BBB's Blog

Bob Boze Bell

If you've ever wondered what it's like to run a magazine or how crazy my personal life is, be sure to read the behind-the-scenes peek at the daily trials and tribulations of running True West. Culled straight from my Franklin Daytimer, it contains actual journal entries, laid out raw and uncensored. Some of it is enlightening. Much of it is embarrassing, but all of it is painfully true.

In addition to this current journal, my early journal entries show the rocky road and money lost in the True West Business Timeline.

Bob's biography - The Unvarnished Truth

September 22, 2014
   Got a dose of the touristas on Sunday morning. Stayed close to the bedroom most of the morning. Did try and whip out the painting, but didn't get far.

   Meanwhile, did a phoner last week with an intern at Arizona Highways. That led to this:

The PG Version of an X-Rated Life

   You'll notice I say a "GP version" of an X-rated life in the interview, but that is only because I am a tib dyslexic.

   Got up this morning at six and got out on the road by 6:15, just in time to catch this:

 
Morning Glory On Ratcliff Ridge

   Actually, that is morning glory on the ridge and morning glories at the bottom, so, dueling morning glories?

   Came back and bailed into the finish on the gift guide doubletruck. Had to stop at 9:15 for a radio interview on Trucker Radio. Finished the painting at 9:50 and headed in to the office.

 
Daily Whipout: "Home Safe"

   What happens when Black Jack and his outlaw pards head home for Christmas dragging a through safe? Well, for one thing, expect unique gifts when your in-law outlaws show up.

   At least, I always did, growing up.

   If you'll remember, I had started those five skies last week and by yesterday afternoon I had five different version of the outlaws heading home, in various stages of development, like this one:

 
Daily Whipout: "Heading Home (in progress)"

   Of course, I had lots of reference spread out for these paintings:

 
Piles and piles of art reference for holiday gift guide painting

"Paradise is never really paradise, idylls never truly idylls."
—David Gessner







Bob Boze 11:33 AM

September 21, 2014
   Went to the memorial for Chris Sicurella yesterday out in west Phoenix.


Chris Sicurella, 1956-2014

Chris was one of the driving forces behind Tri Star Boze Books, the publishing arm of my Old West publications prior to my involvement with True West magazine. Chris could be abrasive and hard headed but in the end he was fair and he promoted my books like crazy, buying doubletrucks in Wild West magazine every issue for almost a year or so. So much so, I got a call from an author acquaintance who asked me accusatorially, "Did you come into money?" Ah, no, I met up with a master promoter. Chris created Time-Life style mailers and bought mailing lists from Wild West and other national publications, and when I questioned the expense, he just smiled and said, "The margins are there." We moved more than 80,000 books which is the punchline, if not the proof, of his point.

Chris also made an effort to buy the cover art for each of my books:



Original painting of Billy the Kid for the cover of "The Illustrated Life & Times of Billy the Kid" (1996) which still hangs in his den.

   He also owned the Doc Holliday image and the Wyatt Earp image that ended up on the cover. He was a stickler for that kind of stuff. I had forgotten about it, but at his house, Chris even had a proposed cover for Wild Bill Hickok which we never got around to doing because of True West magazine:



Wild Bill cover painting that also hangs in his den

   Remember those five skies I whipped out last week? Well, I've been noodling horseback riders all this weekend as I lean on finishing the Gift Guide doubletruck for tomorrow.

"I may not know who I am, but I know where I am from."
—Wallace Stegner





Bob Boze 4:46 PM
September 19, 2014
   Drove down into the Beast yesterday to hang out with this guy:

Bye Bye Grandpa

   Yes, Weston is walking and learning how to do a fake laugh (which is essential in this family), and learning new words as well. He couldn't be contained by the restaurant—El Conquistador—so while his mama chose a piece of Daily Whipout artwork for a friend's wedding, me and Weston were soon heading out into the parking lot as grandpa tried to keep up:

Check out that bus.

   From the Conky Donk, I drove to Scottsdale and Camelview 5, walked up the ticket window and asked what the next movie was and to give me a ticket. Turns out it was this movie.

 
Take Me to The River, about the Memphis Sound and Staxx Records

   I had no expectation for this film and hadn't read a thing about it. Only three other couples in the theater but, Man, we rocked out. Great grooves on the music and a heart warming story to boot. And the kicker to the film AND the biggest proponent of history as it relates to R&B is Snoop Dogg. I have a newfound respect for the dude.

   After the movie I wandered down to Oldtown Scottsdale and checked in with my friends on Main Street. Everyone crying the blues and waiting for the Scottsdale Museum of The West to open. Hope it floats the boat.

   Drove north three blocks and had a glass of wine with a certain documentary director about a proposed series idea at Fifth & Wine, then drove over to The Poisoned Pen to hear a talk by author Jeb Rosebrook.

 
Jeb Rosebrook at the Poisoned Pen where he was talking about his new book "Purgatory Road."

   Got home at nine. Long day. Got up this morning at 5:30 and got out on the road early. Wanted to catch the sunrise and did:

 
Sunrise over Cahava Ranch

   Came back and should have bailed into Holiday Gift Guide painting but got sidetracked on a quick study of a stormy sky:

 
Daily Whipout: "Ahead of The Storm"

   Got into the office in time to meet these two guys:

 
David Lawler and Bill Watters

   We're planning a Mexico trip in November to actually visit Batopilas in the Sierra Madres. And I also want to drag The Top Secret Writer down there to see Nacori Chico, which is Geronimo's last stronghold. Very few Norteo Americans have ever seen it, with the exception of Charles Gatewood and crew. Going to be wild.

"There are the type of people who are going to live up to what they said they were going to do yesterday and then there are people who are full of shit. And that’s all you really need to know."
—Anthony Bourdain

Bob Boze 3:23 PM
September 18, 2014
   Big clouds yesterday but no rain to speak of at our house. We did get part of a rainbow:

 
Ratcliff Ridge Rainbow, 6 pm, September 17, 2014

   Heading out for lunch today with this little guy:

 
Weston Loves Wheels (Gee, I wonder where he got that?)

   His mama and daddy are in town for a wedding and we're meeting at The Conky Donk (slang for one of our fave Mexican food joints).

   Got up this morning and tried to whip out the splash page painting of outlaws heading home for the holidays, but ran out of steam and time:

 
Daily Failure: Outlaws Heading Home for The Holidays Crash & Burn

   Is it just me or do too many of the Robin Williams photos now look depressingly prophetic?

 
Calendar item for Robin Williams in the Arizona Republic, November 21, 2008

   Even when he looks happy there is a sadness in there:

 
Robin Williams holds up the Rolling Stone logo,

   Is this reverse engineering? Or was the underbelly of Robin's manic self apparent from the git go? Don't know, but it's too sad. He was gonzo manic, but nobody thought to put the rest of the phrase together—manic-depressive.

"Part of art is knowing when not to put paint on."
—Andre Benjamin

Bob Boze 11:22 AM
September 17, 2014
   Got up this morning and whipped out a little study of a snow rider heading back to the ranch:
 
Daily Whipout: "Snow Rider Study, No. 2"

   I also got crazy with the paint and whipped out this little noodler:

 
Daily Whipout: "Bloody Running Horse"

   Also found the originals for one of my first New Times cartoon spreads about the four ways to NOT get off a motorcycle:


Four Ways to NOT dismount from a motorcycle, including the Wheelie Dismount, the Endo, The High Side and the Sweeper. I've done all except one (The Endo).

"In the perennial battle between maintaining dignity and playing out the joke, the joke always wins."
—Megan Daum on Lena Dunham ("Girls")

Bob Boze 4:20 PM
September 16, 2014
   Here's  another photo of Jennie Torres, back in the day when giant beehives roamed the earth.

Beehives In The Wind Inspiration

   I actually dated half the people in this photo. I'll leave it to your imagination, which half.

    Meanwhile, went home for lunch and whipped out a couple more sketches, trying to figure out what exactly a gang of outlaws would drag home for Christmas.


Some people may object to the idea of outlaws dragging home a safe and carrying wanton women on their hips, but on this topic I agree with old Henry:

"The most fundamental problem of politics is not the control of wickedness, but the limitation of righteousness."
—Henry Kissinger

Bob Boze 4:15 PM
September 16, 2014
   Big, dramatic skies last night. This is a view to the west of the Triple B Ranch:

 
Seven Sisters Sunset

   Took a first pass at the Outlaw Holiday Gift Guide this morning:

 
Daily Whipout: "Outlaw Holiday Gift Guide"

   Our art director, Dan Harshberger, nixed it, saying it needs more riders, like in the sketches (see previous post) and holding up the wrapped gift seems kind of "wimpy" and not very outlaw. What could the outlaw be holding above his head as a "gift" from a recent "job"? Hmmmm.  Going home for lunch to give it another pass.

"A good story is always you doing something bad. That's why nice people are boring. They're nice, but their stories suck."
—Bill Burr

Bob Boze 11:47 AM
September 15, 2014
   Without further ado, here is a link to the TV appearance last Saturday on Channel 3:

BBB On Channel 3

   Notice how groovy the retractable pop-up banner looks between us. Really dressed up the scene. My only regret is when he asked me if I was doing anything on the book "today or tomorrow." I should have said, "I will be in the parking lot of the True West World Headquarters tomorrow afternoon from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. selling 'The 66 Kid' out of the back of my Ford Flex. The first ten people who drop by get the book for $5." But, alas, he caught me off guard and, instead, I said, "No." Duoh!

   Speaking of the old days and ways, and not getting them back, here is an old New Times doubletruck I am rather proud of:

 
Phoenix Scenes, page 1



 
Phoenix Scenes, Page 2

   Got up this morning and whipped out a couple sketches for a doubletruck in the December issue of True West:

 
Holiday Gift Guide skethes

   Went home for lunch and bailed into a painting of this idea, but didn't get far. I forgot I had an appointment with two Cave Creek school girls who are doing a video on the history of Cave Creek. Drove back to the office and filmed a segment with them. Very professional young women:

 
Emily, BBB and Sage on the set

"We’ve all lied to each other all day long in business and we’ve all had these lunches and we’ve all ass-kissed to the point where I carry Chapstick. If I am going to sit down and eat with you, just tell me the truth and let me say to you, ‘Things are lousy and I’m sad.’ ”

 —Joan Rivers





Bob Boze 4:06 PM

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