Friday, July 07, 2006

"You get bored doing a certain thing"

While interviewing Noel Sickles (in The Comics Journal #242) Gil Kane asks the artist about his constantly changing approach and evolving techniques. Sickles replies that "you get bored doing a certain thing" and, "these are experiments to try to fit the style of the story."

Noel Sickles was not afraid to experiment. For a book on Mark Twain's adventures out West, Sickles says, "I found a new way to do quality-type line drawings" and "then, I used a slight variation on that way... I worked on frosted acetate". One gets the sense that Sickles never rested on the laurels of his tried and true techniques.

Of his integrity as an artist, his friend Milt Caniff once wrote, "Noel would research every panel [of Scorchy Smith] as if it were the BOOK of KELS. He would never draw a line until he had checked out any thing he did not know how to delineate."

And comic art master, Alex Toth had this to say about Sickles: "What I gained from Noel was... an appreciation for economy, clarity, line, mass, pattern, perspective, dramatic moment, subtlety, light source and drop shadow mechanics, negative and positive sihouette values, shapes and the overlapping of same, tension."

You can read the entire article and see a fantastic assortment of rare Sickles art, generously provided by an anonymous donor, in my Noel Sickles Flickr set.


  1. Anonymous5:51 PM

    Even though the western paintings at the end of the flickr set are black and white, I have a feeling I'll be eating my words on yesterday's post about Noel's knowledge of color...

  2. Me too, Jacob! ;-)