Rear Admiral Daniel V. Gallery is perhaps more officially known as the naval commander who boarded – and captured – a German U-Boat during the Battle of the Atlantic. He was also a prolific author, penning a series of five books about incidents during his naval career, a Cold War spy thriller, and a handful of humorous paperbacks about naval life.
I came across one of these paperbacks in a summer jumble sale when I was a kid – a collection of jokey naval short stories called Now Hear This! I paid my 2p and spent the summer reading about high jinks on the high seas. I don’t really remember anything about the stories themselves, but the cover always stayed with me – bright blue with yellow titles, and a jaunty cartoon drawing of a bo’sun that looked like it came straight out of Mad magazine.
I’ve just finished doing a cover for a local author‘s collection of archery short stories called Tales from the Butts, and something about them reminded me of that old paperback. So I mocked-together an alternate version of the cover in homage to Gallery’s Now Hear This! We’re not using it, of course – it’s just pinned up on my office wall next to my drawing board, a reminder of one of the things that probably nudged me, imperceptibly, towards where I am right now.