Comic Book Cats, number 193: The Unexpected #144

Comic Book Cats, number 193: The Unexpected #144 cover drawn by Nick Cardy, published by DC Comics in February 1973.

It’s National Black Cat Day on October 27th! To celebrate, here’s an atmospheric “Curse of the Black Cat” cover by legendary comic book artist Nick Cardy. Lest you think this cover is reinforcing the negative stereotype of black cats as bringing bad luck, the story within featured fugitive criminal Johnny Dodge who, after mistreating a poor stray black cat named Charcoal, received a well-deserved comeuppance.

Born Nicholas Viscardi on October 20, 1920 in New York City, Cardy had an aptitude for art & illustration at an early age. He entered the comic book field in 1940 working for the Eisner and Iger Studio which packaged comics for various publishers in the early years of the industry. After serving in World War II, he briefly worked in advertising. In 1950 Cardy began an association with DC Comics that would last for several decades. During his time at DC he worked on such titles as Tomahawk, Aquaman, The Brave and the Bold, Teen Titans and Bat Lash. He was a prolific cover artist for DC during the first half of the 1970s. Leaving the industry in the middle of the decade, Cardy went into commercial art. Subsequently he would return to DC for the occasional comic book job in the 1990s and 2000s. Cardy passed away on November 3, 2013 at the age of 93.

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