|Noor Inayat Khan, butterfly, at 98 Rue de la Faisanderie, Paris, France|
|Harry Ree decides to join the fight.|
|Churchill tells Dalton to set Europe ablaze!|
|Noor eluding the Gestapo in Paris.|
Notes From Jeff Smith:
In January 2009, I got a call from David Talbot. David asked me if I might be interested in a new project; a book titled, Shadow Knights. Well, actually, it didn’t have a title when we first met at the Bel-Air Hotel in Los Angeles. But the idea of the book would be to tell the story of the courageous men and women who fought a secret war against the Nazi’s and Adolf Hitler. All of these brave souls volunteered to serve as members of Winston Churchill’s SOE (an acronym for Special Operations Executive.) Some were well suited for the job, some were reluctant, and others were as unlikely as a butterfly. But all of these courageous individuals risked life and limb to undermine Adolf Hitler’s fascist regime, and some paid the ultimate price.
The scope of this project was important enough to travel, so I decided to take a trip to Paris. I left on June 15th, 2009. I wanted to see some of the real places where Noor Inayat Khan lived, fought and died for freedom. Gary Kamiya, the writer for Shadow Knights, gave me addresses; places like 40 rue Erlanger in Auteuil, where Noor first arrived, No. 3 Boulevard Richard Wallace, mostly occupied by SS officers, 98 Rue de la Faisanderie, where Noor was arrested, Avenue Foch, 82 and 84, where the Gestapo headquarters were, and finally, Fazal Manzil, the house in Suresnes where Noor grew up as a child. Visiting these places gave me the grit to stay focused on a project that would take seven and a half months to complete, to research thousands of photographs from the internet, books, and magazines, to shoot 567 photographs of models and myself, produce 22 photographic comps, many more sketches, 22 full page paintings, and 2 covers for this wonderfully exhausting project.
I perused the first chapter for this project on October 12th, 2009, and sent the last illustration on May 28th, 2010. Shadow Knights hit the book stands in the first week of October, 2010.
For more on this work click here: http://drawger.com/jeffdraw/