Friday, April 20, 2012


HOM 174 cover detail

The Grand Comics Database notes that this House of Mystery cover, #174's, was once attributed to Carmine Infantino on pencils and inks, and then Joe Orlando on pencils and George Roussos on inks. Now it's deemed to be by Nick Cardy; it's listed as one of his in The Art of Nick Cardy (and in the DC Showcase volume, for what that's worth).

Nick Cardy had nothing to do with this cover. Possibly he submitted one, noting it on his own records, but if so, his went unused. Cardy didn't draw the cover published.

HOM 174 cover: three kids before door with spectral hand beckoning them in
Maybe Infantino designed the cover, like he did others at the time. Maybe, maybe not. I don’t see Roussos’ work here.

My only question on the pencilling and inking here is whether Bill Draut might have helped pencil—note the head of the boy on our left. But going by his legs and so on, the main artist is Joe Orlando. I can't find the slightest trace of Nick Cardy's style in pencils or inks.

Does anybody see it here?

By the way, I ran across the GCD entry on HOM 174 when I glanced at the earlier issues, to find that attributions on Dial H for Hero that had been passed along from my twenty-year-old lists had been replaced—and I was still given the "credit." In fact, I had listed only the writers of 156-165 and 173, if I recall correctly; I didn't read the Binder and Dick Wood issues until March 2012, but I supposedly attributed them to Dave Wood. I certainly didn't credit 173 to Jack Miller. But somebody heard second-hand that Miller had taken over the feature, so blithely altered the entry from Dave Wood to Miller but left me still the source. (My latest Dial H list is a few posts back.)

Wikiality is always changing.


  1. I didn't realize there was a controversy over that cover. To me it was always pretty obviously Joe Orlando (although I see what you mean by the Bil Draut "look"). Definitely not Cardy. Infantino could have designed it as he did so many that he didn't draw but yeah, has always looked like Joe to me. And really good Joe at that!

  2. Yes, Steven; if I cavil elsewhere at Joe Orlando's getting all the credit for the pencils on Inferior Five, or Adam Link at Warren, I have to be fair and call attention to the work he did do and has lost credit for.

  3. Look at that kid at the lower right hand of the cover. It's clearly Joe Orlando's "body language." Compare with some of the EC stories Orlando drew featuring children. Orlando might've used ghosts for a lot of his later work, but I believe this cover is pure Joe Orlando, (after an Infantino layout-- the kid on the left, hand to chin is a Carmine trope!).

  4. I can be argued pretty easily into accepting Orlando as the sole artist here, Batton. Nobody's coming forth with specifics like yours to back up that Nick Cardy ID...

  5. I see no Cardy. I agree with Bat that it's a Carmine layout. In fact, the only possibility to me other than Orlando doing finishes over an Infantino layout is that it could be Orlando inking a cover pencilled by Carmine. There are a lot of covers of this period where it's hard to split the difference between an Infantino layout and Infantino pencils. Cardy and Oksner did finishes on a number of covers where it looks to me like Infantino gave them something more detailed than a layout and they inked but did a lot of tightening.

  6. Mark, I see Infantino's design sense here, but can't see his figure work under the Orlando body language. That said, I've certainly been struck by all the covers you mention, where he might as well have signed them as penciller.

  7. The reason people think this is Cardy is because he drew almost the same cover [with added jack-O-lanterns] on a treasury edition version of House of Mystery a few years later. And the inking texture on the original here screams Orlando. Plus, Cardy drew plump, well fed kids, not these skinny ones.

  8. Thanks, Jeff, that finally explains the backwards reasoning behind the Cardy attribution. I hope people don't think George Perez sculpted the Pieta...

  9. Martin,

    Orlando answers the question in an interview from Comic Book Artist # 1:

    "Carmine gave me the book (House of Mystery) and I remember that I drew the first cover from Carmine's layout."

  10. That should be as good as a signature, Nick.