Gerald Bull Project
Some exciting news for me is that last month I received a Canada Council grant for my next new project - a full fledged historical graphic novel in the vein of my Banting mini-comic about Canadian scientist Gerald Bull.
Gerald Bull was considered by many to be one of the most brilliant scientists of the twentieth century. His research led him across the globe, from Canada, to the Pentagon in the U.S., to Barbados, South Africa and Iraq – where he developed the “Supergun” for Saddam Hussein, and ultimately to Brussels, where he was assassinated in 1990.
Canadians often think that our history is boring, but this story is one of drama, intrigue and politics that reads like it came right out of a John LeCarre novel. It also has a lot of themes that are relevant to the politics of today - namely how far should individual passion and obsession take you?
I first became aware of Gerald Bull through my grand aunt Louise Murphy. A Sergeant and code-breaker in WWII, she served as Bull’s personal secretary during his time at Valcartier, Quebec in the 1950s and would house sit for him while he was on overseas trips.
She knew him as a genius, a caring family man and boss. She also felt that he wasn’t given the respect or support he deserved from the Canadian and US governments (his work for South Africa actually got him imprisoned in the US for 6 months), and that this is what led to his downfall.
So - this is what will be taking up my time for the next couple of years. Right now I am in research mode, but am also doing some sketches. This summer I will be writing the first draft.
Above is my drawing of Bull in Barbados, where he worked on the HARP gun (High Altitude Research Project).
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
Well, we've been in our new house for about a month and a half now and things are finally settling down. We had lots of problems with basic necessities like electrical, hot water, phone (TONS of problems with Bell and then Rogers), & Internet.
I'm slowly getting into the swing of this working from home thing. It's got its pros and cons obviously. Overall the whole family is happy to be in London.
I'm also back at the drawing board! A friend, fellow cartoonist Zach Worton asked for a sketch from me about a year ago! I finally got around to it this month, and since it is so late I did a fully finished one for him. He's a fan of the Canadian painter Norval Morriseau and I found a really awesome old photograph of him looking very James Dean like that I did the drawing from.