As most fans probably know by now, comics artist Nick Cardy passed away yesterday at the age of 93. I never had the pleasure of meeting the man, though friends who did tell me that he was a gentleman in every sense of the word. Though I knew and admired his work, I was never a huge Cardy fan, personally… Or so I thought.
Because tonight, as I was looking through several on-line galleries of Cardy’s cover art, I discovered that he was responsible for not one, but two of the most striking and memorable funnybook covers of my childhood. First, my favorite Cardy cover ever (and one of my all-time favorite covers, period):
Okay, so it’s maybe not one of his classics. But, man. That cover’s got everything: it’s funny, it’s spooky, it’s weird… and it makes me want to read the story inside to find out what the hell’s going on. It made me want to read it so bad, in fact, that I conquered my childhood fear of heights to do so. This comic actually belonged to my older brother, you see, but the cover was so intriguing that it drove me to climb up the side of our bunk beds and out to the top of the book shelf beside them to get at it. I got up there, and read it, but got caught red-handed because I was too scared to climb back down. It was worth the terror to find out what happened, though, and that’s down to Nick Cardy’s excellent cover.
The other Cardy cover that stuck in my head from childhood had a similar effect on me:
First of all, REVERSE FLASH! Second: Why is this happening?! Third: holy crap that composition! Oh, and those buildings, too! And that 25th Century police uniform! And– And– OH, so good!
The only other piece of Cardy art I remember from childhood wasn’t a cover. It was a splash page. But since our copy of that comic was coverless, that splash pretty much was the cover. And it made a deep, lasting impression on my monster-crazed young mind:
A bunch of demons tossing a kid around?! On top of some kind of old gothic house?! A combination of super heroes and horror?! I was hooked!
I don’t remember any other Nick Cardy covers from my childhood, but in honor of the man’s passing, I thought I’d share a few of the more outstanding ones I’ve seen in my perusal of his work tonight. Enjoy!