15 June 2006

Big Fun

Mark Schwartz at American Comic Archive sent an e-mail this week announcing publication of the latest Big Fun Comics. Big Fun reprints classic adventure strips from the 1930's, 40's and 50's. It's a good looking magazine and one that lives up to the name on the masthead. What distinguishes it in my mind is the care taken to reproduce the artwork —especially when one considers the source material is old newsprint. It's well designed and printed too. The cherry on the cake for me is the inclusion of Scorchy Smith by Noel Sickles. Sickles was a contemporary of the great Milton Caniff. For several years they shared a studio together —with facing drawing tables as I understand it. It's said Sickles use of chiaroscuro was a huge influence on Caniff. There's even some controversy as to whether Sickles ghosted on Terry and the Pirates. I have no idea if that's true or not but there is a stretch on Terry that bears an uncanny resemblance what went on in Scorchy. Sickles work can be found in Big Fun issues one and two. Mark says the current issue won't be sold through stores. Though you can pick it up online at the American Comic Archive website.
  • American Comic Archive
  • More Scorchy Smith
    Update: I recieved my copy of #4 today. For whatever reasons, it's bound laser copies, not the offset litho of the previous three editions. Alas, not quite the same. Buyer beware.

    m cho said...

    Great blog, great post!

    Noel Sickles is the BOMB! I love his work and his restless experimentation. While I also love Caniff, Robbins, Bert Christman, Lee Elias and all the others that came after, Sickles was the first and, in many ways, the best. What little knowledge I've learned of black-spotting and lighting all comes from studying Sickles (and Roy Crane).

    And that Big Fun book is great! I also love the Leslie Turner Captain Easy reprints they've been running.

    F Ron Miller said...

    Thanks for stopping by! It's always good hear from a fellow Sickles fan. I appreciate your comments and kind encouragements. I think well of your blog too. I visit it all the time. —and yes, those Captain Easy trips are terrific!