scorchyNoel Sickles, along with his lifelong friend, Milton Caniff, changed the face of comics in the 1930s, when they invented a new form of graphic storytelling. They moved away from the simple outline approach then popular, and created a chiaroscuro style that still influences comics artists today. Having blazed a trail through the comics world, Sickles left the medium in favor of a 40-year career as one of America's most successful magazine illustrators. A regular at Life magazine, his work also appeared in Look, Reader's Digest, National Geographic, and The Saturday Evening Post.

    Scorchy Smith and the Art of Noel Sickles

    Edited & Designed by Dean Mullaney, Biography by Bruce Canwell Introduction by Jim Steranko.

    A massive, comprehensive, oversized 392-page volume that collects, for the first time, every Sickles Scorchy Smith strip, from December 1933 through November 1936. It also features, in a 140-page biography, an extensive examination of Sickles's life and the decades-long influence of his work, while also showcasing the full breadth of his career as one of America's foremost magazine illustrators.

    Oversized 11" x 11" hardcover-with-dustjacket, 392 pp. with foldouts and index,
    $49.99. ISBN: 978-1-60010-206-6.

Noel Sickles


Born in Chillicothe, Ohio in 1912, Noel Sickles was working as a staff artist at the Associated Press when he was assigned to take over the 1930s aviation adventure series Scorchy Smith. Although he only drew it for three brief years, the innovation he brought to the artform is a milestone in the history of newspaper comic strips. Sickles won the National Cartoonist Society’s Advertising and Illustration Award in both 1960 and 1962.


"From the endpapers to the foldouts, Scorchy Smith and the Art of Noel Sickles is a glorious tribute to a 20th century cartoonist and 21st century bookmaking. Dean Mullaney...has designed and edited a book that is almost as impressive as the work of its subject, the great Noel Sickles."
-Steve Duin, The (Portland) Oregonian

"This massive volume is comprised of two sections, each of which could be a separate book: a detailed biography of the artist by Bruce Canwell, accompanied by copious examples of his various kinds of work; and the complete run of Scorchy Smith, here appearing between covers for the first time. Such lovingly lavish treatment has been accorded few cartoonists, but Sickles, despite his lack of renown, thoroughly warrants it."

"[An] almost embarrassing amount of the arts section: paintings, commercial art, war-related efforts, commissioned work, personal items such as birthday cards, and abortive syndicated newspaper comics efforts like a mid-'70s Bruce Lee strip. Scorchy Smith is really two separate books, and that's not just a facile slogan here; there's simply that much material."
-The Comics Reporter