July 8, 2004
Coyotes yippin’ across the draw. Closer now (5:51 a.m.). We got a big ol’ forest fire nippin’ at the horizon (Willow fire) and electrical failures galore. Big transformer fire hit an APS (Arizona Public Service) substation in Peoria on Sunday night. Saw it on the way home from Grandma Betty’s. Big billowing black clouds sandwiched between fireworks. Gave the sky a sort of Apocalypse Now effect. Last night, our refrigerator died. We were sitting at the kitchen room table eating and comparing our day when all of a sudden red goo started running down the outside of the frig. Turned out to be melting fruit popsicles.
This morning we woke up and the well pump is dead (runs on electricity). Had to haul buckets of water in from the pool just flush the toilet.
To boot, the last two nights have been miserably hot. The poor airpad cooler just couldn’t keep up, so we switched over to AC in the middle of the night. What did we do before AC?
I was reading about an 1870s era stage station on the route between Prescott and Yuma and in the summer when the stage would come in, the stage hands had to wear masks to ward off the choking dust and they couldn’t touch the harness on the horses because the metal studs were so hot. Everyone in Arizona slept outdoors in the summer and used wet sheets and a hopeful breeze to survive. Easy to believe, hard to imagine
Worked all day yesterday with Gus Walker and finally finished the “Roots of Rodeo” piece. RG proofed it at 4:45, Meghan put in the corrections and Robert Ray drove it down to Dan Harshberger for the Danielization process.
Speaking of which, we got our first complaint on the new cover of the very dead John Wesley Hardin. Almost everyone in the office had a problem with it, except Daniel and I. This is from Will Shetterly of Bisbee:
“For your sake, I pray what I'm about to say will prove how out of touch I am with your market. And, mind you, I thought the autographed death card [of Hardin] was funny. But someone, and I wish I knew who, said something about comic book covers that has stuck with me. In the 1960s, DC did covers of their heroes getting the crap kicked out of them on the theory that you would want to know how they came back to win. Marvel did covers of heroes giving at least as good as they got. And Marvel began outselling DC. The covers weren't all of it, of course, but I think they were a factor. As for your cover of Wes Hardin, well, we know that ol' boy just ain't coming back. I'd be happy if every issue had a Boze ‘guys with guns’ cover painting. I know you've got to vary things so your covers don't all look alike, so I understand why you don't do all the covers. But running black and white pictures of boxed gunmen doesn't do it for me. It's a bit like the sexy young Elvis vs. fat old Elvis. Commercially, Young Elvis kicks Old Elvis's ass. It's true there's fat old Elvis fandom. But not even they want the toilet photo adorning their favorite fan mag. They want Glory Days. So, if this cover doesn't do well, try some Glory Days covers.
“But if I have to start each month's issue with shot up cowboys, I'll still keep reading TW.”
"Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind."
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