As a kid there was no bigger comic book than Marv Wolfman and George Pérez’ New Teen Titans. The Blot ate that series up and always wanted more from DC Comics. That led me to original Teen Titans series from the ‘60s and ‘70s, and the art of Nick Cardy. Cardy is a renowned commercial illustrator and comic book artist who worked on books such as Aquaman, Tomahawk, Bat Lash and the aforementioned Teen Titans for DC. Now in his 90s, Cardy has literally been drawing all of his life.
Nick Cardy: The Artist At War by Nick Cardy and Renee Witterstaetter transports us back to a period of time before Nick was a well known and successful illustrator. It shows us a different side of his artwork, from a time when Nick was one of the young Americans shipped overseas to fight in World War II. Throughout his time servicing the US during WWII, Nick carried a sketchbook to document his time in the conflict from beginning to end. Cardy was deployed with the 3rd Armored Spearhead Division, and fought through Europe (for which he received two Purple Hearts), ending up in Paris after VE Day. His sketches - in pencil, pen and watercolor - are extraordinarily vivid, and capture not only the humor and camaraderie, but also the horror of war.
What The Blot loves about this book is how it’s able to tell the vivid origin story of one of our cherished comic book creators in such a unique way. Rarely do we see this side of our comic book creators, and it shines a light on what I am sure played a huge influence on the artists and writers from golden age of comics: World War II. Besides some amazing artwork, Nick Cardy: The Artist At War also includes a really interesting interview Nick gave to Comic Book Resources and captions written by Nick explaining each piece. It’s truly fascinating to be able to travel back to the 1940s through one man’s artwork during a very frightful time in the world’s history. If you’re a fan of comic books, history or the WWII era, you should definitely check this book out.
Nick Cardy: The Artist At War presents the entire contents of Cardy's wartime sketchbook, alongside his own commentary. It's a chronicle of one man's journey, but one that speaks for millions. Nick Cardy: The Artist At War goes on sale in stores everywhere tomorrow, Tuesday, February 26th, but you can pre-order a copy now through Amazon for just $15.96 here.