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Civil War Cartoonist

Civil War Cartoonist

My son Truman and I did our first Civil War reenactment last weekend at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Museum. I’m sure I’ll be a bluecoat soldier at some point, but for now it’s easy to act as a cartoonist freelancing for a New York newspaper while embedded with the 79th New York Volunteers unit!

So here’s the reverb: I’m a freelance cartoonist who draws history who is, in this photo, portraying a Civil War freelance cartoonist who draws history with historically-accurate tools.  (Which was a great use of time because I had a deadline to meet!!!)

The work I was doing was a rough draft of a Revolutionary War comic I’m doing in cooperation with the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. I’ll post some of these rough draft pages soon for you to see how I put a book together, but here you can see that
a. I am indeed an ink-stained wretch (the classic description of a journalist)
b. I am doing cartooning that a Civil War cartoonist could have been doing!
(I’ve tried using a pen like this on my political cartoons off and on over the years but never felt completely comfortable. It’s a slower tool than a brush and I work quickly. But that slower pace sure felt nice during this beautiful day of living history!)

Truman and I found this unit of reenactors when we visited an event at the wonderful Endview Plantation in Newport News, Virginia in March. They are based on the Peninsula, so it makes it easy for us to stay in contact with them. They have great equipment and a lot of experience – and are glad to have a drummer boy! As soon as Truman started hanging out with them Saturday, he cocked his kepi like a veteran. I’m so proud of Truman for investigating Civil War life and then going out and experiencing that history. This love of his has developed over many years and is getting quite rich. (He says he wants to grow up to work at a National Park Service historic site!!)

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This entry was posted on Friday, August 22nd, 2008 at 11:23 am and is filed under Civil War. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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