"I am a piano player, but yet I'm not. I am a painter, yet I'm not. I am a novelist, but I'm still working on it."
Jack D. Hunter
I think a lot about Jack while I work on this project. Graphic artist, photographer, writer, these are all things that I am, yet I'm not.
When I started this project I wanted to try and create a graphic novel version of "The Blue Max". I quickly realized that I was nowhere close to having the skills (or the time) required to create one. Somewhere along the way I stumbled onto an actual World War I pilot's journal and it was filled with sketches, photographs and stories. Clearly the author was not a professional writer, artist or photographer, but the journal was engaging because it came from the heart and gave you insight into what it must have been like to serve during the Great War. It dawned on me that maybe I could manage to do the same. That's how it started.
So what inspired Jack Hunter, a veteran of World War II, working for DuPont in the 1960's, to sit down and write a novel from the German perspective during World War I?
You might as well go straight to the source for that. The link below takes you to his website and an article he wrote doing his best to answer just that question.
Jack was a painter as well. He has been referred to as the "Grandma Moses" of aviation art. With the emergence of digital technology, so much aviation artwork is more like model building now, slick and sterile with every rivet in its place. The same can be said for many aviation films that rely heavily on CGI eye popping effects but fall short on story and heart. Jack's paintings are all heart, coming from a man whose passion for aviation and World War I military history shaped a good part of his life.
There is more to explore on his website including old blog posts, a listing of the other novels he wrote and comments back from family and friends over the years.
I hope some of this will give you insight into the novel, its creator and perhaps where this project came from.
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