Biographies of Dick Dillin and Chuck Cuidera

From Blackhawk No. 196, May 1964.

Richard (Dick) Dillin and Charles (Chuck) Cuidera originated the feature almost 20 years ago. In dividing honors for the artwork, Dick does the pencils which are later inked by Chuck. Dick was born in Watertown, N.Y., in 1929. Demonstrating a talent for drawing at early age, he continued to pursue his studies not only during the day but in night classes and over weekends as well. Soon after graduation from high school, he enlisted in the army. He served overseas for a year and a half with 8th Army Headquarters in Tokyo and Yokohama. discharged from the service, he married and resumed his academic career at Syracuse University, where as an art major he made the dean's honor list every term.
Graduation brought him back to Watertown. As his reputation grew, he easily won assignments for portraits and magazine illustrations. But Dick sought a more exciting outlet for his imaginative talents, and this he found in comic books. Editors snapped up his samples, gave him jobs that included every type of feature. In BLACKHAWK, he found the most satisfaction, a feeling mutually enjoyed by countless thousands of fans.
Today, when he is not hunched over his board in a studio in New York's upper Westchester, Dick fans the artistic flames in his teen-age offspring, who show unusual ability, hikes through the countryside, reads, or tinkers with his elaborate hi-fi equipment.

Chuck Cuidera is a native of Newark, N.J., where his athletic prowess (a four-letter man) at East Side High was surpassed only by his artistic ability, recognized by the award of several art scholarships. He graduated from Pratt, the famous art institute, to join the 36th Infantry Division's 143rd Regiment as a commando. At Paul's Point, off Martha's Vineyard, Chuck rescued 40 GIs when their boat capsized during a GHQ problem. For this heroic act, he was given the Soldier's Medal and the chance to fulfill his hope of switching to the Air Force. By war's end, he had elevated himself to the rank of captain with the 8th Air Force.

An underwater enthusiast, Chuck was one of the first SCUBA divers on the east coast and did much to promote the sport. He designed and built the first quick-release weight belt, a vital safety factor in SCUBA diving. He also taught skin diving and SCUBA at many New Jersey Y's. Chuck's quest for adventure has lured hi into other areas: field archery, riflery, sailing, fishing and surfing.
His family are chips off the old Chuck. Not only do his son and two daughters follow in their father's flippers, but each is an outstanding art student as well. Not long ago, Chuck designed a new plane for the Blackhawks which could take off vertically and hover like a helicopter thanks to fan ducts built into the wings. This imaginary plane became an actuality recently when a prominent aircraft manufacturer announced construction of a similar plane, soon to make its initial experimental flight.


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