It was a number of years ago the I flew Flanders in Flames and Bloody April with you all as part of the Wingwalker's Squad. Some of you may remember that I started a sketchbook journal during the Bloody April tournament that I published after each mission. I used real events from the flying ( like stealing Adler's Pup by accident) and worked them into the story line. All the artwork was done on an Ipad.
This experience led to a much more refined World War I project that I have worked on over the last few years. "Rupp's Skizzenbuch" is a simulation of a German Unteroffizier's journal and sketchbook from World War I. The characters and story are based on the novel "The Blue Max" written by Jack D. Hunter in 1964. Primary sources including photos, postcards and news headlines are interspersed in the fictional work to tie the story to real-world events during the Great War.
The journal is being published online every couple weeks from now until Armistice Day in November. You can read the first two chapters here
An aging German immigrant passes away in St. Augustine, Florida. Among her personal effects a soldier's journal and sketchbook from World War I is discovered. The sketchbook is sent on to the Smithsonian's Special Collections Archivist for further study.
CHAPTER ONE - INTRODUCTIONS
Unteroffizier Rupp Gerhardt introduces himself and explains what brought this “old campaigner” to the town of Beauvin and what services he provides to his squadmates at Jasta 77.
CHAPTER THREE – THE VILLAGE
Rupp’s squad mate takes him for a wild ride in a DFW and ruins his aerial photo shoot of the Aerodrome requested by the Hauptmann. Angry with all of them he settles into some late night sketching and writes about the Aerodrome, the village of Beauvin and his lucrative side businesses.
CHAPTER FOUR - THE PEOPLE
Rupp’s goal was to survive the war, not to win it and he was willing to do just about anything to make sure he survived. In this chapter, he shares his insights into the strengths and weaknesses of his fellow squad mates and explains how he uses that information to his best advantage.
CHAPTER FIVE – NEW ARRIVALS
Bruno Stachel arrives at Jasta 77 and meets Rupp for the first time. Their not so friendly introduction is interrupted by an attack on the base by a group of Sopwith Camels.
CHAPTER SIX – A MAN TO WATCH
Luetnant Bruno Stachel has an immediate impact on Jasta 77 and not in a good way. Hauptmann Heidemann is trying to get to know his newest pilot and Rupp is sure he will either be the next Ace in the squad or dead within three weeks. It could go either way.
CHAPTER SEVEN –FIRST KILL
Leutnant Stachel, frustrated by his unconfirmed kill a few weeks earlier, makes a point when he drops an RE8 right on the Hauptmann’s front porch. Bold, skilled and cruel, Stachel’s begins to make a reputation for himself.
The next chapter will be March 23rd .