Dementia - the Art of Paul Rogers

the art of paul rogers

Paul Rogers is a friend of mine and a reenacting pard; he also happens to be a gifted cartoonist. This page is dedicated to the loony, unorthodox scrawlings he drew for the unit newsletters I used to edit. That's a self-portrait on the left. - Jonah

Killer Bob Reb. - This one is kind of hard to explain... Remember the TV show "Twin Peaks?" There was a ghostly, terrifying spirit in it known as "Killer Bob." On one unsettling occasion I bumped into a Confederate reenactor who looked just like him, and this is Paul's rendition of him. Here's Frank Silva as "Killer Bob."

The Guy With the Huge Neck - This was a Federal reenactor who caught Paul's eye at an event, working in his unit's mess. He was wearing a Wallace Beery-type shirt which only emphasized his incredibly long neck. I had Paul do an illustration of him for an article I never finished called "Dining Tips for Reenactors." The neck is only slightly exaggerated. Here's the picture.

Crazed Reb from the 4th Texas - No, I don't know what Paul had against this unit.

Disney's Amerika - Me and Mrs. Begone came up with the dwarf's names. My favorite is "Larry."

Evil at New Market - A slide show indicating why reenactors like Paul ought to be kept busy at events.

A Day in the Field with a Food Prep Regiment - What's a "Food Prep Regiment," you ask? You've seen these before - they're units of guys who show up at events mainly to eat. To this end, they expend great effort on various meals during the course of a weekend. I coined the phrase back in 1989 when I was walking through such a camp with the guys in my unit. Just as I was describing the concept - and right on cue - an older gentleman sitting in an elaborate camp chair outside of a big tent bellowed out to someone, "Make sure the apple butter is brought out for tomorrow morning!" With that memorable quote I rested my case. Paul's drawing is admirable in its detail; you'll notice "the Guy with the Huge Neck" appears in it along with the Swedish Chef from the Muppets, Ronald McDonald and various distressed and fearful small animals. I can't look at a bottle of Mrs. Dash without thinking of this drawing.

A cavalry guy - Cavalry reenactors take a lot of abuse. Why should Paul not take part?

A tubby officer - I think that's a moose face on the sleeves.

Drag Race - Guys in my unit used to get Civil War reenacting evangelical newsletter mailings from a preacher/reenactor named Alan Farley. In one of these he admitted he enjoyed drag racing and, indeed, once set up his Civil War reenacting ministery at one, inside the track. As odd as we thought this was, Paul improved on the concept somewhat. That's Farley crying "This is an abomination!" He's right, this is.

Alan Farley used to send out his "Re-enactor's Mission for Jesus Christ" newsletter to people whether they asked for it or not. Here's Paul's multicultural version of it.

In Bad Company - Darned if I can remember the inspiration for this one, either.

The Female Musketman! - I had Paul do this one up for the Camp Chase Gazette, who wouldn't touch it with a ten foot rod, proving they do have a sense of responsibility. (Or at least the good sense not to entirely alienate their female readership.)

Crazy Reenactors - For the life of me I can't remember why I had Paul draw this one up! That's Alice Cooper in the middle, Bert lying on the ground and a kid who was in our unit on the far right wearing the Napoleon hat. The fat guy second from the right is a high school teacher Paul became fixated with - his image appears in other drawings.

Southern Revenge! - Probably the most inflammatory thing Paul has ever done. For readers of my unit newsletter, this one has gone into the category of legend.

Appomattox '90 - Paul could write as well as draw.

Paul Rogers' View of Reenacting - Here he dabbled with poetry.

The Adventures of Macey N. Gimbels and His Pard - Paul was the perfect illustrator for the little series Mal and I put together. Unfortunately his ethnic stereotypical illustration for the purveyor of "Rebel Cola" might cause a fuss, so I can't use it here.

An alternate view of the pards. - I'm not sure what Paul's fixation is with Sesame Street, but it's there all right.

It's Super Reb! - I think Paul drew this in a fit of pique after attending an event where the Rebs wouldn't take hits.

Ten Safety Tips - This was an article that appeared in the Camp Chase Gazette without Paul's drawing. (Both appeared in my unit newsletter.) The kid with the bazooka is one of the unit teenagers, who had a habit of making himself magnum loads until popular demand and peer pressure caused him to change his ways. The annoyed fellow next to him is Paul Rogers himself - yes, Paul actually has a nose that looks like that.

Ol' Mr. Cholesterol - Paul's illustration is a favorite of mine. I personally directed him as to the details.

The Rebel Visa Card - If there was such a thing this is what we supposed it would look like.

Taking Hits - Remember the 1993 film "Falling Down," about a laid-off defense worker (called "D-FENS" after his vanity license plate and played by Michael Douglas) who spent the better part of 90 minutes shooting up minorities in rage over societal changes? I developed this idea for Paul to draw up and his cartoon made it to the back of an issue of the Camp Chase Gazette. You can just make out "Is it '96 yet?" on the side of his briefcase - my own personal Lost Cause.

Another self-portrait - I forgot exactly what it was he didn't like. This was drawn on a letter to me. For awhile he wore an Amish-style beard that he continually tugged at.

Yet another self portrait - What's he running from? I don't know.

Paul, Mal Stylo and I used to be in a unit that had "Sunshine Patriots" as a nickname (from Thomas Paine's Revolutionary War speech scorning "summer soldiers"). Can you think of a better description of reenactors? - Mal Stylo came up with it. Paul drew up this clever logo for the masthead of the unit newsletter. (No, we didn't take reenacting very seriously.) I was going to have one of those promotional watch companies put it onto a face for timepieces for the unit Founding Fathers but never got around to it.

...and then there are the wee folk. I never did understand this one.