Friday, March 15, 2013

"He'd always imagined distant stars as worlds 'where no animals were suffering' "

I didn’t know Walt Rave, but for years I saw him walking our Takoma Park neighborhood and swinging his fox pelt on a chain. ¶ I would learn that his cause was the ethical treatment of animals, though he still appeared intimidating. When I read of his death from a house fire in 2011, I immediately imagined a graphic narrative to encapsulate his life. ¶ I contacted two of his closest friends, Fred Hunter and Chris Nordby, and I started culling information and sketching. The more I learned about Walt, the more he stood out as an individual: a Vietnam War veteran who had been a tree surgeon, a nude model and a worker in Takoma Park’s tool library. He stuck solid to his principles against cruelty, even when he may have come across as unbalanced. ¶ Such utter conviction seems rare, and it is hard to capture even in black-and-white. ¶ Being, like Walt, an artist, a Navy veteran and a cat lover, I now find it unfortunate that I never stopped to chat with him once in a while.

--   Art Hondros, "Fox Guy" Had to Teach Us

(Disclosure: Art Hondros has been a writing buddy of mine for more than 20 years and I'm thrilled to see his multi-page comic strip in the Washington Post Magazine.)

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