Dennis Dittrich



Dennis Dittrich: Joker (Black)

Ignoring all advice to the contrary, I began my freelance illustration career in 1982, leaving a job in a corporate art department.  One of my first regular clients was Outdoor Life magazine, where I slavishly worked to make black and white spot drawings that I got 200.00 for and loved every minute of it.  Though I also did an occasional advertising project, most of my work was magazine editorial.  Trade magazines, among them The Institutional Investor and some Dow Jones publications, kept me alive for years with regular assignments. Other clients include Sports Illustrated, which gave me a measure of credibility with my family; Smithsonian, Field and Stream, The New York Times and Electra Records.  

My involvement with the Society of Illustrators has allowed me to participate in the U.S. Air Force Art Program, where I am honored to work for great people who will fly into the mouth of a dragon if the Commander in Chief should order it.

When I was invited to draw a Joker for the Love a Vet project, I wanted to lampoon the most ridiculous thing I could think of regarding the military and the Rules of Engagement tops the list. The ROEs, which govern the use of military force, became far more restrictive in 2009, and the number of casualties suffered by Coalition troops since then account for more than 70% of the total in that theatre of conflict.

My drawing of this buffoon wearing a target for a collar with his boots tied together is intended to represent my contempt for policymakers who, from the safety of an office, send troops into harms way and won’t let them fight.

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