I am a shameless lover of Rat Patrol. As such, I’ve tried, successfully and not so successfully, to express this love through fanfiction. The successes have been paraded before the public on FanFiction.net, and the not-so-successes can be found in the deepest circle of Dante’s Hell where they belong to wallow for all eternity in their terrible dialog and grammatical errors.
Each of the following pictures is a larger version of the cover art for my stories, posted in the order they were published on FanFiction. The skill level displayed here ranges from my most embarrassingly inexperienced years to five months ago, though the term “skill” must be taken with a grain of salt as you will soon find out. Scroll on, brave reader, and be prepared to accost thine eyes.
Tully (?) from The Enemy’s Enemy Raid
I know this doesn’t resemble Tully in the slightest. This is not by any stretch of the imagination my best work. To be kind, it’s a raging piece of garbage. It’s fitting, then, that it’s paired with a fanfic that is also a raging piece of garbage. I was 15 when I drew this, thinking I was clever for trying out a simplistic caricature style of obvious pencil strokes and minimal details, but I keep it around as a painful reminder that truly anyone can improve their skills if they try hard enough.
Tully (?) from The Dare-Devil Rescue Raid: The Lost Scene
15-year-old me thinking cartoonish minimalism was a good idea strikes again! While some parts of this might resemble Justin Tarr, other parts of it resemble Walther Matthau, and that is not a marriage of facial features that I ever wish to see, let alone draw. I am pleased to report that I do not even attempt to sketch in this style any longer, because the world doesn’t deserve the pain inflicted by seeing it.
1945 Dresden from Chance Encounter
Although the story itself takes place in Frankfurt, a fair piece west of the picture’s subject, the destruction of the 1945 firebombing fit the theme of defeat and desolation I was going for. To be technical, I used a different version of this sketch for FanFiction, but it was both a gaudy sepia and terribly blurry. I wasted too much time on detailing all those goshdarn windows for them to be overlooked from poor image quality.
Diamond from Diamond in the Rough Raid
What started as a from-memory sketch of Moffitt ended up resembling an OC well enough I figured I might as well use it for a story he was in. Oddly enough said OC spends his days finding ways to torment Moffitt to the best of his ability. Using a drawing of one to represent the other isn’t irony; it’s merely laziness.
There is a gap here where two of my fanfic covers should by all rights go. One is for Rawhide, so it might look out of place on a post full of Rat Patrol fics anyhow, but the other does belong to a Rat Patrol fic. Unfortunately, I’ve lost both of the physical copies, and the image quality on FanFiction is too sketchy (no pun intended) for a viewable screenshot to be taken. I know, I know. Try to hold back your immense disappointment. My day, too, would be ruined if I was unable to see a sketch of Rowdy Yates on green notebook paper. But if I’ve learned anything, it’s that life isn’t fair. Let us move on.
Kurt Starker from The One That Happened After Raid
Once upon a time, I made up a set of SS soldiers to abuse as I saw fit, mostly as a way of breaking through writer’s block by hacking out horrendous plots with established characters and ready-made villains to give my frazzled brain a rest from thinking up anything original. Eventually, Hauptsturmführer Kurt Starker and his squad fell by the wayside and I went on to bigger things, but when I needed a made-to-order bad guy for an RP fic, I was able to dig out all my notes and get going. This is one advantage of being allergic to throwing anything away.
Hitch’s Kepi from Missing Things
Otherwise known as my only foray into the mystical, terrifying world of Copic markers. This is what boredom and free time look like when married to modest artistic talent and scanned in on a finicky Brother machine with a pathological aversion to functioning properly.
Tully in Repose from The Best Kind of Quiet
Should there be an actual Browning M2 on top of that gun mount behind him? Yes there should be. Did I only draw enough of the jeep to make it look like he was sitting in it? Yes I did.
Totally-Not-Marseille from a story I haven’t actually written yet but we’ll get there someday, honest
Some may say I just sketched a photo of Hans-Joachim Marseille and replaced his Ritterkreuz with an ascot, and they would be right. I also gave him pants instead of shorts, because he’s got skinny legs. But I’m ripping off the rest of him anyway to use as inspiration for an OC, so what’s one step further?
And somehow we have reached the end. If you’ve made it this far, you’ve braver than I am. Initially I was nervous about putting out some of my. . .er. . .lesser work of years past, because to be frank, it sucks. But maybe that’s the point of letting it out into the open to be seen. Heaven knows I always look for that one person worse than me at something so I can feel better about myself, and now I have a chance to be that person instead. Because if there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s being bad at something.