Sunday, January 30, 2005

January 29, 2005
More rain. Deena said they got hail down in Scottsdale. Tornado warnings. Creek really running again.

Worked all day yesterday on Jesus images. Didn't get anything worth showing (he's not easy to portray!). I was however, inspired by a comment that RG made the other day in my office. He saw the Jesus Out West sketch on my art desk and chuckled, offering this possible headline: "The Good, The Bad And The Holy." This morning I dug out my DVD of the Clint Eastwood-Sergio Leone classic and checked out the cover. Hmmmm, Eastwood does resemble The Passion Guy more than a little. Dug around for a 1920s art book featuring the German designer Ludwig Hohlwein, known for his striking, silhouettes and clean designs. Worked up a cover sketch blending between the two. I'm going to paint a study this afternoon.

Meanwhile the dire predictions of doom and gloom regarding this cover idea continue. Here are a couple of thoughtful comments:

"Bob, as a True West Maniac, #235, I beg you not to do the cover with Jesus and the cowboy hat with the crown of thorns. That will make all of our Lifetime subscriptions expire in about a year. Because that's about how long I'd give the magazine before it folds. The older readers that started out with True West from the beginning that decided to give you a chance will probably start dropping like flies. I'm 46 and would probably stick with you but I have a strong feeling others would not. You have the best Western magazine out there, by far; it's the only one I subscribe to. Please don't ruin it.”
—Mark Kilburn

"Viewed the sketch of Jesus as a cowboy. From someone who was raised amidst zealous Christian beliefs (a family who gathered around the pump organ at Grandma's house to sing from hymnals & prayed so long over food it was cold before we got to eat) in the heartland of America, I did not find it highly offensive. No blood oozing (a miracle for Boze) from beneath the cowboy hat or Christ being peppered with a hail of bullets (like Butch & Sundance), glancing hot lead with the Holy Book (bouncing off like Superman's cape), that would give cause for real concern. Still, you're bound to ignite religious fanatics & conservatives into a frenzy with any non-traditional image of "The Man Who Stills the Water" (or makes it into wine). Day will turn into night, the Colorado river will run red and a plague of locust will descend upon True West's camp. Behold, when the subscribers and advertisers leave, all you may have left to wear is a fig leaf. Divine intervention (God's grace) may allow you keep your big Stetson hat, so your ass doesn't burn as you wander in the desert for the next 40 years."

"Nurture your mind with great thoughts;
to believe in the heroic makes heroes."
—Benjamin Disraeli

Call me stubborn, call me crazy, call me clueless, I still think I can create a cover of Jesus Out West that will carry the day. I will post the contenders on Tuesday.

"Sometimes the sins you haven't committed are all you have to hold on to."
—David Sedariss

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