Artist finds new life for courtroom drawings

The Tennessee Waltz scandal is no laughing matter but one court sketch artist has found new life for his drawings in a comic book.

The tools of Tom Foster's trade are simple.

In April this courtroom sketch artist found himself in the front row at federal court covering John Ford's Tennessee Waltz trial.

"I went every day of the trial maybe eighty-five percent of the time and just drew," said Foster.

Hundreds of sketches later, Foster compiled a comic book called The Waltzing Senator. It's a three week recap of the Ford trial testimony.

Foster addeded, "you know at times it was a circus."

Foster said there were secret recordings, tales of corruption, bribery and the lavish lifestyles of the politically powerful.

"Halfway through the book I realized, well, this is like some James Bond movie," he added.

But there is no fiction in Foster's latest project. Foster said it's as close as you can to what all goes on in court without going there for that many days.

Foster hopes readers will enjoy his unique perspective on this chapter in Memphis history.

"And I felt like half of it was just as a taxpayer it was very cathartic, maybe I can't do anything about it well yea I can I can put a comic book out," said Foster.

But Foster won't be putting down his pen any time soon, "I had a lot of fun and I learned a lot doing it and it helped me put some things together but I've got a lot more for another issue."

While Memphis politics isn't exactly comical, Foster said there's no shortage of stories that warrant putting pen to paper.

The Waltzing Senator sells for $12.95 at Burke's Books in Cooper-Young and other local shops.


to email Anna Marie Hartman.