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Nick Cardy at the 1998 San Diego Comic Con

Nick Cardy's visit to San Diego was memorable. Nick met people he hadn't seen in decades and fans who thought his appearance is what made this year's Con so special. Nick has been out of comics for so long, he didn't know he had so many fans and influenced a whole generation of comic writers and artists. He was about to find out.

Before the Comic-Con, there's the Comic Expo, the trade show for comic industry insiders. Nick met Will Eisner for the first time in 58 years (based on Nick's recollection). Nick is probably the only person in comics who refers to Will Eisner as Bill. That's how far they go back. They hadn't met since before Nick went off to fight in World War II. Nick ran into John Romita. They hadn't met in 20 plus years. Romita was signing autographs when Nick showed up. They started chatting about old times and a new line formed. Nick said he should get going so Romita could get back to signing. It turns out the line was for Nick.

In Artist's Alley

Artist's Alley Throughout the four day convention, Nick sat in Artist's Alley between Colleen Doran and Ramona Fradon, signing comics, chatting with fans, accepting praise and doing sketches. Nick re-connected with Bob Haney, writer of their Aquaman, Teen Titans and Brave and Bold stories. The most popular sketch requests seemed to be Bat Lash and Wonder Girl. Bat Lash must have the greatest fan per 8 appearance ratio of any comic book character. Nick also did a very pretty sketch of Congo Bill atop an elephant. Rounding out the pack were sketches of Aquaman, Flash, Batman and the witch from the Witching Hour. Nick displayed some of his cover recreations, see "Nick Cardy Cover Recreations". Also on display was Nick's painting of the cover to DC's unpublished "Greatest 60's Stories Ever Told". C'mon DC, at least make it a poster!!!

Spotlight on Nick Cardy Panel

Friday, August 14 at 11:30 AM was the panel spotlighting Nick, moderated by Mark Evanier. On the panel were Colleen Doran, Sergio Aragones and Marv Wolfman. Mark introduced Nick by saying that you would just believe he was such a nice guy solely based on his artwork. The panel ranged from Nick's start in comics, leaving comics to fight in World War II (he was awarded two Purple Hearts), his return to comics, his long career at DC Comics and his post comics career.


Always wanting to be an illustrator, Nick was there practically at the beginning of comics working for Eisner, Jerry Iger and Fiction House. Nick mentioned there used to be a kid named Joe Kubert that would help out in the office. As for World War II, he wasn't the greatest tank driver, if you're in Europe and you see the corners knocked off buildings, well.... In addition to Aquaman, the longest discussions were about Bat Lash and the Teen Titans. Colleen mentioned that while all the guys were going ga-ga over Mera, she was sweet on Aquaman. Nick commented on how much he liked doing Bat Lash but that it was more popular in Europe than in the US. Sergio explained that Europeans were attracted to the romance and open landscapes found in the Western genre in movies, TV and even comics. In the DC offices, whenever Sergio and Nick crossed each other in the hall, they would always try to quick draw each other. Marv discussed the origins of the Joshua character in Teen Titans 20. See Comic Book Artist #1 in "References to Nick Cardy". Marv had always loved Nick's work. The story had been pencilled, lettered and inked before the story was killed at almost the last minute. Neal Adams reworked the story. Neal and Nick ended up redrawing almost the entire book in record time. The story was axed but Marv announced that more than 20 years DC was now willing to publish the story. If only those lost pages could be gathered. See the SOS.

Nick also related the almost mythical story of Mike Sekowsky's drawing speed. Mike brings DC a job they needed done on a short deadline. Murray Boltinoff tells him that though DC needed the job done in a hurry, he still should have taken more time. Murray gives Mike another job and tells him to take his time. A couple of days later, Nick goes to Mike's place for a gettogether and he sees the completed job sitting there. Mike tells Nick about having to take his time. More days pass and Mike brings in the pages. Murray compliments Mike on how much better his art looks when he takes his time.

After Nick left comics, he illustrated advertising art and several movie posters. The Street Fighter. Movie, Movie. The Night They Robbed Big Bertha. California Suite. And more. Nick said that he knew he had "made it" when he was in contention with one of his favorites, Bob Peak, among others for poster artist for Apocalypse Now. Bob Peak (1928 - 1992) illustrated the posters for My Fair Lady, Camelot, In Like Flint, Equus, Excalibur, Star Trek I/II/III/IV and more. Nick knew he'd lose out to Peak but just knowing he was in the running was great. Another movie poster Nick worked on, but the art was never seen, was for Superman The Movie. In the end, the Superman "S" symbol was the used.

Nick Cardy gets an Inkpot Award

On Friday night, prior to the Eisner Awards, the Comic-Con gave Inkpot Awards to Nick, John Broome, Joe Simon and others for their enduring contributions to comics. In accepting his Inkpot, Nick mentioned he was just glad that people remembered him. Hey Nick, lots of people remember your work, that's exactly why they gave you the Inkpot. After the ceromony, Nick met up with Neal Adams.

Golden Age Panel

Saturday, August 14 at 1:30 PM was the annual Golden Age panel, once again moderated by Mark Evanier. On the panel were Fred Guardineer, Vincent Sullivan, Paul Norris, Dick Sprang, Joe Simon, Nick and Bob Haney. Giving equal time to all the creators, the panel covered a whole bunch of topics. Fred's creation of Zatara because DC wanted a magician character. Vincent deciding to publish Superman after looking at the original comic strip version brought in by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. Dick's entry into comics, he stopped inking his own work because DC wanted him to do more pencilling. Comments on working with Mort Weisinger, Whitney Ellsworth. The assembly line approach vs the shop approach to producing artwork. Wow!!!

All in all, if you're a Cardy fan and couldn't make it to the Comic-Con, be glad to know Nick got to meet his fans. If you were at the Con and had the thrill of meeting Nick, he was probably as thrilled to meet you as well.

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