What does an author do when he wants his book to summon up the spirit of days past? He commissions custom illustration to grace his pages, of course!
When local Baltimore author John Thomas Everett approached me last year to create a series of illustrations for his new book of historical fiction, Plug Ugly Ball: A Mobtown Tale of Bullies and Baseball he had a clear vision of what he wanted. The story spans several decades of the late 1800s in the city of Baltimore, and he wanted to capture some of the flavor of that time by including illustrations that replicate the woodcut newspaper-illustration style of the period. The book is organized into several large sections that covered different time periods in the life of the main characters, so each chapter needed a different image for its title page.
The prologue and epilogue shared this image of Baltimore’s old Union Park ballpark, one of the key locations in the book. I worked from period photographs to reproduce the long-gone structure in pen-and-ink.