great sense of design and a beautiful illustrator. Cardy (along with Bob Oksner) drew some of the sharpest females at DC. Would have been interesting to see him tackle a few Silver age Spiderman stories with Gwen and MJ...


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