Tuesday, November 5, 2013

In Memory: Nick Cardy

   Very sad to note the passing of artist Nick Cardy, who had a long and glorious career in comics - most notably with DC Comics.

   I've always been a big fan of his clean, dynamic style, and like most young fans I fell in love with his version of just about every heroine he ever drew - especially Wonder Girl in the Teen Titans.

   His female characters were sexy, with a wholesome, "girl next door" quality.

   But I liked him for more than just his incredible art. I was lucky enough to meet him and talk to him a few times at comics conventions, and each time he was a true delight.

   I have to admit that I don't approach many artists or writers at conventions because I always feel like I'm bothering them. What am I going to say? "You're great, I love your work!" Surely they've heard it a million times before.

   But Nick was different. A warm, wonderful guy, he was very approachable and very friendly. At one con I found a copy of Bat Lash, a western he had drawn (and in some cases, written). At the end of one day, as the con was about to close, I found him sitting in the Artist's Alley, gathering up his work. I asked if he had a moment, and he apologized, saying he didn't have time to take on any more commissioned drawings. I said, "Oh, I just wanted to see if you could autograph this comic" and handed him the issue. His face lit up, and he said, "This is one of my favorite issues!" He launched into a wonderful story about working on the series, and he happily signed my copy.

   A few years later a friend and I were talking to him in Artist's Row, and he kept us laughing with his stories about the industry. After a while, he said, "You guys don't want to stand here and listen to me talk." My friend and I smiled at each other and said, "We're happy to stand here as long as we're not bothering you!" He laughed and told us another story.

   I don't pretend that I knew him - but I know he was a wonderful guy, a tremendous artist who left his mark on the industry, and set a standard that few can ever hope to match.

   I miss him already.

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