I’m currently working on a schematic piece for The Believer magazine that traces the influence of the Harley-Davidson WLA “Liberator”, supplied to the Armed Forces during World War II, on American culture just after the end of the war and into the 1950’s. I had already planned to do a strip for FOLKTALES that dealt with the subject matter – particularly the development of the “stroker engine”, and how it was developed in the garage of a couple of Boozefighters (a southern California motorcycle gang), Gil Armas and CB Clausen. I pitched the idea to the art director at The Believer, who suggested we try it as a schematic, which I thought was a clever idea. I also thought it would be an interesting exercise to trace the project from it’s conceptual origins to its fruition. Last summer, I was asked by the Harley-Davidson Museum to contribute some of the original drawings from the BELLIGERENT PIANO weekly strip that dealt with Harley-Davidson (see episodes 41 through 48) for their “COLLECTION X” exhibit. Through the experience, I made friends at the museum who are willing to help me fact-check some of my history and mechanical accuracy. Below is the first concept sketch I sent to The Believer. Although it hasn’t been officially approved, the concept was met with enthusiasm. Let’s hope it moves to the next level.
BELIEVER MAGAZINE: CONCEPT SKETCH FOR AN HISTORICAL PIECE ON THE MILITARY-ISSUED HARLEY-DAVIDSON WLA “LIBERATOR”