1991: Straight Up to See the Sky

Straight Up to See the Sky (1991) by Timothy Truman.

There’s a lot of Timothy Truman in these twilight Eclipse years…

And I think he said in The Spider that he was reserving the “Four Winds” designation to his most personal works.

We start off with an introduction by Phillip W. Hoffman called “POV”, where he tells us that, perhaps, people like George Washington might have had other motives for what he did other than the pure goodness of his heart.

Truman explains what this book is: A series of portraits of a bunch people on the frontiers in the Allegheny area.

There’s even a map.

So we get about four to eight pages per person. One full-page drawing and then a text that tells you what they did.

Truman is obviously passionate about this project, and taken one by one, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with these… collections of extended anecdotes.

But being as uninterested as I am about this stuff, I didn’t find it much of a compelling read. At least not reading about one person after another after another. I mean, they’re all interesting characters, I guess, but…

The most befuddling thing is how little the textual description of the people doesn’t match up with the drawings. Anne Bailey here is supposed to be short, stocky, coarse in appearance, and usually wore breeches. That’s… not what that drawing seems to depict, is it?

A reviewer on Amazon really liked it:

I was thrown by how fantastic this book was. The illustrations, done by the author himself, were incredible. The stories themselves, were brought to life in a way that made you want to go back in time to learn more about the characters. Both the “good guys” and the “bad guys” were treated with the same degree of research to make those black and white lines become a lot greyer, and a lot clearer at the same time. It was truly inspiring. Having read The Leatherstocking Tales, which by the way, were a real Snore-fest, Mr. Truman treats the reality of those times with so MUCH more vigor than his predecessor in the art – a boring Mr. James Fennimore Cooper.

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