Page 30. And, lest you think I am making this up . . .
Granted, the beard is artistic license, but the crazy eyes are 100% historically accurate. This guy was deaf, mute, 50% blind, 96.5% insane and quite possibly higher than Jesus, but of course he fixed the pipe — seen at left — in no time. The second guy from the left is the actual interpreter, who I believe stole all that uniform stuff at one time or another. I had a different interpreter for about half of this mission, who wore the shirt/slacks/flak jacket combo that I drew on the interpreter in the comic, but as it happened I had the other guy when I took this picture. One thing about him was that he was about 16, so the other Iraqis never took him seriously, whereas Mr. Button Down was more like 35 and, ironically, had been a construction contractor before he started working for the U.S. Army.
There’s a common misconception that Iraq is a desert, but this was literally right in the fertile crescent, just South of Nimrud and about 1 km from the Tigris River. The Iraqis were growing big fields of spinach and cucumbers all around the area, with irrigation ditches that have probably been there for 12,000 years.
But wait . . . there’s more!
This is a painting I made of some houses in Cleveland, which is the most beautiful city that I have ever actually lived in, and one of the more beautiful that I have visited. I scanned the line work first, because I was afraid that I’d do my usual “drag your sleeve through the ink” number and ruin it, but I lucked out.