Tom unearths the wonderful news that a Scorchy Smith collection is underway as announced by Dean Mullaney on a mailing list:

On the subject of future projects, since we’ve already sent the solicitation info to our book distributor, I can announce that in June 2008, I will release an oversized, 11″ x 11″ hardcover: SCORCHY SMITH AND THE ART OF NOEL SICKLES through IDW. It will contain the complete Sickles Scorchy for the first time ever, plus about 60 pages of Sickles’s magazine and other illustrations.

SCORCHY SMITH was a popular aviator comic strip of the day, and Sickles was a studio mate of Caniff’s whose “chiaroscuro” style was hugely influential on artists of the period.


  1. Mea culpa. I’d never heard of this before (comic strips far from being an area of expertise or even awareness of mine), but it looks pretty irresistable.

    But how long until people start talking about the strip reprint glut…?

  2. Scorchy Smith is amazing stuff by Sickles. As mentioned, Sickles is a major influence on so many of the great artists of comics like Don Heck, John Romita and many more. This will be a real treasure for anyone that appreciates comics and great art. With Dean Mullaney’s love of the craft/design and IDW’s incredible formatting this will be great.


  3. This is great news. For more info about Sickles check out R.C. Harvey’s bio of Caniff, as their lives intertwined for quite awhile.

  4. Sickles is one of those terribly under-appreciated artists, despite the huge impact he had on Toth and Caniff, among others. Definitely a book to pick up.

    Little known fact: The first printing of Hemingway’s Old Man and the Sea was in LIFE magazine in Sept’52. It was accompanied by illustrations by Noel Sickles.

  5. Hooray! It’s about time!

    Sickles’ work has been pretty hard to track down, you usually have an easier time finding old copies of Life or Readers’ Digest with his illos in it than you do samples of his comics. I have random xeroxes from the old (was it?) Nostalgia Press edition? Plus a bit from the Kitchen Sink Steve Canyons…

    The Nostalgia Press edition is really fine. It has a really nice Caniff/Sickles prose portrait in there. I hope Dean gets access to the biographical materials as well–Sickles was wildly talented and extremely versatile.

    Matt Maxwell– I doubt there will be a strip reprint glut any time soon. There is such little quality material being currently published that I reckon there will always be an audience for the good stuff.

    A manga glut is another matter though.

  6. Ooooooohhhh yeah! Dean Mullaney is the king of comics. The guy is a master and knows how to present the material in quality HC books. 11 x 11 Scorchy Smith with Sickles illustrations also…woooow, thats better doing than europeans. Cant wait for that babe. It is going to be a treasure to hold, read, and have standing nicely on my bookshelf.

    God, I would love to see Rip Kirby in the same 11 x 11 format! Two years at a time. Ooooohhh.