Teen Titans and Aquaman artist Nick Cardy is dead at 93

Nick Cardy, best known for his work on Aquaman and Teen Titans, died Sunday 3 November 2013

Nick Cardy's wonderful cover for Teen Titans #22 (August 1969)
Nick Cardy’s wonderful cover for Teen Titans #22 (August 1969)

We’re saddened to report that legendary comic-book penciller and inker Nick Cardy died aged 93 on Sunday 3 November 2013.

“We’ve lost one of the artistic pillars here at DC,” said Diane Nelson, president of DC Entertainment. “Nick’s work on Aquaman, Teen Titans and beyond helped define how we look at these characters today. Our thoughts go out to his family, friends and many fans.”

Inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 2005, Cardy – born Nicholas Viscardi – started out on a Lady Luck back-up strip in Eisner’s ‘Spirit Section’, a 16-page newspaper comic supplement based around his iconic pulp hero The Spirit.

Earning two Purple Hearts in World War II as a tank driver, he also designed the snarling panther logo of the 66th Infantry Division, proving himself a consummate artist whatever the situation.

The cover to Nick Cardy: The Artist At War, collecting his WWII-era work.
The cover to Nick Cardy: The Artist At War, collecting his WWII-era work.

Returning to civilian life, Cardy focused on commercial art, as well as drawing Burne Hogarth’s Tarzan newspaper strip, before striking up a relationship with DC Comics that would change his career.

Starting in 1950 on crime and Western titles, Cardy greeted the arrival of the Silver Age of comics drawing the first 39 issues of Aquaman, from 1962 to 1968, and all 63 issues of the original run of the Teen Titans from 1966 to 1973.

“Nick Cardy was a wonderful artist and person, but I’ll always remember his amazing covers,” said Dan DiDio, DC Entertainment co-publisher. “From the classic “Is This My Foe?” Aquaman #42 image that featured a victorious Black Manta hoisting Aquaman above him to the first appearance of the Teen Titans, Cardy just knew how to get a reader’s attention – and that is a talent that can never be understated. He was my definitive DC cover artist for the 60s.”

“Nick Cardy’s work helped define some of the things we see in comics today and take for granted,” said Jim Lee, DC Entertainment co-publisher. “He broke out of the mold in terms of covers and layout and created a truly interactive experience for the reader that directly points back to his time with the Eisner studio. His versions of Aquaman, the Teen Titans and Bat Lash – to name a few – remain iconic today. Our sympathies go out to his family during this difficult time.”