In our second blog post ever, I went to Hillsboro, Ohio, the birthplace of Milton Caniff, to see what Caniff sites I could find. Last month I made a return pilgrimage with pal and fellow Caniffite Ted Haycraft. Our first stop was the above plaque in front of the Highland County District Library. Last time I went into the library and wrote that they didn't have anything on Caniff, only to have the library director subsequently e-mail me to tell me they have a Caniff file. So, this time I went in and asked about the Caniff file. The librarian didn't know and asked other librarians if there was some file for "the guy on the sign." But the library director, who e-mailed me again, was out at the time and they do have a file. I'll have to save it for the next trip. To read the plaque, click here.
If you go to Hillsboro for the Caniff sites, you might as well go to nearby Chillicothe for the Noel Sickles' sites. Our first stop was a visit this elusive Sickles painting. Ted (pictured) noticed a slight variation in the waves in the lower right of the painting between the painting itself and the published version. Curious.
You'd think I'd have taken a close-up of said waves for comparison, but I "missed the boat" (sorry). I did zoom in on some other details, benefiting from less glare than my last visit.
Other than his grave marker, Noel Sickles' status as a famous Chillicothian is more or less unknown. Better known is Billy Ireland, cartooning mentor to both Sickles and Milton Caniff in his capacity as their boss at the Columbus Dispatch. Here is Ireland's marker, about 100 feet away from Sickles at Grandview Cemetery in Chillicothe.
Ireland is also represented on the Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame wall at Chillicothe High School. If you are a Chillicothe High alum, please nominate Noel Sickles for this honor here.
As in past tours, the last stop was in Columbus, Ohio at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Research Library and Museum. Just two years ago it was the plain ol' Cartoon Research Library, but the expansion of its holdings, its future plans to expand into a larger, renovated building and a generous gift from the Elizabeth Ireland Graves Foundation, have caused the name to grow along with the library. We took in the latest Reading Room exhibit, which is a sampling of recent museum acquisitions. It runs through August 20th.