The sad news that artist Nick Cardy, perhaps best known for his work on Aquaman and Teen Titans during the 1960s, has passed away following ill-health. The news was broken by artist Craig Rousseau via his Facebook page, who was informed by mutual friend and comic book creator Todd Dezago. Cardy was 93 when he died.
The artist, who was inducted into the Will Eisner Hall of Fame in 2005, began his comics career working for “package” creators Eisner & Iger. In 1939, at the age of 18, he was working on Fight Comics, Jungle Comics, Kaanga Comics, and Wings for the pulp publisher Fiction House Publications. Following military service from 1943 to 1945, Cardy returned to civilian life working in advertising, before falling back into the comics world with the black-and-white Tarzan strip with writer-artist Burne Hogarth.
It was during the 1950s that Cardy began working with DC Comics, where he produced some extraordinary runs. From 1962 to 1968, he drew the first 39 issues of Aquaman, the first solo title for the character, and continued doing cover art until that run finished in 1971. He also pencilled and/or inked Teen Titans for its entire initial run from 1966 to 1973, and worked on titles such as Western Bat Lash and a Batman syndicated strip, along with a series of romantic covers for “girls” comics.
After leaving the comic book world in the 1970s, Cardy worked under the name Nick Cardi in the commercial art world, often producing advertising art for films such as Sonny Chiba vehicle The Street Fighter (1974) and Apocalypse Now (1979).
An outpouring of praise has come from the comics community. Walt Simonson went to Twitter to say, “I’ve just gotten word that Nick Cardy caught the last train out at 9:35 this evening. Thanks for everything, Nick. Godspeed.” Kurt Busiek adds “RIP Nick Cardy. It was a pleasure to know you and a joy to know your work. You were the best.” Phil Jimenez described him as “one of those artists whose influence on comics helped shape my career”. Dan Jurgens called him “A tremendous and truly individual talent, not to mention great guy”.
A small selection of his hundreds of covers can be found below.
Click images to enlarge