Monday, August 27, 2012

Latest Dispatch From Walter Reed

I had an incredibly smooth and wonderful trip earlier this month to WRNMMC. Robert Bates came all the way from North Carolina; Victor Juhasz and Mike Fay was there, too. Our chaperon that day, Howard Clark, was a great  ally in securing us longer portrait sessions with each service member. It was clear to me that the hospital has also cut back on extraneous visitors, making our visit more relaxed and less hurried.

Joshua Wetzel, Army.

First Lt. Nathan Rimpf, Army.

In an effort to imitate the beautiful line quality Victor gets in his life drawing, I drew these portraits with some woodless colored pencils. I'm happy I tried this out. The combination of using full color and having double the amount of time we're usually allowed to draw resulted in tighter drawings with greater character. Both of these men were injured about a month before I met them, were double amputees, and are now walking on prosthetic legs in physical therapy. The pace of their recovery is astounding. These men are really determined and hard-working, accept no pity, and see their situation as just part of the job of being a soldier at war. To top it off, they've both got a wicked sense of humor and were so hospitable and welcoming. I wish there were more people in the world like Josh Wetzel and Nathan Rimpf.

I'll be returning to Walter Reed the weekend of the Small Press Expo in September to visit Josh and Nathan to draw their portraits again. They've both shared stories I am including in the comic book. I am so excited to work on this project with them.

Photo courtesy Prayers for Josh Wetzel Facebook Page.

Photo courtesy Nathan Rimpf Support Fund Facebook Page.


Anonymous said...

josh wetzel is in the army just so you are tracking

Anonymous said...

Josh Wetzel is in the army just so you are tracking

Jess Ruliffson said...

Thank you! I really appreciate the helpful correction!