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22 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I JULY 2021 Have you ever heard of Bert Christman [1-2] ? Bert was a storyteller, a graphic illustrator to be exact, and in 1936 took over as the lead writer and illustrator of the nationally syndicated comic "Scorchy Smith." As a daring pilot/adventurer, Scorchy's stories fed into the public's interest in aviation that had been fueled by the exploits of Charles Lindbergh and other notable pilots of the day. Under Bert's guidance, Scorchy soared to new heights in aerial adventures, and the comic's popularity continued to grow. But that wasn't enough for Bert Christman, who wanted to find new ways to connect to his readership with realistic stories and illustrations of Scor- chy's flying adventures. To accomplish this, he took his research to the next level with flying lessons and quickly earned his wings. In the late 1930s, Scorchy Smith's adven- tures expanded beyond the domestic prob- lems that readers were used to, and he faced new levels of international threats coinciding with real-world turbulences. At the same time, Bert decided to put his writing on hold as he joined the U.S. Navy as a dive-bomber pilot. Not only did he want to defend his country, but he wanted to broaden his understanding of aerial combat for future stories with the real-life experiences of being a combat pilot. ree years later he le the Navy to join the American Volunteer Group, otherwise known as the Flying Tigers, in the defense of China. It was here that Bert's life literally blended with his writing as he lived the same type of adven- tures that he had penned for Scorchy Smith and other heroes in the comics. Bert com- mented on this danger- ous life in a letter home, "ings are getting hot here. Even Scorchy Smith would be satisfied." Sadly, this is also how he met his fate when shortly thereaf- ter he was shot down dur- ing a dogfight in January 1942. I realize that this story doesn't have anything to do with the printed cir- cuit design and manufac- turing industry, but it is a real professional moti- vator for me, so let me Some Timely Advice Tim's Takeaways by Tim Haag, FIRST PAGE SAGE

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