Helmut Nickel was one of the most versatile German comic artists of the 1950s, along with Hansrudi Wäscher and Willi Kohlhoff. He studied ethnology and after his graduation, Nickel wanted to become a veterinarian and worked in a zoo. But the War broke out, and Nickel was drafted and fought in Russia. He was a prisoner of War for three years. After his return the chance of a proper education in East-Germany was impossible for him, because he came from a bourgeois family. He then began a career in art, which was his other love. From 1952, he worked on several series at the same time, such as 'Hot Jerry' ('Don Pedro'), 'Titanus', 'Die 3 Musketiere' and 'Der Graf von Monte Christo'.
He also did 'Peters Seltsame Reisen' for the magazine Harry - Die Bunte Jugendzeitung. This comic stood out because it featured famous comic, literary and historical heroes. Nickel's most notable work was on the 'Robinson Crusoë' series, which he took over from Willi Kohlhoff. Helmut Nickel left the comics field in the early 1960s to take a position with a museum in Berlin. Later on, he moved to New York, where he became a curator for arms and armor with the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. He maintained this position until his retirement in 1988.