Wednesday, October 05, 2005

October 5 , 2005
I got an Email yesterday from an ex-Wickenburg guy who now lives in Italy and misses the Doperoper. Ha. It’s true. He moved over there about 18 years ago and misses the grit and 1950s feel of my cartoon character who roped dopers for fun and appeared in the Razz Revue. I’m going to send him the first Honkytonk Sue comic which has an episode starring the D-R called “Jackpot Roping” (get it?). Hey, it was 1974, Man.

One final note on the airtight discussion:
“The gentleman who said that Ben Johnson was the one who used the term ‘airtights’ is to be commended. As I ran the film Chisum again to cling to every word Johnson might mumble or say, sure enough, he does use that word. Can't figure out how I could have missed it and never even noticed it before. The scene is as follows: John Wayne is lying on a hammock on his front porch, and his niece in the film asks when Duke's men will return from Santa Fe. And there's Big Ben Johnson sittin' in a rocker, replying, ‘They better get here sooner than later. We're running low on grub. We're short on sugar, flour, airtights and everything else.’”

Samantha is so amazing. We had a woman come in our office looking for a birthday gift for her hubby (we haven’t really had a story for a month or two) and she ended up buying almost $600 worth of stuff, including a $200 collector’s edition of Doc Holliday (December, True West, 2001), all the t-shirts, a Blaze Away! book, and a Maniac membership. Women control the buying of almost everything, with the possible exception of porn. Ha.

Whipped out an illustration for a piece I wrote for The Arizona Republic. I was inspired by a grisly Texas Rangers photo that appears in a new book on the Rangers and the Mexican Revolution, showing a Ranger named Jack Webb, holding a skull with a cowboy hat on, and he’s pointing a gun at the head in a Shakespeare-MacBeth kind of way. It’s going to run this next Sunday.

In a delayed reaction to my press release, Beth and Bill have invited me to appear on their popular radio show next Tueday on KEZ (99.9 FM). Their studio is two or three doors down from Tim and Willys. Funny.

I received a strange package from Hong Kong recently and after I asked production if they wanted to open it, I found four books inside. There was no cover letter but we assumed it was a printing company sending us the books so we could see their printing quality and hopefully send them some business. For some reason I was very intrigued by the books. I am a firm believer in the idea that the Universe is trying to help us and I took the books home to study them. One of the books was basically the Bruce Lee family album. You know, the karate legendary guy who died mysteriously, then his son followed suite (killed by an errant squib?). Lee’s family lived in Hong Kong so that made some sense. Out of this book I was inspired by the names (they call it Gung Fu over there, not Kung Fu) and came up with a possible name for a Chinese gunfighter I’m thinking of doing: Loong Gung. Either that or Wan Hung Lo (as in his holster).

Another book had incredible lithos from 1839 of Egypt and they are stunning and I have thoroughly enjoyed using it as art reference for my desert paintings. Last Saturday I bought a big old book called Beatles Diary at Barnes & Noble ($3.50!) which has by date every gig the Beatles ever played, including the August 20, 1964 concert at the Convention Center in Las Vegas where I saw them. The Fab Four really went into a bizarre zone of celebrity with all the frenzy that ended with John’s death, by a fan. It’s all so incomprehensible. He’s in a rock band and you want to kill him? What’s with that?

Ironically the last book was the dumbest by far but had the biggest payoff. It was a photo book of Hawaiian Legends and had stills from some hokey educational films, including the Legend of Boyhood of Kamehameha, whatever that is. The book was so stupid I forced myself to read the whole thing because I knew the Universe might be hiding some kernel of truth or contain some key that just might unlock the door. Here’s an example of dialogue: “Wiki had placed Pele’s fire into the hau tree so Mokea no longer needed to journey to the distant volcano to light his Fire Stick.

And then, two thirds in, I found it. This is what it said: “Captain James Cook chanced upon Hawaii Island in 1778. The Islanders, believing him to be their god Lono, honored him but, finding him mortal, killed him.”

That one paragraph, explains the Beatles, Ghandi and every celebrity who ever walked the earth.

“The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance—it is the illusion of knowledge.”
—Daniel J. Boorstin

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