Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Niculae Asciu 1942-2013

Photo of Mr. Asciu from Cotidiunal.ro.

Cartoonist illustrator Niculae Asciu, a prolific commercial artist whose clients included the New York Times and The New Yorker, died on March 3, 2013 at his home in Queens, NY. The cause was cancer.  He was 70 years old.

Mr. Asciu (pronounced "ASK-you") had hundreds of his drawings published in the Times beginning in 1974.

From the New York Times obituary:

"'He would just whip these brilliant ideas from his head to his pen and they’d get published,' Tom Bodkin, a deputy managing editor and the design director at The Times, said."
Born in Cerna Voda, Romania, Mr. Asciu graduated from Bucharest University in 1964. Three years later, he married Elena Papuc.

In 1971, the young couple came to New York City. He was "part of a wave of East Europeans fleeing to the United States to work in creative fields."

Within three years, he got the first of many illustration gigs with The New York Times. 

The next year, he did his first New Yorker cover.

From the English translation of his obituary at Cotidiunal.ro:

"Nicholas Asciu draw a fine line as a electrocardiograph. It was a delicate character, even his cartoons were no cynicism, no hitting the sledge, but relentlessly subtle fountain."

From the New York Times obituary:
In addition to his wife, he is survived by a brother, Mircea, and a son, Bogdan, a graphic artist.

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