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
I'm going to be appearing at the Phippen Art Museum outside Prescott tomorrow (Sat.) along with the finished, ten-foot-tall "Not-So-Gentle Tamer" sculpture. Very exciting. Haven't seen the finished version yet. I'll be there from ten to two, signing prints and books and selling DVDs of "Outrageous Arizona" so if you're up in the cool country tomorrow, drop in and see how the beauty turned out.
"Gina Lollobrigida wasn't built in a day."
Bob Boze 12:26 PM
May 24, 2013
Thanks to Sir Eric Wolfgang, I'm enjoying Dali's crazy, amazing book, "50 Secrets of Magic Craftmanship". Last night, before retiring, I read this:
"Secret Number 3 is that in undertaking an important pictorial work which you are anxious to bring to a successful completion and on which your heart is particularly set, you must before anything else begin it by sleeping as deeply, as soundly as it is possible for you to do."
So I retired early, slept soundly, woke up at 5:30, grabbed my sketchbook and whipped this out:
Full disclosure, the dude at bottom was illustrated the night before and is a study emulating 1960s clip art (the style of facial rendering popular at the time). Somewhat surreal, to me, although they kind of go together like the music in Django Unchained vs. the style and tone of the movie (i.e. they do and they don't. It's either incongruous to the point of absurdity, or, it's rather inspired).
Once the juices were flowing in this direction I immediately went out to the studio to pursue the Heatwave Hitch Hiker:
And, after feeding the chickens and having breakfast I made another run at it her:
This got me to thinking about all the hitch hikers I have picked up and how many, actually approached this level of attractiveness. In all honesty, I have picked up a couple young ladies who were fetching and one in particular who was loaded and made it clear she was available for extra curricular activities. I was on my way to pick up my girlfriend at the time, and pretended not to get her message, although I did kick myself later in a kind of Well-that's-not-going-to-happen-ever-again kind of way. And it didn't.
The irony is, today, if I saw someone like this on the road I would never stop. It just seems too much like a come on to get robbed or worse, but then this is a 66-year-old guy talking.
Either way, the fetching hitch hiker is an American icon. Just the pose of the cocked hip with the thumb out on a lonely road is in our DNA as a people. Or, certainly tattooed on the backside of the American male retina.
"Where ya' headed?"
—The first words every hitch hiker hears when a vehicle stops to pick them up
Bob Boze 11:09 AM
May 23, 2013
I am always on the lookout for good art models and I met this young, well-dressed reenactor at Buck Montgomery's Wild West Show in Glendale a while back. I thought he had a great look and it's so rare to find a young guy who is into it. Got his name and number, but lost it. Anybody know this young, authentic looking man?
Believe it or not, one of the attractions to moving to Cave Creek back in 1986 was the copious amounts of saguaros in the area. We are at 2,200 feet and that seems to be the elevation that the big sentinels agree with the most (not surprisingly, Tucson is at the same elevation). Anyway, our house looks down into Cave Creek, and down in the bottoms are very big saguaros, some of which have dramatically bent arms. I sketched this big, fifty footer not long after we moved out here:
You don't see these specimens on postcards, probably because they aren't the classic shape, but I find them fascinating and beautiful in their own right. I have been told by oldtime Creekers that the reason for the bent arms is because the creek bottom holds down the cold air in winter and the saguaros get frostbite and instead of growing straight up, they twist in agony to survive. I'm checking with a botanist to see if this is true.
Working on the Bisbee Massacre for the next issue of True West and amazingly, no photos of the five (some say six) perpetrators have surfaced. It was a celebrated case and I can't believe C.S. Fly didn't take their photos during their incarceration in Tombstone. No photos of their hanging either, which is just quite odd. Of course, the lynching of John Heith is one of the most reprinted photos in Western history, but why the others were not captured on film is a real mystery to me.
And, also working on The 66 Kid:
Sir Wolfgang, of this site, sent me a great book on Salvador Dali. I had never really been a fan of his art, but the book, "50 Secrets of Magic Craftsmanship" is absolutely hilarious AND full of great artistic advice:
"The movement of your stipple brushes must be as mechanical and indifferent as you human organism will allow. And finally, the movement of the fan-shaped badger brush is the most rapid of all—so rapid that it cannot even be seen, exactly like the wings of the hummingbird."
And, then, there's this little nugget of wisdom: "It is undeniable that every good painter drools."
"The two most fortunate things that can happen to a painter are, first to be Spanish, and, second, to be named Dali. Those two fortunate things have happened to me."
Bob Boze 12:29 PM
May 22, 2013
I was cleaning again in the garage this morning (it's recycling pickup day on Wednesday) and found a drawing that got me in a little trouble. In the mid-eighties when I worked for New Times, the publisher, Jim Larkin, asked me to illustrate a series of promos that paid off the title "We Settle The Arguments". This was to promote their annual Best of Phoenix issue, a cash cow to this day. I had the usual cowboy and Indians going at it, but to poke fun at local politics I did a drawing of Phoenix mayoral candidates Terry Goddard and Margaret Hance trying to choke each other.
When the billboards went up a local feminist group Women Take Back The Night took issue with the drawing, claiming Terry had a "superior choke hold" on Margaret and therefore the illustration was sexist and promoted violence against women. The Women then proceeded to kidnap truckloads of New Times papers by following the delivery trucks and absconding with the stacks of papers as soon as the delivery drivers left. The Women then called New Times and threatened to destroy the papers unless I was fired. New Times did eventually fire me but not for this.
Another pen and ink I found in the garage was this little gem: "Barricade Wolf." This was originally for a sequence in a Honkytonk Sue story, "The Man Canyon" but I'm thinking of repurposing it for The 66 Kid.
"I prefer drawing to talking. Drawing is faster, and leaves less room for lies."
Bob Boze 2:27 PM
May 21, 2013
With the dedication of the new fence around the graveyard where Wyatt Earp's second wife is buried, we have been getting quite a few calls from interested subscribers who want to find the cemetery, just outside Superior, Arizona. We decided to have The Mapinator draw up a good map for you all to utilize (when you're driving out there blind it ain't fun). So, without further ado, here's Gus Walker's map with directions:
When you come from the Valley, going east into Superior, you will see the Welcome to Superior sign, on the right. At that point, look left and you will see Silver King Mine Rd. Take it north. The rest is dirt roads and follow the turns. It's basically two lefts and then you drive across a long mesa (with multiple roads or ruts really) but keep going southwest and you will eventually see the fence and dedication sign.
At the risk of inviting "Hey-Dig-Me!" criticism, here is another of the Bryan Black photos he took of me last week for a feature they are going to run in ImageAZ magazine. The Irish kid is quite good.
This was taken next door at Janey's which is a small cafe and wine bar that also features live music.
I'm working on a color palette for The 66 Kid that will emulate the old linen, hand-colored postcards of the 1940s and early 50s, like this classic card:
I just love this effect. It makes me warm inside just to look at it. I've sent a couple samples down to one of the best colorists in the comics biz, Brett Smith, to see if he can give me this effect. Stay tuned. Hope to have something to show by tomorrow, but you know what they say about that:
"Tomorrow is often the busiest day of the week."
—Old Vaquero Saying
Bob Boze 2:02 PM
May 20, 2013
Spent the morning out at Pioneer Living History Museum taping a talking head deal for a new series the Military Channel is producing on Gunfighters of the Wild West.
This morning I whipped out a cowboy pickup cruising down a desert highway at night, with an Indian motorcycle bearing down:
And here's another view of the Hualapai Rider:
Daily Whipout #495, "An In-din On An Indian In In-din Country
"I'm American. More is more!"
—Kate Upton when questioned on her motivation and ambitions
Bob Boze 1:23 PM
May 19, 2013
I've been studying old pickups driving down the road with a makeshift horse hauler rack on the back for a scene in The 66 Kid. Found some good reference in a certain old movie. It was filmed in Sedona, starring Glenn Ford and Henry Fonda. Can you name it?
Had a wonderful Sunday drive up Yarnell Hill this morning. Stopped at the Ranch House Cafe for a bite in Yarnell, then on to the Peeple's Valley School House for a Wild West talk. Full house, sold some books met some down home folks (rancher John Hays, a Yarnell descendent, sculptor Cynthia Rigden, Maynard Dixon collector Hermann Dixon) and on the way home witnessed some great highway heat waves on the horizon. Check it out.
"If you don't believe in magic, you'll never find any."
—Old Vaquero Saying
Bob Boze 8:22 PM
May 19, 2013
Doing a True West history talk this Sunday (19th) at the little white school house in Peeples Valley (southwest of Prescott). Starts a 1 p.m. $15 at the door. Sponsored by the Peeples Valley-Yarnell Historical Society.
"About half of what I'm about to tell you is true. It's your job to figure out which half."
Bob Boze 3:46 PM
May 17, 2013
I found out last week I have ADD and OCD. Everything has to be perfect, just not for very long. Now it turns out I evidently have another affliction, as it relates to yesterday's blog post:
"You mean Gina Lolabrigida, don't you?"
Yes, of course, it's Gina Lolabrigida, not Lola Ginabrigida, the Italian actress from the 1950s with the big talents. Dang! Now it looks like I have Lexias-Dick: rather than everything coming out wrong, like with dyslexia, with Lexias-Dick, everything goes in wrong. Here's a sketch of Lola Ginabrigida I'm working on:
Okay, that came out wrong.
"Mistakes are the portals of discovery."
Bob Boze 9:47 AM