“I didn’t think they made any cars during the war years but on the picture, I worked from, it said it was 1942. Maybe they made a few even though it’s a ’42, this picture takes place in ’45 when the soldiers were coming back home. I didn’t put a lot of my usual crazy, “edgy” stuff in this one. It’s a bit more “Rockwellian” but I had a blast doing it. It took me back to when I used to do my “Crowds in a Bar” pics.
I saw a picture of a guy in a band uniform in a book and a lightbulb went off. I thought “Why not put in a band?” (They’re playing “Stars and Stripes Forever.”) I thought I’s put a bassoon sticking up in the middle of the back just to be silly. I put the kitty-cat welcoming back his owner. I’d like to title this one “Thanks for your service.” Even though there’s a lot of silliness in it, I don’t think I was irreverent anywhere. Just for variety, I put various types of people in there (mostly in the bottom right); a nerdy guy, a guy in a turban, cowboy, hillbilly and a few people of generous proportions.
My big laugh came when I was doing Uncle Creepie’s parents. His mom has the same hairstyle, but with a bow in it. As for the uniforms, I just went by a couple of photos I found. Some of the guys in the pictures had these brown jackets and beige pants. Some of them wore all green fatigues. I don’t know what the difference was, rank, unit, was one kind dressier? I don’t know. I just used the photos as they were. I love the sinister looking mobster guy in the bottom left. He’s up to no good, isn’t he? The moral message I want to convey is: “For those of you lucky enough to have family that loves you, be thankful to God.”
The woman in the dark, pink dress in the lower middle: I wanted to make her real cute. I totally nailed it. I know it’s weird, but I was thinking of an Italian woman when I was painting her. Isn’t she a cutie-pie? Just for fun, I tried coming up with a real Italian sounding name for her. That’s Antonia Lucenzo.
The soldier on the crutch is of Indian descent. The guy in the turban is meeting him there.”