Monday, January 10, 2005

January 10, 2005
Got up at six and wailed on the Doc Holliday gouache painting. Unfortunately there were too many problems for the big one, so I switched gears and finished the rough sketch, which is much smaller, less ambitious and perhaps more illustrative for the magazine. Finished it about eight and went into the office.

Gus scanned the thang, and we placed it in the Classic Gunfights document layout. Also whipped out a small scratcboard of Bob Paul letting loose with the double-barreled shotgun, hitting Billy Leonard in the lower stomach. I'm trying to perfect a vignette style effect, where the edges of the illustrations are mushy, and then when every scene is placed on a totally black background, it gives it a mysterious, almost glowing effect. This is someting I'd really like to pursue in my graphic novel and today was a first step in that direction.

The office copies of the new issue arrived today (March). Big close-up of Ian McShane on the cover. Print job is quite nice. Quite bold and commited graphics. Worked on my editorial for April, and had Gus scan three photos, one of Jim Dunham at Morgan Earp’s grave in Colton, California. It was taken when we were returning from End of Trail, in Corona, California in 1995. We were riding with Theresa B. of Tri Star-Boze fame, and when the car got to Colton we couldn't resist. Pulled off and asked for directions, got to the grave and took several photos. My editorial is about this grave obsession. It is a sickness we will never get over until we are in our own grave. I'm thinking of having a headstone that says: "Make yourself at home. I liked visiting graves so much, I finally got one of my own."

And speaking of graves, Robert Ray whipped out a very cool layout for a Tombstone graves piece we are finally going to run (it's been in the works for over a year). Very sweet. Verdict still out on the dead disk and the lost scans for CGII. We're waiting for the news with baited breath. Robert came in and offered his lovely and talented wife Bea as a backup scanner to get us back in the game. I appreciated that.

Got a batch of very rare Fly Photographs and Tombstone images from Bob McCubbin this afternoon. He culled them out of his stellar collection. Many I've never seen before. Really exciting. We'll use every last one in the new CGII book.

Time to make goals for 2005. According to an article in this morning's Arizona Republic by Rhonda Abrams, one thing can greatly increase our chances: an annual plan.

File this under Help Me Rhonda
According to Rhonda I need to get away from the office, take a good, hard look at where we’ve been, where we want to go and the best way to get there. We need to answer these questions:

• What has worked in the past year and what hasn’t?

• What are our core competencies?

• Who are our competitors?

• What are we going to do about it?

"Flatter me, and I may not believe you. Criticize me, and I may not like you. Ignore me, and I may not forgive you. Encourage me, and I may not forget you."
 —Sir William Arthur

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