Friday, January 9, 2009

Pulp Illustrator Edd Cartier Passes On

Edd Cartier, who illustrated such legendary pulp magazines as The Shadow and Astounding Science Fiction, passed on December 25, 2008 at the age of 94.

Edd Cartier was born Edward Daniel Cartier in North Bergen, New Jersey in 1914. His father ran the Cartier Saloon in North Bergen. The building which housed the saloon also held a dance hall, gas station, indoor parking garage, machine shop, and watch repair shop. His oldest brother was a mechanic at Teterboro Airport in Bergen County, New Jersey. While young Cartier not only got to fly with aircraft manufacturer Anthony Fokker and aircraft designer Igor Sikorsky, but he knew both Charles Lindbergh and Howard Hughes while young. He developed an interest in art while young. His father let him paint Christmas pictures on the windows of Cartier Saloon.

Cartier attended the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. An instructor there was also an illustrator for Street and Smith, the most largest pulp magazine publisher of the time. Cartier started selling illustrations for $8.00 each to such Street and Smith pulp magazines as Detective Story, Wild Wild West Weekly, and, of course, The Shadow. While he wanted to be a Western artist, upon graduating the Pratt Institute, Cartier found himself illustrating The Shadow following the legendary Tom Lovell. In 1939 John W. Campbell lured Cartier away from The Shadow to the new science fiction magazine Unknown.

Cartier was drafted during World War II. He served as an infantryman and heavy machine gunner for a tank battalion in the European theatre. Wounded in the Battle of the Bulge and later when the hospital train he was on blew up, he was given both a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star. Following the war Cartier returned to Street and Smith. He illustrated Astounding Science Fiction, The Shadow, and Doc Savage. He also illustrated covers for Street and Smith's comic book line, including Red Dragon Comics and Super-Magician Comics. During the Fifties Cartier was the primary illustrator for both the Fantasy Press and Gnome Press. Cartier was also a draughtsman for an engineering company. Starting in the late Fifties he was art director for the Mosstype Corporation for over 25 years.

Edd Cartier was not only one of the last surviving pulp illustrators, but also one of the best. He had a strong style which was put to good use on his noirish illustrations for The Shadow and his more whimsical ones in Astounding Science Fiction and Unknown. He was also very prolific. He did over 800 illustrations for The Shadow, 200 illustrations for Unknown, and 300 for Astounding Science Fiction. His influence was seen on comic book artists such as Mort Meskin, Joe Orlando, and Jerry Robinson, and science fiction/fantasy illustrators such as Frank Kelly Freas. When it came to pulp illustration, Cartier's talent was only matched by a very few.

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