Comic Chronicles: Sickles, Syndicates, Sky Masters

From Rob Stolzer:

In the smallest of nutshells, Noel Sickles entered the comic strip field in 1933, spent three years working on Scorchy Smith, and left the field after revolutionizing the way adventure comic strips and superhero comics would forever be drawn.  Not too bad for a 24-year-old young man, right? 

Sickles’ three-year run on Scorchy Smith changed the comic strip field forever.  Caniff employed the techniques popularized by Sickles for the rest of his career.  Other artists such as Frank Robbins, Alfred Andriola, Lee Elias, Alex Toth and many others all owe a debt to Sickles. 

But before there was Noel Sickles there was Bud Sickles.

Rob again:

[John Grabb] related information to me about work that Sickles had done for the Mead Paper Corporation, whose paper mill was located in Chillicothe … Once there, I found the bound volumes of The Mead Co-Operation … The May 1925 issue marked the first appearance of Bud’s Meaco Comics, which ran in a full-page Sunday comic strip format.  Sickles’ comic strip was drawn specifically for Mead and featured employees of the paper company … Over the course of his Mead Co-Operation career, Sickles drew 38 installments of Bud’s Meaco Comics, with the last one appearing in the June 1929 issue.

Rob presents the entire run of Bud’s Meaco Comics for the first time anywhere online.



From the May 4, 1975 Fort Worth Star-Telegram comes Editor Cal Sutton detailing some background about newspapers buying comic strips. Syndicate salesmen and sales kits, buying on a 30 day “till forbid” contract, eating months of the Sesame Street comic strip, exclusive territory, the indestructible Blondie, and other inside stuff.



Sky Masters and The Space Force!
Written by Dick and Dave Wood.
Art by Jack Kirby and Wally Wood.

Evan Lewis says:

Here’s a rerun of our 11-week first continuity of SKY MASTERS [September 8, 1958 – November 22, 1958]. This is to catch you up and get you in the mood for next Saturday, when we begin Sky’s second thrilling adventure in space.

Saturday Space Adventure for the foreseeable future at Davy Crockett’s Almanack.