Friends, thank you so much for the wonderful and emotional responses and comments to the Barry/Harvey storyline (To read it from the beginning, click HERE).
The Harvey storyline is based on my own personal experience when I worked as staff cartoonist and newsroom artist for the daily newspaper "The Herald Bulletin" for 6 years back in the late 90's and early 2000's.
The newspaper would send me out and about throughout Madison County (where I am from) to sketch from life, on the spot... people, places, "real stories and real people doing real life, everyday things" in drawing form... in effect, I was a good old-fashioned field cartoonist. I loved it. And I met some wonderful people (and even got kicked out of a restaurant for sketching the scene and creeping the other customers out! Ah, to be an artist...)
On my travels (I'd just spend entire workdays driving all over the quite large County, comprised of many towns, looking for subjects to draw... scenery, landscapes, people, activity... the closest I ever got to feeling like a bonafide Impressionist (my favorite art movement in art history).
I encountered a homeless veteran who was waiting for a bus and asked him if I could sit with him and chat and perhaps draw him, and he said yes. We wound up talking for quite some time, about his experiences... (his wounds left him crippled and his legs and hands had become shrunken over time, and he lived off the welfare and kindness of strangers, while also staying at a few shelters locally) and it was extremely touching, humbling and real for me - myself having served in the military (U.S Navy for 4 years, stationed overseas).
Here's my pencil and watercolor sketch that I did that day of my real-life Harvey.
And Harvey... if you're out there, I hope you're warm, safe and loved.