I consider working on the web comics, For Valour, the start of my professional illustrator career, as I have not have not stopped working since I took up this project. I especially loved working on Robert Hampton Gray, and I consider it the better of the two (though I might have enjoyed Billy Bishop more if I did not have such a tight deadline: I was offered Bishop close to the due date of the For Valour project, with no extensions, so I took a week’s vacation and got it done. I always try to enjoy something about every project I do, but when I am rushed, I feel as though I don’t have enough time to explore options to make it better, and sometimes I cannot take the time to really give my art depth). I love the WWII era, the clothes, the vehicles, weapons and history, so it was a great opportunity to work on this these web comics. I got another opportunity to work within the WWII era, on the one story for Tales From Big Spirit: The Scout (a work in progress, written by David A. Robertson and to be published by HighWater Press), and I would love to work on more.
I will also say that Aaron Hildebrandt did a fantastic job animating my art for Hammy, and he was a pleasure to work with. The process of working on this we comic was interesting as many of the images were drawn separately and combined. This sometimes made for a number of revisions as I had to adjust for perspective on the planes, etc.
Below is a pencil drawing I had done before I started the project, for fun, that ended up being used in the final scene of the web comic. Kind of an Obiwan Kenobi’esque vision at the end of the battle. I thought I had lost this drawing, but found it when I was cleaning out my computer.
Robert Hampton “Hammy” Gray
Recipient of the Victoria Cross for Valour