Monday, July 03, 2006
Noel Sickles (1910-1982)
Beginning his career as a political cartoonist in the late 1920's, Noel Sickles moved (around 1933) into newspaper comic strip cartooning, drawing Scorchy Smith for the Associated Press. But by 1936, with the syndicate enjoying tremendous success from the sales of the strip, Sickles quit when his request for a raise was rebuffed.
He then began his career in commercial art, bringing to his work the inking technique he described as “chiaroscuro.” The heightened realism of Sickles' drawing and inking style had powerfully influenced his friend, Milton Caniff, creator of the newspaper stip Terry and the Pirates and without a doubt, Sickles was now having an influence on other illustrators of mainstream magazines.
Like Robert Fawcett, though Sickles was never the winner of any popularity contests with the readers, he was highly regarded by art directors and his fellow artists.
His influence, even to this day, should not be underestimated. He was "an artist's artist."
You can find this plus many other pieces by Sickles at full size in my Noel Sickles Flickr set.