by Paul Boscacci, the cartoonist behind Fort Knox:
I was told over and over again that working on a daily comic strip would be challenging. So when I launched “Fort Knox” nationwide in October 2009, I was ready for anything, including the never-ending deadlines and the grueling workload. Or so I thought. I quickly learned that - as a creator of a military family comic strip - there were other things I needed to consider.
In December, I received a letter from a military veteran who asked me why I didn’t acknowledge Veterans Day or Pearl Harbor Day in the strip. Having just launched “Fort Knox”, I had a few weeks of strips that introduced the main characters and - unfortunately - they were pretty much set in stone. The letter weighed on me nonetheless, and I did some research online and found a handful of complaints against another military-focused strip that failed to acknowledge these important holidays.
So I decided to recognize as many military holidays as humanly possible. Yes, I’m a bit obsessive.
That said, I planned on doing something special for Memorial Day and D-Day. For the Memorial Day Sunday comic, I wanted to get away from my usual “cartoony” style and work with someone who could help me produce beautiful, realistic art… and I knew just the person. His name is Norman Felchle and he has worked on Superman, Batman and Spiderman comic books and also created the character designs for the celebrated “American McGee’s Alice” and “James Bond” video games for Electronic Arts. If you’re not familiar with his work, I recommend you visit his website at www.normanfelchle.com. After considering a few different directions, we decided to portray a scene from the Omaha Beach landing. The special comic will run in newspapers nationwide on Sunday, May 30th. Just for you, though, we’ve included a “sneak peek” within this blog.
As for commemorating D-Day, I decided to have Wesley Knox, the military brat who closely resembles me at seven years-old, learn about the importance of D-Day. In the story, he must write a report about that momentous day and he ends up interviewing General Wickum who lost his uncle on D-Day. These special comic strips will run from Monday, May 31st to Saturday, June 6th and will conclude with a special Sunday comic on D-day, June 6th. You can view all of the strips (past, present and future) at www.gocomics.com/fortknox and please join the rest of our military family fans on Facebook at www.facebook.com/fortknoxcomic
I am excited to help celebrate the bravery of our soldiers and look forward to many more years of providing any support I can. If you have any suggestions for future storylines, please feel free to write me at firstname.lastname@example.org Take care!
Cartoonist Paul Boscacci is the son of an Army colonel whose tours of duty included Fort Leavenworth, Fort Jackson and Fort Knox, and who, every morning, liked to say to his fellow soldiers, “It’s a great day to be in the Army.” Boscacci was also the creative mind behind the USO’s Holiday Coloring Sheets and The opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of Paul Boscacci and do not necessarily reflect those of the USO.