Today I went to the New York City Comicon, (the massive comics convention that happens once a year in New York... similar to the one in San Diego that takes place in the summer).
There were lots of interesting moments and people I connected, (and re-connected), with. But I'd like to talk about my peak experience at the convention today: meeting one of my artistic heroes, the man who's work means so very much to me, and has influenced me so deeply and given me so many hours of pleasure to view. The magnificent Nick Cardy!
Nick was pretty much phasing out of the comic book world at the very time that I, as a little kid, began reading comic books. I do recall, that first year I was reading comics, he was still doing all of the covers for the DC books, to spectacular, dramatic effect. (Just look at some of the samples I've pasted here! And, please... click on them to view them larger and with more clarity).
It wasn't until a few years later, thanks to DC Comics penchant for reprinting a lot of their 60s comic books in new editions, that I was able to see many of the stories he'd drawn so masterfully at that time. The original Teen Titans... various Batman team-ups in the Brave & the Bold.... Aquaman's 1960s run.... and of course, all of those brilliant covers!
I've been fortunate enough to meet just about all of my "heroes" in the comic book industry through the years. (And there are quite a few of them!). But Nick Cardy, somehow, stands out just a bit above all the rest. And I'd never had the privilege to meet him, and I guess I'd never thought I would. I'd heard he moved to Florida and was retired, and I'd never heard about him appearing at any conventions, especially in the New York area.
So, what a delight and honor it was to be able to meet him today. Nick is now 87 years old, looked to be in great shape and spirits, and is still drawing, (I got to watch him for a bit today, as he did some sketches). Miraculously, I was able to spend some time alone with him, talking about his art, how much it has meant to me, and then we got to talk about techniques and pencils and layout and lots of technical stuff that, as an artist, was priceless for me to hear. And then... I got to show him some of my Kyle's Bed & Breakfast work... which he spent time looking though, and liked quite a bit! I think I was on cloud nine at this point.
I hadn't really planned on having him sign anything for me... I generally don't collect comic books in that sort of "collectible" way... but I figured, this is Nick Cardy! I have to have him sign something! So, I did bring along a copy of the Flash #225, (I've pasted a copy here... it's the last cover I've posted, at the very end of this post...the one with the Flash, the Reverse-Flash, and Green Lantern on it). And while I was at the convention, where there are lots of comic book dealers, I happened to find several copies of Bat Lash, a western book he drew in the late 60s for a 7 issue run, that I'd never seen before but is considered some of his best work. So, I had him sign those also.
As I was leaving, he said how much my compliments of his work really touched him, meant the world to him. I hope he knows just how many people have been touched so deeply and profoundly by his work. I hope I conveyed that to him, in some small way. And I hope I'm able, in my own way, to carry the fire, the energy, the warmth and compassion and lushness he created in his artwork in my work
How awesome when you find out one of your heroes is also a warm, kind, considerate person, too!
What a day!