Aquarius Press/Willow Books

Franklin McMahon led a remarkable life. 
An artist and activist who covered the Civil Rights Movement, the U.S. Space Program, Chicago Symphony tours and many other historic events, "Mac" described himself as a reporter who used art to tell stories. Important stories.
And now, thanks to his daughter, Margot McMahon, we learn of another compelling chapter.
Sculpted from her father’s memory, research and the author’s rich imagination, Mac & Irene: A WWII Saga tells the harrowing tale of her dad getting shot down over Germany during World War II and his grueling days in concentration camps.

This is also a love story, of Franklin’s devotion to his wife, Irene.

“Fire closed in on Mac’s part of the plane,” the author writes. “As he prepared to exit, his training kicked in—Mac folded up a silk map of Germany and tucked it up his sleeve. He then reached for his most precious possession, a photo of Irene, which he tucked in with the map. …  Mac kicked out the escape hatch near his station. He looked down through the smoke and clouds four miles above the forest...

...The fire, the explosions, lack of oxygen, the guys behind, God! Mac jumped..."

In the camps, "an overwhelming hopelessness settled in his heart," the author writes. “Hope was only a dim shadow tucked in a far dark corner of the crumbling confines."
To cope, Mac kept drawing in the camps.
Mac & Irene is adorned with Franklin McMahon’s artwork, high school cartoons, self-portraits and war correspondence.  

"Can’t wait for the next two installments: "If Trees Could Talk" and "RESIST! A Visual History of Protest."  --Tim Bannon, Arts and Culture Editor

Written by Heather Buchanan-Gueringer — May 26, 2021