Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Renee Witterstaetter has a book on Nick Cardy's WWII service coming out!

It's called Nick Cardy: The Artist at War; she's got a write-up on her blog explaining how it came about. The regular signed hardcover is 128 pages and comes with a DVD for $39.99, but there's also an edition with an original Cardy sketch (WOW!) for $150. And if you're interested you have to order it directly from Eva Ink or from Diamond Solicit.

I dig me some Nick Cardy art, but his wartime service is part of his life I know absolutely nothing about. Well, let me correct that-- if his Wikipedia entry is correct, Cardy was in the 66th Infantry Division and designed their "black cat" patch and later served as an assistant tank driver in the 3rd Armored Division. He got two Purple Hearts. Now I know a little bit about Cardy's military career.

Cardy was one of those artists I'd frequently heard of but had never really given much thought to when he was doing covers and interiors. TwoMorrows Publishing's Comic Book Artist magazine had a real 1960s-70s focus and they'd occasionally run a small black and white image of one of Cardy's many DC covers. It's kind of difficult to judge someone's artwork at that size, but it was enough to get me thinking, "Nick Cardy's one of those guys whose work I really need to investigate." It wasn't until I moved to Japan and DC started putting out those Showcase Presents: Teen Titans books bursting at the seams with Cardy-ian goodness that I really caught on.

Wow! What I'd been missing!

Nick Cardy is an incredible artist. Strong anatomy and traditional storytelling skills-- but with this unique loose zig-zagging ink line to model shadows on his figures; it gives them a three-dimensional quality traditional feathering can't match, and the swirling quality denotes movement and energy. Cardy's figures have weight and form, but they also seem to dance around the page. As a result, he's now one of my all-time favorites and something of an influence on my own little doodles. I spent quite a lot of time between my ESL classes laboriously copying Cardy figures-- alongside my various clumsy Alex Toth rip-offs-- in my sketchbook and failing miserably to match him.

If you've caught the Nick Cardyfluenza from me, you should also check out TwoMorrows's Nick Cardy: Behind the Art. I haven't read it yet, but it's on my wish list. Wanna add it to yours?

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