It’s not often that we get to see previously unknown art from seventy-five years ago by one of the greatest cartoonists of all time. The above specialty drawing by Noel Sickles came to us from Everett Slaughter, via our pal Leif Peng. It is only the second color Scorchy Smith piece by Sickles that I’ve ever seen (the other we reproduced in Scorchy Smith and The Art of Noel Sickles). Everett writes, “My late wife, Virginia, was a neighbor to Noel Sickles in Chillicothe, Ohio. Attached is a cartoon Noel did for her in July, 1935 when she was 10 years of age.”
Sickles had an obvious fondness for his young neighbor. The cartoonist was living in New York in 1935, sharing studio space with Milton Caniff, but made regular trips back to Chillicothe to visit with his family. The watercolor is of Scorchy and his pal, the German pilot Himmelstoss, and references a Western storyline from the strip.
Thanks so much to Everett for sharing this treasure with us.
The Eisner and Harvey Award-nominated Scorchy Smith and the Art of Noel Sickles is available at your favorite comics shop, online bookseller, or IDW’s webstore.
And in case you aren’t familiar with Leif Peng’s fantastic blog about 20th Century illustrators, take a look. It’s on my “must-read” list every week.