Did you ever work with or meet another industry artist named Kevin Long? Your style and shading (maybe normal for the period?) have a lot in common. Not in a bad way! Both of you were heavy influences on my formative years!
And it was a dark and scary time. If you didn't know what something looked like, you'd have to go take a photo and then send the film to a lab to be developed, which could take days. Or go down to the library and thumb through books and IF you were lucky enough to find a picture that didn't look like mud, take it to a photocopier and hope THAT didn't look like mud, and maybe write notes on the back in ballpoint about what colors the thing was in the original photo.