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.
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