Thursday, September 25, 2008
Henni and Her Eggs
Here are two sketches for a piece running with the story “Henni and Her Eggs,” by Peggy Nolan, in the October issue of Cricket. The story takes place during World War II in occupied Holland; this scene shows the father angry over scarcities imposed by the German army.
In the first sketch, at left, I suppose my inner casting director had in mind the idea of a sturdy, stocky Dutch farm family. It was the art director who pointed out (thanks, Karen) that the story was set in “the hunger winter” — the winter of 1944-45, which in Holland was a time of catastrophic shortages and indeed starvation. Then, while still working on the piece, I happened actually to meet a woman who had grown up in Holland during the war. As soon as I mentioned the work she told me, cheerfully, “Oh, yes. We didn’t look like this then, either.” You wouldn’t have considered her overweight, but she did look as though she ate regularly, and I suppose that was the point. S0 the family in the sketch was put on the Photoshop diet. I generally stay away from the stuff myself, but when it comes to tweaking sketches I have to admit that it can be handy.