IDW Publishing has announced plans to publish the entire run of Noel Sickles Scorchy Smith series that ran in newspapers from 1933-1936.
During the three years that Noel Sickles wrote and illustrated Scorchy Smith, he revolutionized the field when he moved away from the heavy black outlines predominant in the comic strips of the day. He adopted storytelling techniques from the motion pictures, while relying on brushwork to create a looser, chairoscuro representation of people, action, and scenery. Pete Hamill observed, “Sickles was the first artist to use the brush boldly, in an impressionistic way.”
“Scorchy Smith became a primer from which a multitude of comic book and strip artists cribbed mercilessly for decades,” writes Jim Steranko in his introduction to the book. Longtime Spider-Man artist John Romita Sr. says, “The whole industry was copying from Sickles.”
One of the joys of visiting my grandparents as a kid was going through the huge collection of old comic strip reprints and devouring each and every page.Â I never saw Scorchy Smith, but the art of Noel Sickles is pretty cool.
This collection is being put together under the watchful eye of Dean Mullaney, who was the editor and designer behind The Complete Terry and the Pirates collection that earned Mullaney two Eisner Award nominations.
Scorchy Smith and the Art of Noel Sickles is scheduled to be released on July 20, 2008.