"A sketchbook is a secret thing, a collection of unfinished and often times abandoned ideas never intended for public consumption—at least not in their current state. It’s a private space for honing one’s craft and workshopping, separating good ideas from those best left unexplored." -Brian Heater at The Daily Cross Hatch.

31 May 2010

Memorial Day Edition: "Corpsman in Anguish"


I found myself with a curious and oppressive lack of downtime this weekend, so I didn't get to spend nearly a fraction of the time I would have liked to on a Memorial Day piece.

As usual, but especially today, I was bothered by the concept of how to represent war in an illustration without glorifying it. As I was reflecting on this Catherine Leroy's iconic photo "Corpsman in Anguish" came to mind. When I was a young boy, I found this photo in a Life magazine in the attic and it had an incredible impact on me. Though my memory is faint (and probably colored by my current perceptions) I seem to recall that the image evoked a melancholy feeling. Now when I look the photo of HM/3 Vernon Wike bending over the formless mass of a fallen Marine I imagine he's thinking "What the FUCK!?!" And "WHY HIM?". The story about what Wike did next seems to justify my assumption.

So, on this day of days, please take a moment to contemplate the cost of war and those who serve. Let the endeavor of war never be something we enter into lightly.
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  1. though this has really nothing to do wit the subject,I tought i would add it anyaway.
    I always fascinated with the fact that corpsmen attached to marine units had their own unique dress uniforms.It was jus like a marine's except for the rank insignia which was a navy one but with marine colors.

  2. Here's a picture from Wikipedia with just such a uniform: http://bit.ly/corpsman_uni

    I think I read somewhere on a forum that when you're a Corpsman of Marines you can choose whether or not you want to adhere to Marine Corps or Navy uniform regulations. I think it also extends to which physical fitness requirements you're accountable for.

    On that same forum (wish I could find it again) I think someone said that when he wore a USMC style uniform he had a hell of a time finding Navy rank insignia in khaki. Another Corpsman stated that he preferred to stay with his Navy uniform simply because he was proud of his identity as a Sailor.

  3. No, you are wrong. When a navy Corpsman goes to
    the Marines,he wears the same uniform the Marines wear. Green. A corpsman acts, looks, &smells like a Marine-because he is one.