When I look at these sketches, done for the April 1936 issue of The Pictorial Review by a 25-year-old Gilbert Bundy, I can't help thinking about how the young artist, no doubt enjoying an enviable time in the whirlwind of New York cafe society, had no idea what awaited him just a few years hence.
Perhaps the lively sketchiness of the pieces in this breezy series somewhat reflect the style Bundy would employ while working as a combat artist for King Features in the Pacific War Theatre during W.W. II...
Names like Iwo Jima and Okinawa have taken on an almost mythological status in the ensuing decades... Gilbert Bundy was in those places - and many others - during some of the most horrific and brutal fighting.
At one point, the amphtrack in which he was traveling received a direct hit. Every man on board was killed, except Bundy. He spent the next twenty four hours, alive but partially submerged in water, surrounded by the dead, before being recued.
How does one return to a normal life of illustrating the inconsequential after experiencing such a nightmarish existence? Gilbert Bundy never did. Nearly twenty years after these illustrations saw print, Bundy, still haunted by his wartime experiences, committed suicide.
My Gilbert Bundy Flickr set.