And now war! war, in its direst shape — war, on a scale of a million birds in arms — rages in several States of the Union…
~ Penguin Pierce
Franklin Pierce manages somehow to be the president who is worse than Fillmore, which is something I guess; it may be that he was just the wrong president at a very difficult time in presidential history (and it does feel a bit like everybody leading up to Lincoln was in the difficult place of being Not Lincoln, especially as seen from the long late view where Lincoln himself is held in such high general esteem as a mythic presidential figure), but in any case nobody seems to remember him and those who do don’t seem to have a lot of praise for his administrative legacy. A legacy defined in significant part by functionally pro-Confederacy, pro-slavery politics? Fun.
But he was also allegedly a nice enough guy as just a guy, and he struggled with alcoholism and that maybe ruined his marriage and also all of his kids died young, which is pretty terrible stuff to have to deal with so, hmm. Historical figures I’m not deeply familiar with: they’re complicated.
Don’t feel like I did a great job of communicating the specular highlighting on his back and the top of his wing — my tendency with pen strokes and hatching seems to run kind of counter to that sort of effect. Have to think about how to approach that sort of thing, or maybe avoid wet black birds.
Also I accidentally threw an apostrophe on a possessive its and smudged the ink near the feet a little bit when trying to erase some pencil marks. It’s hard out there for a bird presidentizer.