Monday, September 20, 2021

Number 2558: The giant shell game

I mentioned last week that artist Nick Viscardy began his comic book career as a young man. The Wikipedia entry on Nick Viscardy a/k/a Nick Cardy (name used for comic book art) and Nick Cardi (used for illustration art) says this:

“Cardy becme the primary DC cover artist from the early to mid-1970s.

“A popular but apocryphal anecdote, told by DC editor Julius Schwartz, concerned Cardy being fired by DC editorial director Carmine Infantino for not following a cover layout, only to be rehired moments later when Schwartz praised the errant cover art. Cardy said in 2005: ‘At one of the conventions ... I said, ‘You know, Carmine, Julie Schwartz wrote something in [his autobiography] that I don't remember at all and it doesn't sound like you at all.’ And I told him the incident ... and he said, ‘That's crazy. You know I always loved your work. Gee, you were one of the best artists in the business. The guy's crazy.’ So I said, ‘Okay, come on.’ We went over to Julie Schwartz's table and we told him what our problem was. And Carmine and I said, ‘We don't remember the incident.’ So Julie said, ‘Well, it's a good story, anyway.’ [Laughs] And that was it. He let it go at that. [Laughs] He just made it up.’”

Cardy did this story for DC. Nice artwork, and he did some excellent drawings of the monsters in the story. In those days at DC it seemed to me that every comic, super hero, mystery or even some of the kids' comics, had some sorts of monsters. This issue of House of Secrets #40 (1961) is one I found in my basement in a box of all coverless comics from that era which I bought (cheap) years ago. When I flipped through them I noticed a story drawn by Nick Cardy, so I read it. The story itself is loopy...the hero goes after a girl from a myth, which is not a good place to look for girls. But the artwork is representative of Cardy’s usual good job regardless of the quirky story, which is why I am showing it.


Daniel [] said...

The rational explanation is a dream following upon being blasted by an extraterrestrial space craft?!?

I'm having trouble here. I mean that, yes, I can see the indicia, and I can see that the artist was Nick Cardy. But all my past experience tells me that this story had to have been written by Richard E. Hughes for ACG's Forbidden Worlds. No one else could possibly have published such a thing, and Hughes would have had Ogden Whitney illustrate it.

Maybe I'm dreaming after having been blasted by an extraterrestrial space craft.

I remember Cardy mostly for all the teeny-boppers that he drew for DC during the bronze age.

My parents don't have the world's largest shell collection, but they have a rather nice one, from a few years during which they were scuba divers. For many years, unnoticed amongst the other shells was one made of pasta.

Myths may not be good places to look for girls, but my options are limited these days. I'm going to fetch a pasta shell and listen to what it advises.

Manqueman said...

That story of B.O. Schwartz's also puzzles me because apparently Infantino thought very, very highly of Cardy. And one thing that was strange back when Cardy was doing covers wast that sometimes his rendering over an Infantino layout just didn't work. That was something that I didn't notice with other artists. So an artist of Cardy's talent faced with a layout that wasn't working for him, yeah, I can see him doing a little tweaking.
As for Schwartz's autobiography, let's just say it's something. I read it let's say with a great deal of amazement, but not the kind of amazement one has of a life of great accomplishment, more like the level of self-agrandizing was dizzying.

Pappy said...

Manqueman, Schwartz became a celebrity and apparently very much loved the attention. I may have helped swell his head in the early '60s by voting him "Best Editor" in one comic book award or another voted on by fans. He was up against Stan Lee in one, as I recall. I don't remember if he won or not, but Jerry Bails, the creator of Alter Ego fanzine had a lot of influence with those of us young teens eating up every word of Bails and Roy Thomas in their favor and hyping of DC Comics. It made me, at least, think of editors at National Periodical Publications, or "National" (as it was known in those days) as Schwartz and then a bunch of faceless men who were lesser beings in the editorial department.