Category Archives: Illustration

The Art of History

Old photo album

I recently acquired a family photo album that is more of a scrapbook; filled not only with pictures of bygone relatives, but with valuable, written histories, too. With modern technology, I envision worn and weathered photo albums becoming relics. Even albums from when my son was a baby, look dated. So many family histories are lost, and I always find it sad to find decades-old photographs in flea markets; these sepia-tinted orphans that belong in a family. (Of course, finding old photos is my thing.) With Facebook and other online media, your every move can be documented; immortalized for all time. If you’re a celebrity and want to know what you ate for lunch a year ago, just Google.

I’m lucky that my ancestors deemed their lives worthy of commemorating, otherwise, I’m not so sure I would have known I had relatives who fought in the Revolutionary War and the Civil War.

War record

I was also thrilled to learn that there’s some writer-illustrator genes that go way back.
Frank V. Martinek original drawingsIn the back of the album are original drawings from 1924 by author and cartoonist, Frank V. Martinek. He had married into my crazy family. Martinek was a Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy and in an effort to educate and help recruit American youth, particularly in the Midwest, Martinek created the comic strip, Don Winslow of the Navy.
Don Winslow of the NavyWinslow was based on a character in novels Martinek had already written. The comic strip ran from 1934 to 1955, and two films were made in the ’40s. Martinek didn’t actually do the illustrating for the comic, but provided all of the stories. Originally created as a propaganda tool, the strip was said to be very popular for its “excellence suspense, and ingenious, spine-joggling situations.” One historian said that Don Winslow is filled with “intrigue, spychasing, beautiful women, and villains with names like Dr. Centaur, the Dwarf, and the Scorpion.”

Don Winslow and the Scorpion's Stronghold

Martinek wrote several books:

Don Winslow and the Navy
Don Winslow Saves the Secret Formula
Don Winslow Breaks the Spy Net
Don Winslow of the Navy and the Great War Plot
Don Winslow Navy Intelligence Ace
Don Winslow U.S.N. in Ceylon
Don Winslow and the Scorpion’s Stronghold
Don Winslow and the Giant Girl Spy (The Better Little Book)
Don Winslow of the Navy and the Secret Enemy Base
Lieutenant Commander Don Winslow U.S.N. (The Big Little Book)
Know Your Man
Face to Face with the Scorpion

You can download Don Winslow of the Navy (1940) for free or read it online. I don’t have any other particular reason for this post, other than to well . . . preserve some history.

A Sneak Peek

I’m thrilled to be working again with author Dean K. Miller.  This time, it’s for his forthcoming poetry book, Echoes: Reflections Through Poetry and Verse.
Echoes: Reflections Through Poetry and Verse by Dean K. MillerIt’s not available until November, but in the meantime, I’ll leave you with this sneak peek of one of the several illustrations I did for the inside . . .
Past Due

You can also read one of Dean’s poems, “A Letter Home,” featured on Readwave.


Cover Reveal: The Odyssey of the Monk

I’ve had the opportunity to work with Dean K. Miller, a very talented writer, for his book, The Odyssey of the Monk. Below is the cover I illustrated. The story is about a young orphaned monk who leaves the Buddhist temple he was raised in, to venture out on his own. It’s a beautiful story and is now available as en e-book. You can read more about Dean and his other works at his blog and check out the other illustrations I did for the inside. I’m also in the midst of working on drawings for his poetry book, due out in November, so you’ll be seeing those shortly.

Odyssey of the Monk Cover

Visit Dean’s blog and be sure to check out his other wonderful book, And Then I Smiled: Reflections on a Life Not Yet Complete.

2013 Writing Planner

For most writers, scheduling time to write is essential. It doesn’t hurt to have a spiffy calendar to help organize that time and to hopefully inspire some ideas. This is the second year in a row that I’ve collaborated with my friend Kerrie Flanagan, director of the Northern Colorado Writers, to put together an amazing (and helpful!) planner.

It is filled with inspirational quotes and will feature 12 different illustrations and a full-color cover. We sold out last year, so don’t miss out! You can pre-order one today for $12.50 and it will be shipped to you after November 27th. (What a great Christmas gift)!