February 9, 2004
Well, the Queen of Country Swing is one step closer to being back in action on the dancefloor and in the magazine. It all started in the Vera McGinnis issue (Oct. 2003) when I mentioned in my editorial that my comic book creation Honkytonk Sue was inspired by all the 1920s rodeo cowgirls like Vera. I ran an illustration of Sue to go with the editorial, and this really piqued Bob Brink’s interest. He came into my office after we got our office copies and said, “I think there’s a place for Honkytonk Sue in the magazine.”
After my whirlwind romance with Hollywood in the early 1980s (Larry McMurtry wrote three scripts for Goldie Hawn and there were six scripts commissioned in all) I tried unsuccessfully to do a Sue movie on paper. I had a handshake deal with Eclipse Comics and ended up with 500 pages of nothing (mostly bad writing). I was trying to do too much and ended up with nothing. However, in the process, I did create some decent, interesting imagery of the West’s prettiest cowgirl. Culling and cannibalizing these out of my morgue, Gus Walker and I put together two pages of rough strips, using old gags and a new, clean layout (I was particularly copying and aiming for a Dilbert kind of look, in terms of white space. I read Dilbert religiously every day and I especially love the white space Scott Adams employs, unlike virtually every other comic strip in the papers which are clogged with ink). I’ll run one of the proposed strips tomorrow. Meanwhile, here’s one of the illustrations I created for “The Man Canyon” which was going to be the name for my movie on paper. Of course it ended up being what dogs do on paper. Ha.
“Character consists of what you do on the third and fourth tries.”
—Old Vaquero Saying
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