Wednesday, January 31, 2007

January 31, 2007 Bonus, Bonus Blog
Finished a beaut of a butte for the Top Secret Project. Couldn't wait until tomorrow. Here it is:

January 31, 2007 Bonus Blog
Here's the 1959 photo of my Norsky relatives at Santa Claus, Arizona. We had just finished having breakfast at this little cafe on north highway 93, between Kingman and Chloride, and my father stepped back from my grandparent's '56 Ford which they drove out from Iowa in, and took this photo. That's Lippo and Annie Asmus at left, Minnie (with flower bonnet) and Carl (with hand to hat), my mother and me (looking pretty damned Western). Everyone has passed except for me and my mother. Thanks Donna Lande for sending me this classic family photo!

The Best of 3,000
When we got back from Mexico in December I did a cliff scene of Divisidero that I remembered and it's pretty strong (the variations in the sky are the quilting from the paper caused by the washes), and at right are studies done from Dutch Masters (executed long before seeing the Rembrandt Show):

I talked to Bob Ware of Kingman yesterday about mules. He gave me some good inside info on the much maligned equines, and here are two pages of mules. That's Jeff Milton in upper right (of left page).

I have been studying rico (rich) carriages for a set scene in the Top Secret Project and here's that page (below, left) and another patina study also for the TSP:

Even more rain. It's pouring at the moment (11:27 A.M.) at the True West offices. We just went over several design submissions for consideration. We, being Robert Ray, Abby Pearson and Meghan Saar. We brought in Carole Compton Glenn and Joel Klasky for a "civilian" vote and came to a consensus on the best cover, best editorial layout and best postcard design for 2006.

Onion Headline de Jour
Local Pet Store Sells Living Things To Just Anyone Off The Street

"Literature's Eternal Rule: "You must have the artistry to tell your own stories as if they were other people's stories, and to tell other people's stories as if they were your own."
—Orphan Pamuk
January 30, 2007
Rained all day yesterday and into the night. Woke up at four to a big downpour. Surprisingly warm out, Went for a bike ride at seven and the low lying clouds were quite beautiful. Ground very soggy.

Got a letter from one of my Norsky cousins in Iowa, Donna Lande. Her father was one of my fave Norweigan farmer uncles. His name was Lippo Asmus. Donna sent me several photos from their family album, and one of them is of Lippo and Annie (my grandfather's sister), Minnie and Carl Bell (my grandparents) and my mama, and of course, a big-eared kid looking like the future CEO of True West. Ha.

I'll post that fifties-jumbo-goofathon photo later today, along with The Best of 3,000 entries.

Jana Bommersbach came out yesterday for lunch and she brought along a fabulous collection of Cowgirl postcards from my old Razz Revue pard and current Scottsdale City Council member Betty Drake. Really stunning stuff. Two books worth of gems. Meghan Saar joined us and we ate at The Satisfied Frog.

Flint Carney came by yesterday with his mama and an ex-bookseller from Vegas named "Cash." Flint is a notorious character around here and he and his ex-girfriend DeAnne Giago have posed for me many times. DeAnne got married last month and we called her on Flint's cell so I could harrass her. Flint's mom, Emma, is 82 and plays golf every day with her son, and according to him, beats him regularly. It was great to see them. We had some rough sledding three years ago, and as they say, time heals most wounds. Here's an unfinished painting of Flint (at left):

After work I went by Black Mountain Feeds to buy a bale of hay j($6.50 house account) for the chickens and so J.D. will get off my ass. Loaded in little chunks of hay in their condo, and made worthy beds for all eight mothers, while Peaches attacked the surrounding chain-link fence like the demonic-chicken-crazed border collie she is.

Onion Headline de Jour
Cocky Attempt To Operate ATM In Spanish Backfires

"Motivation is a fire built from within. If someone else tries to light it, don't expect it to burn very long, or very bright."
—Old Vaquero Saying

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

January 30, 2007
Warmer this morning, but overcast. Got sprinkled on when I took the dogs for a bike ride at seven. Yesterday I mentioned running into Jim Covarrubias. Here's his website:

Best of 3,000
Struggling with art and sketches the last several days. Need to get back to the looseness of previous efforts, like these I did when I was in Vegas last year (below, left). Kathy particularly liked the eyes of the jungle cat. On the right is a very strong composite of Mickey Free and his dark world. I may use this, as is, in the prototype for the Top Secret Project.

I've been trying to create a patina of amber-styled illustration and this page (below, left) really captures what I've been after. it's all felt-tip pens to boot. And the sky on the right is bold and unusual, both elements I need to rediscover.

I have often claimed we are living in The Age of Blur, and this page (below, left) is the best I've done in that regard. This is also another take on the sideways school of illustration. It was created on the kitchen table with the rodeo photo turned sideways and the sketchbook. I did the black and white first and was so happy with it I repeated the exercise in color and it's just as strong (that rarely happens for me). After we got back from Mexico I remembered that on my 1996 tour of Chihuahua we saw numerous fires burning languidly with no effort to put them out. In fact we sat on our porch at the Hotel Divisidero and watched a fire burn up a canyon. This is a scene from that memory, and quite accurate, I might add:

Johnny Boggs Weighs In On Seraphim Falls

“Saw Seraphim Falls today, which falls a little flat. My report:

“Director David Von Ancken could take lessons from Anthony Mann and Budd Boetticher in directing a revenge Western. He's too focused on gore, and the movie runs too long. The moral ambiguity of the two leads -- and the movie's certainly well-acted and well-photographed -- is interesting, but I think a revenge tale works better when we watch good men descend into hell rather than picking up with two real SOBS. That could be Von Ancken's intention, reversing the
story, and it might work but he takes too long to explain what turned them into SOBs. Dialogue, what little there is, is toooften cornball. Some continuity problems, and the vengeance trail gets a little dull before turning way, way surreal.

“If you take it as±as Wes Studi described it -- Dante's Inferno, it's OK. But when you try to blend Dante's Inferno with Winchester '73, it has to work on both levels, and this doesn't. Not quite. Not a bad film, but certainly not
a great one. ** 1/2

" And, geez, you'd think the crew could have spelled Wes Studi's name right on the credits!!!! Unless he's spelling it STUDIE these days.

“Don't know how much interest it'll spark. It was filmed mostly here, and the theater for a 4:30 show was packed. But then, it had to be the smallest theater in the building, and, judging from the applause over certain names in
the closing credits, I think about half of the viewers worked on it. But what do I
—Johnny Boggs

Actually Johnny liked this film more than I did. I thought it started good and I enjoyed the cold, and the sruvival aspect. And I loved the hats on two of the pursuers (the Kid character and the grizzled guy), but the plot was hackneyed and tired and the ending was ridiculous. I won't spoil it for you but I just want to say, "How would Pierce cut his toenails?!"

Lame, goofy and uninspired. It's movies like this that keep the Western in the land of So-So.

I also watched Bandidas and I must say I really, really wanted this movie to work. The women are gorgeous (Salma Hyak and Penelope Cruz) and they've never looked better, but it just doesn't hold up as a movie. Too bad. Great premise, good cast but no see-gar.

Onion Headline de Jour
Live-In Boyfriend Like The Deadbeat Dad Kids Never Had

"A writer talks of things that we all know but do not know that we know."
—Orphan Pamuk

Monday, January 29, 2007

January 29, 2007
Enjoyed a decadent weekend. All art on Saturday and all movies on Sunday.

Kathy and I had an 11:30 appointment on Saturday morning to see the Rembrandt show at the Phoenix Art Museum. You have to show up at your appointed time and line up and go through the show with your earpiece moderator. The show was slightly oversold in terms of hype. The official name: "Rembrandt and The Golden Age of Dutch Art" covered quite a few artists and there were only 14 Rembrandts ( more than half being etchings). Still it was a wonder to stand in front of the self-portrait of Mr. va Rijn as the Apostle Paul. None of the reproductions capture the brilliant sheen on his forehead.

As we were standing in a very long line. I spied an old Kingman buddy through the narrow opening in a wall. "Are you sure it's him?" my wife said diplomatically. "Are you kidding? Old Kingmanites can spot each other on a foggy battlefield." As we inched forward, the tall, hispanic in the dark suit came around the corner. "Well, hello James Covarubias," I said with mock formality. We laughed and shook hands (old Kingman jock cronies don't hug). We also had to laugh at the fact that of all the Kingman crowd, two of the biggest troublemakers, James and I, turned out to be artists. There's a moral there somewhere. James (I still think of him as Jimmy) has always got something going and now he's doing a Western movie and I told him to send me some info and we'll plug it in the magazine.

After the Rembrandt show we also, checked out the concurrent show "Fierce Reality: Italian Masters from the 17th Century Naples" which was also hanging in the other end of the museum. They made an excellent comparison, since the Italians were painting under the enforced hierarchy of the Roman church, vs. the rising Protestant north where the glorification of the individual was just starting to flower (the Dutch tended to paint Jesus as a guy next door).

We had lunch down in the Bentley Projects at the City Bakery Cafe, south of Chase Ballpark and saw their artwork, then motored out to Scottsdale to check out Russian Impressionism at the Overland Galleries (Kathy loved two snow pieces), then over to the Scottsdale Center for the Arts to see the Rockwell (Norman's son) "Maya II" which is a work in progress, then across the way to see the show "Celebrity" which had a goofy barn by Dwight D. Eisenhower and an abstract by Frank Sinatra, and of course several Andy Warhols of Liza and the usual media whores (it was after all, a show about "celebrity"). They had a TV in the center of the room with a young-punk-artschool-graduate pontificating about his "perfrormance" piece which consisted of him going through a New York telephone book and culling the names that sounded sexual to him and then printing their addresses onto sheafs of printout paper. Several art "critics" sat in front of him holding these big turds as if they were the ten commandments, and I wondered aloud if anyone would line up at the Phoenix Art Museum 150 years from now to see this "artwork." Talk about bookends!

As if that wasn't enough we walked up Main Street stopping in half a dozen art galleries to check out the Western art, then ended up at the SoHo Room at the Hotel Valley Ho where they were holding a big, "Classic Erotique" auction of "historic erotica and vintage nudes." What attracted me to this event is they used the alleged photo of Josie Earp as their poster art and it was also in the auction for $2,500 (with a disclaimer that most historians now believe it's not her). The catalogue was mostly hardcore porn, but they positioned the "artwork" by saying they were only doing "quality works of art" from the "1950s and earlier." Frankly, a photo of a blowjob from the 1920s has just as nasty a resemblence to a 2007 photo of the same act. It was funny, but not for long, and it wasn't very uplifting, after all the art we saw.

The Best of 3,000
Having seen all of that artwork simultaneously gives me hope, and yet it's so daunting. I saw many paintings, both in Phoenix and Scottsdale that I realized I will never be able to duplicate with skill. With that disclaimer let's look at a few of my sketchbook efforts. Here's a page of Apache faces that work for me (below, left) followed by Annie Oakley and some assorted cowboys. Not bad for a kid from Kingman.

The Top Secret Project deals with the Tarahumara Indians of northern Mexico and here's a page of them, actually executed before we went to Mexico. Kathy flagged the page on the right, because she said she identifies with the woman screaming (either at her teenagers, or "she's giving birth").

The girl on the swing has a certain something, especially juxtaposed with the big, phallic saguaro, and coming full circle, here's several Degas studies (below, right) that actually work in terms of subtle lighting. The people in the crosswalk are from a newspaper photo of people at Sky Harbor.

Yesterday, Kathy and I spent the day at the movies, seeing "Seraphim Falls" and then "The Departed." And I got "Bandidas" from Netflix. Reviews tomorrow.

Onion Headline de Jour
Homosexual Dolphin Has Highly Developed Sense Of Gay-Nar

"Wisdom denotes the pursuing of the best ends by the best means."
—Frances Hutcheson

Friday, January 26, 2007

January 26, 2007 Bonus Blog
I am amazed how many people remember Cudia City. Here's some inside info from Marsh:

" I remember Cudia City well. It was located at 40th Street and Camelback, just north of the canal. They did film '26 Men' there in the late 1950s. I haven’t seen those films for quite some time but all that pristine desert land where the Arizona Rangers rode and fought outlaws is now covered with houses. I was attending Phoenix College at the time and some of my friends went out and got bit parts in the series. I always regretted not going with them.

" During World War II, Salvatore Cudia, a longtime showman in Europe and Los Angeles bought the land northeast of 40th St. and Camelback and build living quarters, a sound stage, Mexican gardens and a western street and called it Cudia City. They filmed several films there but shooting was interrupted by the war and the big sound stage went dark. It was later used for civic groups, private parties and banquets.

" As the War drew near an end product began again with Wild Bill Elliott in the Red Ryder films. Cudia reached its peak during the filming of “26 Men” but development stopped outdoor shooting and it became a tourist attraction. Old fashioned melodramas were produced also.

"Eventually, the real estate became too valuable and it was sold for residential development."
—Marshall Trimble

A Good Man With A Gun
Yesterday I whipped out a nice little gouache of Jeff Milton armed with the sawed-off shotgun he used to take on the Burt Alvord Gang at Fairbank, Arizona in 1900. Here it is:

Onion Headline de Jour
Neverland Ranch Investigators Discover Corpse Of Real Michael Jackson

"Phoenix envy."
—A certain Chamber gentleman describing Tucson's angst about the Valley
January 26, 2007
The April issue went out the door at three yesterday and the Jeff Milton vs. The Burt Alvord Gang Classic Gunfights feature was uploaded to Banta in Kansas City at five. Whew! I was really hanging out on this one, but thanks to Meghan Saar, Mark Boardman, Robert Ray and Bob McCubbin, we got it locked down and it's a good one. Jeff Milton was an amazing guy and a movie really needs to be made of his exploits. He went up against John Selman, John Wesley Hardin and Blackjack Ketchum to name just a few. And, it is really cool to have a photo of Billy Stiles that has never been published before. It was attatched to a confidential Arizona Rangers' report which Bob McCubbin found somewhere (it's so amazing what he finds).

And speaking of Westerns, I played that promo for "The Magnificent Seven" at my speech in Wickenburg on Wednesday night. I was talking about Adapting to Change, and I asked my audience (all guest ranch owners) if they would consider playing hip-hop in their rooms. Groans and catcalls all around. I then walked over to the DVD player and hit play. Up came the promo that ran on the Westerns Channel that was produced by that 35-year-old kid I told you about. It was funked up, with an orange, distressed patina and had a hip-hop soundtrack. I was waiting for boos, or a hostile reaction but it surprised me that more than a few yelled out, "I like that!" Of course, I think most of the people in the room did not like it and were being quiet about it because they are curteous. However, I think I made the point that we have to adapt to change. I challenged them to tell me what kind of music is played at bull riding rodeos today, and of course the answer is AC/DC and Bachman-Turner Overdrive. Get ready, I told them, we have to adapt to changing times.

When I originally talked about the Seven promo, Steve Lodge commented that it wouldn't be a Western if it didn't have the appropriate music, and he also added that kids need to be taught proper history so they can appreciat "good Westerns." This prompted the following reply:

"Your comments about the loopy (my word) development of the Western movie— did cowboys break out in song? Gay caballeros? Johnnie Mack Brown? Lash LaRue? Did we whip the west, is that what happened? What's with all those sequins? whips and sequins, hmmm. whatever—were entirely accurate. no one would ever believe the history of the Western movie except that that's the way it happened. the West itself; another world. Then years later, they complain that we don't teach about the real West. Sorry, it's hard to ride a horse, poke cows, and play a guitar all at the same time. Tombstone, the musical, with Nathan Lane as Wyatt Earp and Billy Ray Cyrus as Doc Holliday."
—Dan Buck

The Best of 3,000
Late last year I spent an entire day in traffic school because of a ticket and I used the time to sketch my fellow prisoners. Here they are, sad and tired. Nice page of sketches really:

The Top Secret Project has much to do with the images on the following pages. And if you've been paying attention you should be able to identify every panel:

Beauty is attacked and Beauty defends herself with an ingenius weapon:

On the day of my 2,000th drawing I produced this sequence called "Lost Muertos" and it also involves the Top Secret Project:

Onion Headline de Jour
Dave Mathews Not That Into Himself Anymore

"When you find your mission, you will feel its demand. It will fill you with enthusiasm and a burning desire to get to work on it."
—W. Clement Stone

Thursday, January 25, 2007

January 25, 2007
Drove to Wickenburg last night for a speech to the Dude Ranch Association. Big crowd, maybe 250, at the Desert Caballeros Guest Ranch. Tough room, split into a T, with people out of my sight, and the PA wasn't strong enough, so I had to jump out into the center of the room and yell. In spite of this, speech went fine. I talked about "Adapting to Change," and as Sue Lambert, our Regional Sales Director told me afterwards, "You lived up to the speech, adapting to the conditions in the room." Ha. Too true. Got home late, got up at six and whipped out a Jeff Milton painting. Very nice. Bob McCubbin sent over, via Fed Ex, a never before published image of Billy Stiles. Got it this afternoon and shoe horned it into the piece. Meghan is editing it even as I type this. Magazine is going out the door in a half hour. Going to be tight. May have to upload CG tonight.

The Best of 3,000
Remember when I got going on the slack-jaw look, last year? Some of those images really worked. Here's two pages worth, including the final, "Slack-Jaw Gone Amuck," with Hitler, Lance Armstrong, The Mona Lisa and a Cub Scout all sporting the open mouth look:

Here's an all red approach with an expressive dude at left which Kathy kind of liked, followed by a set scene study for the Top Secret Project. Nice, dusty effects.

Here's a mountain study done out the kitchen window towards Continental Mountain, and a series of character studies including Napoleon Dynamite (sporting the slack-jaw of course)

Chicken Killer Advice
"Regarding your blog entry on the chickens and the killer dogs: You need to take the opportunity of the kills they do in front of you to verbally berate the dogs after they do such a thing. Dogs want human approval BADLY and really do listen if you will talk to them as if they were an errant child (albeit a bit more forcefully with volume and intonation). I had 2 big chicken killer dogs, one a lab who by nature is a retriever and bird dog, so the kill and retrieve instinct was very strong. With both of them I was able to break them from even considering more kills of my free range birds.

"How did I do it? I berated them the 2 times they did it (separately as they were different ages and actually the younger one only needed one berating and then he never killed again). I did it because I was there to witness and it seemed like the right thing to do. From then on I made a point to go out with them daily and walk the yard with them specifically so I could reinforce my displeasure about their killer attitudes. When they would even look at the chickens, I would begin with the stern voice telling them to knock it off. Doing the "UH, UH, UH!!!" correction type of prompt as well. It only took a few sessions of that reinforcement for them to drop the killer attitudes.

"Really. It was that simple. Sure my neighbors may have thought I was nuts the way I was talking to my dog but who cares? It did require the commitment to reinforce it and I kept watch for about a year after the first incidents and verbally reminded them by lowering my voice and saying stuff like "don't even think about it!" when they even glanced in that direction. The lab was about 3 when we got chickens and the AussieXRott was about 6 months old when he figured out the flock might be easy pickings so it can work for older dogs too. These guys lived to 8 and 12 and had lots of exposure to the birds over those years without relapsing into their killer ways My flock (of about 12 birds) were on my Cave Creek property free range with just a coop to go to voluntarily at night and they were never bothered by my dogs again.

"The neighbors' dogs, on the other hand, would break out of their yards and then climb over my farm fence to kill them and the coyotes, great horned owls and hawks took a few too. But it was the bobcat who finished off my birds on a big scale and I don't have the heart to have more out there as easy pickings for the predators. Yes, I could coop them up but once you've had freerange, it's no fun to lock them up. Nothing says "home" like pet yard chickens, even when they crap on the porch during the hot summer :)

"Good luck with yours and with the chicken killer anti-kill training."

—Lee G.

"A neighbor of mine has chickens and two dogs who peacefully co-exist. Every morning when he comes out to feed the chickens and let them roam for the day (they are in an enclosed 'building' at night) the dogs are with him and pay no more attention than if the chickens weren't there. Must be a 'Bell dog' thing."
—Mary Fiore

Onion Headline de Jour
Christian Science Pharmacist Refuses To Fill Any Prescription

"The absolute worst thing about being the boss is that you can't bitch about the boss."
—Charlie Waters

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

January 24, 2007
Kathy got a text message from the kids in Puerto Rico saying, "We believe that if both of you were here, mom would give this experience a 10 and dad would give it a 10.1." This is a humorous reference to our Mexico trip. Whenever Kathy would rate a particular experience ("Okay, this is an eight.") I would give my rating a point higher—"I'm at an 8.1," just to act like I had to beat her on experiences. This became a running joke.

The Best of 3,000
Feeling insecure about all of this effort. My biggest fear is that I've got a whole bunch of nothing. Some of this insecurity is typical of the process, but I don't feel very confident today. I'm also stressed, trying to get Classic Gunfights done and several commercial projects finished and the magazine goes out the door tomorrow and I have a speech tonight in Wickenburg. And the Top Secret Project prototype is due in two weeks.

Let's start out with some watermelon breasts to get me in a better mood (below, left). I like that! I also like the Garth Jax guy at bottom, right. He was drawn sideways, so the bridge of his nose has a prominence I don't think I would have given him otherwise. On the right are more Wham suspects. I didn't choose this page but Mark Boardman did so I included it:

Here's more Wham studies, this time of Buffalo Soldiers in the fight. Nice washes, Kathy especially likes the top center dude. It is subtle and effective. On the right is a good selection of images, with the Colt cross section at top, a Kansas cowtown in center and another sexy gal at bottom, center. And no, this is not the stripper's roommate I knew from the Doll House on Speedway Blvd. I know it looks like her, but it isn't her. The posterior isn't quite right. She was chunkier. Slightly.

Here's a page of ecstacy expressions for a story idea ("The First 147 Loves of A Soiled Dove"). Once again, Mark Boardman picked this page. I didn't particularly like the finished results but he did. On the right is a sweet gesture drawing of a nude. No, this is not the crazy gal with the Corvair who lived with the twins who worked at the Doll House in Tucson. It looks like her, but no, different woman all together. The breasts are about right, or at least the one you can see. I can't speak for the other one.

Onion Headline de Jour
Eight-Grader Hasn't Missed A '69 Joke Opportunity All Year

I talked with Wyatt Earp expert Jeff Morey yesterday and I asked him how he enjoyed the 125th Celebration in Tombstone and he said, "Is it me just geting older or is that town getting sadder?" I told him I imagined it is a combination of both and he added:

"Even the drunks look drunker."
—Jeff Morey

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

January 23, 2007
It's Thomas Charles birthday today. He's 24 and is in Puerto Rico with Deena, who is working there giving financial presentations. His mother and I called him this morning and sang into the cell phone how much we dig him.

Big board meeting yesterday. Went well. In meetings all day. Way behind on this issue's Classic Gunfights which features Jeff Milton's shootout at Fairbanks on the San Pedro. Gus Emailed his map and we got it last night. Scrambling today to round up the art. Issue goes out the door Thursday.

The Best of 3,000
Continuing my tour of the best sketches in the last four sketchbooks, here is a nice little batch of illustrations spanning disparate subjects (left). Pulling off a wet swim cap has a nice quick effective look, and I especially like the Victorian lady with her head in her hands. Moody and it works. Below right, is a hodgepodge of Southwest color that I like and yes, for all you Doper Roper fans that's the Heatwave Cafe in the upper part.

Kathy really liked the horse (below, left) even though the anatomy is somewhat off, and I like the flluidity of the bartender at the bottom. Some pages are just sexy and this is one of them (below, right). Several of the women are studies of Klimt women, but they are loose and I think quite evocative. And no, the woman with the bow, bottom, is not the stripper I once "knew" in Tucson who worked at the Doll House in the summer of 1968. It's just not her.

Here's several faces of Wham Robbery suspects. Unfortunately, one of them looks more like Wyatt Earp than a Wham guy. On the other side of Bloody Run (the canyon where the Wham Robbery took place) were the Buffalo Soldiers and studies of them and the mules that pulled their cargo appear on the right. Mark Boardman commented on this page as one of his favorites

Onion Headline de Jour
'Tony's Law' Would Require Marijuana Users To Inform Interested Neighbors

"The best students are those who never quite believe their professors."
—Old Vaquero Saying

Monday, January 22, 2007

January 22, 2007
It snowed yesterday. Twice! A very wet and soggy weekend. I enjoyed it, with a fire stoked in my studio stove, but I kept thinking about those poor artists at the Thunderbird Wine Festival up in Carefree. They got rain and snow on all four days. Must have really dampened their business.

"It was all here [in Indianapolis] for me: music, science, people so smart you couldn't believe it, people so dumb you couldn't believe it, people so nice or so mean you couldn't believe it."
—Kurt Vonnegut, on growing up in Indiana

Three Thousand Attempts At Something Approaching Art
Saturday marked the day I passed 3,000 sketches and as promised, here's a look back at the best of those efforts. Yesterday I had Kathy go through the four and a half sketchbooks and choose her favorites. The former teacher is so thorough, she put notes at the bottom, on post-its. For the two pages below, she said, referring to the bottom-left full face image: "I like his eyes." Of course, this is Mickey Free and the studies on the right hand page are attempts at giving him a mysterious look.

Cowboys have always been one of my favorite subjects and here are two pages that capture the range of my efforts. Kathy wasn't fond of the guy in the middle with the glasses, and I said, "Yes, but this is a typical small-town businessman, who has furred out for Pioneer Days. He's a Jack Mormon and likes the ladies." How do I know this? Easy. I grew up with so many guys like this.

And here's more cowboys, this time emulating Lon Megargee (on left), the images on right are studies for the Pike Landusky vs. Harvey Logan of the Wild Bunch shooting. The sketches are much better than what I ran in the magazine.

Onion Headline de Jour
Paroled Prisoner Excited To Hear The '80s Are Back

"Look, I'm old. Joe Namath isn't passing footballs in the crowds anymore. You ought to se what Mozart looks like by now. I'm old, for God's sake. I'm terribly tired."
—Kurt Vonnegut