Monday, November 19, 2007

November 19, 2007
Back from Prescott. This morning on the bike ride I wore a jacket for the first time this fall. Nippy. Probably in the low fifties. B-r-0r-r-r-r-!

It's Dan Harshberger's birthday today. He's the Big 6-0. Just called him. He also became a granddad yesterday. Congrats Big D.

Got some excellent work done on the graphic novel in Prescott. We spent four days doing plot points and ended up with 34, so we are a bit long on story, but then so was Lonesome Dove.

Minnesota Mike Does His Stand Up Sitting Down
"BBB: What about those Wildcats? I didn't even know they had a football team. I always think of Tucson as a college town of wannabe artists and good Mexican food if you can't eat some in Texas. Bob Bell and NASCAR, talk about 2 things that go together. After seeing photo of Jeff Gordon's wife (look at that personality on her), I got to start driving race cars. I dig looking at your New Times era drawings. My favorite Bob Boze Bell book is still Low Blows. Your positive things about Yuma made me laugh out loud. I showed one of my co-workers (who has a band The Plastic Flappy Bats-hey its better name than The Meat Puppets, who mostly cover Rolling Stones songs) your artwork of the band, he thought you got everyone right, but Mick. I've told you that I always thought you draw women exceptionally well and your drawing of the artist in bed with the model proves it. I remember you telling when you were a kid, you sent in some of your drawings into those ads 'Draw Me' ads and they turned you down. Not bad from an Iowa kid who grew up in Kingman. By the way, Kingman is a Lakota name for 'Land of the Trailer'. Lute Olson-out!"
—Minnesota Mike

This is post number 2001. Still debating how and why to keep it going. Got some immediate feedback, though, like this:

"Say it isn't so! While your blog provides a unique and quick dose of perspective regarding a wide range of subjects and I will miss it, I can't imagine the Damoclesian threat I would feel if I had to write something insightful every day."
—Larry Murphy

"Hope you don't quit your blog. I've enjoyed it so much and I'm loving your new times cartoons. Brings back memories of my days in Phoenix. I used to live at 27th Ave and Bethany Home Rd. I think it's a really crappy area now but it wasn't too bad when I was there 20 some years ago. I worked at Rawhide Travel at 1710 W Bell rd. Close to the track, I liked Turf Paradise, the jockeys were crazy. I better get, we're pushing some cows to a different pasture for a while. Taking them up the wall and then we'll gather and bring them back right before Christmas. What a life I have. LOVE it."

"You may quit the blog? Where will I go for cowboy humor and great vaquero sayings? You the best."
—Scott Matula

"I've been a fan since KOPA became KSLX back in the eighties. When I moved to Atlanta I looked you up on the internet and found you at True West. I've been reading your blog ever since. Your blog is exceptional, better than anything on TV. Almost every other blog out there is just another half-assed column; yours is completly different and one of the few worth reading. I hope you find the resolve to keep the blog going."
—Cactus Dan

"Hey Bob, . . . I love seein' them old cartoons of yours. . . . and STOP THE BLOG ! No way. . . . Blog lovers will come picket your office if ya do that. . . . I love it. And so do others. . . . . Good drawin', . . . ."

"Really, really enjoy seeing all the old pages, cowboy/western art/artists was a classic. Here in Colorado, those pages ran in Westword, which is where I became familiar with you/your work. I worked the night shift at another paper, and on Wednesdays we would take a break early evening, go down to the corner and pick up that week’s edition, and go straight to your page. We would use that laughter to get us through Wednesday night, one of the two toughest nights of the week at the paper. I think people are just disappointed those pages and humour are just not there for a weekly fix anymore, they were just fantastic. It is not a reflection of what you do now, they (we) (me) just want more pages like those in our life again. So funny. So well drawn. So well done. People want all the great stuff to just keep going, and never end. Sure, you’re busy, but come on, your public’s happiness must mean something? You could probably skip sleeping one night a week, right?"
—Ray Geier

Thanks for making the decision tougher, you Bastards! And speaking of illegitimate sons, one of the "doubletrucks," as they were called in-house, really got me in some serious trouble. It was actually Jim Larkin's idea (the publisher of New Times Weekly). He came into my office and said he passed a truckload of illegals on the way into work and "somebody needs to tell them how to blend in." I thought that was a great idea. The subsequent doubletruck was called, "How To Blend In," and the main advice was to dress formally and used anglo sayings, like, "Nice portfolio," and "No, way, Jose!" Obviously, I was being ironic. Here is an illustration from the piece:

When the piece ran in the Phoenix New Times (February 13, 1985), there was the usual reaction, "Typical Boze." A shrug. And to be fair, there were always those who said, "I can't believe they have the huevos to run that stuff." But when the same piece ran in Tucson, in the Tucson Weekly their office was fire bombed! And they ran a front page editorial retraction about how much of a mistake it was to run such "racist trash." For about a year after that, when I went down to the Old Pueblo for my usual Mexican food fix, I told everybody my name was Charlie Waters.

"To be desperate is to discover strength. We die of comfort and by conflict live."
—May Sarton

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