In 1997 I created a four-part graphic serial entitled Speed of Sound to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Yeager's historic flight through the "wall in the sky."
Part 1, "Mr. Right Stuff," focused on the man himself, a fellow West Virginian who grew up near my hometown, Charleston. We were also fellow USAF veterans as I enlisted at age 17 serving as an illustrator for four years. As a young boy I liked drawing jets and bombers, at one point sending some of my artwork to the USAF at the Pentagon at the urging of my teachers.
In 1997 I was working as a full-time freelancer, doing assignments for the National Geographic Society and producing a weekly illustrated feature, "GeoWeek," that was syndicated to newspapers and magazines around the globe by the New York Times News Service.
I approached the syndicate with my concept for a graphic serial on Yeager's feat, they liked the idea, and so I started researching material to create the graphics and to write the text for the serial.