Monday, January 15, 2007

January 15, 2007
Bitter cold. Our well pipes froze on Sunday morning. It was a record low 29 degrees in Phoenix and we are usually ten degrees below them so it was a chilly little booger, and still is this morning. When I went out to feed the chickens yesterday morning there was a two inch slab of ice on their water bowl.

Today is the deadline for the roughed-in prototype on the Top Secret Project and I actually think I have it in hand. The self-imposed deadline forced me to rough in the 16 pages (notice how it keeps growing from ten to twelve and now 16), no matter how crude, and this exercise led me to some pretty cool effects, which I wouldn't have discovered had I not been forced to do it.

In my sketchbook I'm closing in on the 3K mark fast (I'm at 2,964 as of yesterday). Just for grins I'm going to post the thirty best pages, in my estimation, and I'd like you to narrow it to the ten best. In the meantime, here's a random page for your consideration. It contains several of my favorite things: classic cartoons, old west baseball, Zane Gray and sex:

Speaking of sex, watched Down In The Valley over the weekend. It stars Ed Norton and Evan Rachel Wood about a lone cowboy who shows up in the San Fernando Valley. The modern tale got rave reviews and supposedly reinvents the Western, etc. Norton is always good and Wood was spectacular, and a cameo by Bruce Dern was a treat, but overall it was a culdesac of failed expectations. Kathy really disliked it and didn't even want to watch the ending, but after watching it, we watched the special features and the writer-director and Ed Norton were taped at a New York film festival with a Rolling Stone critic, and when they explained what they were tryinig to do, it helped me appreciate the movie, or I should say it gave it some needed integrity. But it still wasn't worth recommending.

Meanwhile, the Westerns Channel has been running the hippest promo on The Magnificent Seven. According to Jeff Hildebrandt, some kid (he's 35) took the movie, put a quasi-hip hop sound track on it, funked up the film stock with an orange-ish, distressed patina, flipped on the tricks galore software, and I must say, it looks like a new film! Now, granted, it's just a promo for the movie, but in my humble opinion, this is where the Western needs to go if we're ever going to get anyone under 55 to watch one. Ha.

Mark Boardman flew in last night and is staying at our house. He laughed at me this morning for being dressed like I'm in a blizzard. The snitty little Hoosier was wearing a sweater with the sleeves rolled up. Claims we're wimps.

We're still wrestling with the Royal Wade Kimes cover. Dan Harshberger has done seven versions and we're still not there yet, but I'm confident we'll get it yet. Dan and Darlene are having an open house today for DeAnne and her new hubby. Kathy and I are driving down into the Beast after work.

Onion Headline de Jour
'He's A Stockbroker,' Says Woman Who Finds That Exciting

"If a man hasn't discovered something that he will die for, he isn't fit to live."
—Martin Luther King Jr.

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