Thursday, January 31, 2008

January 31, 2008
Deena got back her photos from her trip to Peru and I purloined two that showed a demented dog, standing on a roofline. I was immediately inspired to add this to a scene for our graphic novel: as Mickey Free rides into Los Muertos, he encounters a similiar devil dog leering at him from the top of a burned out adobe:

As I have been developing this sequence I've been studying aerial photos of Old West towns. Here's a study of a photograph taken of Tombstone from Comstock Hill in 1882 (bottom). Trying to capture the rocky terrain and the footpaths and roads leading into town:

For quite a while now I've been studying mules and their unique gate:

Two crazy incidents while on the trail of mules. The first happened when I read the recent biography of cartoonist Charlie Schulz and discovered that his ex-wife and her daughter are big mule proponents. Two nights ago while perusing a book I got last year, "The Natural Superiority of Mules" by John Hauer, I noticed there is an entire chapter on "Logical Long Ears: Resistance-Free Training Techniques" by Meredith Hodges. Well, that's Charlie Schulz's step-daughter! I had been drawing from several photos in this chapter and they are photos of her riding her mules. Amazing.

It gets better. In October of 1995 I was working on my second, revised edition of The Illustrated life & Times of Billy the Kid and I was in Lincoln, New Mexico doing photo research. I found myself eating like a horse multiple times a day, but I was losing weight. When I got back to Phoenix I went to a doctor and discovered I had developed a hyper-active thyroid. On my way back to Phoenix, I stopped in El Paso to visit with my friend Paul Northrop and he took me out to visit his newest member of the family, and he asked me pose with "Boze," and here we are:

A Hyper-Active Jackass On A Jackass

Small world, no?

"“I’m not gonna tell you anything but the truth, but there is a lot of the truth I’m not gonna tell you.”
—Benny Binion, legendary Horseshoe Casino owner

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

January 30, 2008
Still soggy out, but clearing. Working on several sequences for Mickey Free and lining up the new departments in True West. Quite ambitious and proactive. Lots to do.

Got some nice comments on my mother's watercolor, posted yesterday, like this one:

"At first glance, before reading the story, I thought you had entered a certain sphere of tranquility while in Cody and this was the result! What beautiful work! Some of her lives on in you whether she admitted it or not!"
—Bill Dunn

Former New York photographer David Spindel dropped by our offices last week and showed me his portfolio. He actually photographed John Lennon a week or two before Lennon was shot. This is from his last stint in the studio:

David flew to London late last year for a big photography show on Lennon. Spindel now lives in Anthem, which is a brand spanking new community east of here. I'm trying to find an assignment for him. Good guy.

Kathy and I met Deena for dinner last night down at Frank Llloyd Wright and Scottsdale Road. We talked more about No Country For Old Men and exactly what Cormac and the Coens were trying to say. Here's another take on it:

Uplifted & Flattened
"I liked the movie-'enjoyed' might be the wrong word but I felt uplifted at the end and I've spent some time trying to figure out why. I think about the movie whenever something jogs my memory--here are some of my observations:

"• TLJ's character seems to embody the good in our species, 'flattened out' possibly but alive and good nonetheless.

"• Bardem's character and Harrelson's character seem to be two of the many faces of evil. Kill one and there is a meaner SOB behind him.

"• Kind of spiritual but I think TLJ's dad, at least in his dream, is God or the Great Spirit, or whoever is waiting up at the end of the trail with a warm fire for the good folks-even those that think God doesn't like them much.

"• I must admit that I related most to the Brolin character. I can remember that self confidence and the rationalization of dumb decisions....age has 'flattened' me a bit too.

"• It is a tough world, for most of us the evil is not murdering drug dealers, it's disease, divorce, senility and losing faith, being 'flattened' to the point were you can't be seen or heard. No country for old men is a good description and I suspect why there are so few of them around."
—Larry Murphy

Meanwhile, many are talking about how two of the big contenders for this year's Oscar race are No Country and There Will Be Blood which are small movies (when I asked for a show of hands at the Dude Ranch Association Confab only two had seen Country and only one had seen Blood). Still, they are Westerns and we are thrilled about that aspect, but according to a piece I read recently, the Oscar telecasts are "shedding viewers" at an alarming rate and the theory is that in the old days, everyone had seen Lawrence of Arabia and The Godfather and could root for their favorite film, but these days, the Oscar contenders are little, obscure films that hardly anyone has seen. Case in point: Into the Wild and Kite Runner and Margot are critic's darlings, but only No Country, so far, has made a profit. Ouch!

More On The Kindle And How Much We Actually Read
"Steve Jobs the chief executive of Apple, has nothing to fear from the Kindle. No one would regard it as competition for the iPod. It displays text in four exciting shades of gray, and does that one thing very well. It can do a few other things: for instance, it has a headphone jack and can play MP3 files, but it is not well suited for navigating a large collection of music tracks.

"Yet, when Mr. Jobs was asked two weeks ago at the Macworld Expo what he thought of the Kindle, he heaped scorn on the book industry. 'It doesn’t matter how good or bad the product is; the fact is that people don’t read anymore,' he said. 'Forty percent of the people in the U.S. read one book or less last year.'

"To Mr. Jobs, this statistic dooms everyone in the book business to inevitable failure.

"Only the business is not as ghostly as he suggests. In 2008, book publishing will bring in about $15 billion in revenue in the United States, according to the Book Industry Study Group, a trade association.

"One can only wonder why, by the Study Group’s estimate, 408 million books will be bought this year if no one reads anymore?

"A survey conducted in August 2007 by Ipsos Public Affairs for The Associated Press found that 27 percent of Americans had not read a book in the previous year. Not as bad as Mr. Jobs’s figure, but dismaying to be sure. Happily, however, the same share — 27 percent — read 15 or more books.

"In fact, when we exclude Americans who had not read a single book in that year, the average number of books read was 20, raised by the 8 percent who read 51 books or more. In other words, a sizable minority does not read, but the overall distribution is balanced somewhat by those who read a lot."
—Randall Stross, New York Times

Nice to read that. Thanks, Dan Buck.

"The world doesn't come to the clever folks, it comes to the stubborn, obstinate, one-idea-at-a-time people."
—Mary Roberts Rinehart

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

January 29, 2008 Bonus Blog Post
My mother always claimed (and bragged) that she didn't know where my artistic talent came from since neither she nor my father ever "had any artistic talent." Either my mama was a big, fat liar, or she was hiding something from me (like most only children, I'll probably go with the latter). As mentioned previously, it was with some surprise that when I visited with Lou Cady in Cody last week he gave me three watercolors my mother had done when they lived in Anacortes, Washington. According to Lou, my mom took a watercolor class for two weeks, did three watercolors and quit. Here's one of them:

As Carole Glenn put it when I showed it to her this afternoon, "Boy, she nailed that one, didn't she?" Yes she did. Very sweet. Kathy and I are meeting Deena and Frank for dinner tonight in Scottsdale and I plan on giving one of them to her.

We had our annual "Low Ride Out" meeting this morning. Trish Brink, Meghan Saar, Robert Ray and I got together in the conference room to go over the 2007 issues of True West and determine what isn't cutting it in the magazine. The theory comes from Walt Disney who annually went over the rides in Disneyland, and whichever ride had the least riders, he would tell his imagineers to tear it down and build something better. Thus: low ride out.

It was a spirited discussion as we compared Reader Poll numbers with feedback tracking from readers and friends. At this point it looks like the Purveyors column and the calendar are either going to be revamped or chucked completely. We've got two new rides, I mean departments, we want to make room for.

"Perfection is finally attained not when there is no longer anything to add, but when there is no longer anything to take away."
—Antoine de Saint-Exupery
January 29, 2008
All five washes between our house and town have been running for two days now. That is a record for our stint out here (22 years). A Ford Escape got stuck in Grapevine Wash and was stranded there overnight. It's gone today. Clear out now. Brisk and cool.

Booth Bound
Believe it or not I have never been to the South, proper. That will change in April when I am one of the featured artists at the Booth Museum's "Captured On Canvas! Gunfighters and Outlaws by Bob Boze Bell and Thom Ross" The exhibition will open April 1 and run through June 22 at the Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville, Georgia.

Thom Ross and myself will join a dozen other Old West authors on April 10-12 at the museum for a True West Weekend. More later.

Jabbing Jobs (see quote from yesterday's post)
"Even assuming Steve Jobs didn't pull his number out of thin air, which is to say, one of those Johnny-doesn't-read horror studies that are published periodically -- and which no one pays any attention to but Steve Jobs, who was in any event more interested in smashmouthing a competitor, Amazon's Kindle ebook reader -- consider this: if 40 % of 301 million Americans (current population according to the CIA website -- the spooks couldn't find weapons of mass destruction, but they found us) read one book or less, then 60 % read two books or more. Sixty percent of 301 million is 180.6 million readers, if you run a library, or customers, if you own a book shop.

"Amazon's $400 Kindle ebook reader may fail to find a market, but for reasons other than the fact that America doesn't have enough readers. I prefer traditional books. You can scribble in them, floss with the page edges, and, best of all, line them up on a shelf so as to appear more well-read than you really are.

"Consider also the numbers of Americans below 14 -- 20 % -- and the number so old that they -- well, let's not get into that approaching category. That is, the 40 % who read one or less book a year is inflated by the number of people too young or too infirm to read anyway. In other words, they're not part of the equation to begin with.

"Bottom line: 60 percent of Americans read two or more books a year.

"Now, what they read, that's the scandal. Have you been in an airport book store lately? It's enough to make Jacques Barzun cry. By the way, Barzun, the doyen of New York intellectuals, turns 101 this year and is now living in San Antonio, Texas.*
—Dan Buck

I finally got an address where you can send your get well cards to Pistol Packin' Paula:

Dee Dee & Gary Trichter
8777 FM 2828
Bandera, Texas 78003

I made a great batch of green chile on Sunday and I'm going home to have a bowl for lunch.

"Don't be afraid to take a big step. You can't cross a chasm in two small jumps."
—Daivd Lloyd George

Monday, January 28, 2008

January 28, 2008
Took off from Cody in a nasty headwind last Saturday in the dark (7 A.M.). I know, I know, what else is new? In fact, one of the locals told me their pet nickname for that flight is The Vomit Comet. Got to Denver at 8:30, and landed in Phoenix just before two. Man, it was nice in Phoenix. Maybe 55, drove home with the window down. All of the passengers deplaning, were discarding clothing as they emerged from the tunnel, myself included.

Woke up to rain on Sunday. Big storm raked in from Cal, sprinkled and drizzled all day. We really got drenched. Still, the lows are in the fifties and it was quite warm out on my bike ride this morning.

Jeff Hildebrandt forwarded me this news:
"Steve Weil, Rockmount Ranch Wear's third generation, called me last year to tell me his dad, Jack B. Weil, had been diagnosed with esophageal cancer. He wanted to share the news with me since I'm a cancer survivor, but, more important, he wanted to keep the news out of the paper to respect his dad's privacy. I happily obliged.

"But I didn't know just how sick Jack B. was. The news of his death Tuesday made me realize how quickly the cancer caught this gentle man. My deepest condolences go out to his son, Steve, and his 106-year-old father, Jack A. Weil, founder of the western wear company."
Rocky Mountain News editor

I usually try to sketch on these extended plane trips and I got 12 down on paper with the Cody to Phoenix run:

This batch of sketches was done on the Vomit Comet, as I perused a sunrise over Thermopolis and the Wind River Canyon in Wyoming. Lots of spider web traces of canyons buried in the snow with just their spines showing:

I came home and did a color wash of the memory:

While waiting for my flight at the Denver Airport I bought a Denver Post and The New York Times. As we boarded our flight and sat on the plane, the flight attendants came on and told us we were waiting for a pilot (always unnerving to me), so I broke out the Times and did this sketch of the ad for No Country For Old Men:

Couldn't find my black pen (I'm always finding and losing pens, and the lids, and I have the ink-stained pants to show for it. Another big ad in the Times was for There Will Be Blood and the typography made me smile. Why?

When Something Is So Out, It's Bound To Be In
When I was in Art School, practically the worst sin you could commit was to use Old English as a type face in an ad. Graphic designers hated the type face and over time, as enough commercial artists graduated from schools, the font disappeared from the advertising and magazine landscape. But, when something is so out, it's bound to come back in (think long hair to shaved heads), and so:

Doesn't that look hip? Well, actually, not to me, but that's because I have been brainwashed by my teachers. However, I do know, as a rebel, that it makes me happy. Very happy. Long Live Old English!

Deena just called me and said, "Explain that ending in No Country For Old Men to me." She and Frank went to see it last night. I told her my theory and then she explained her theory to me (which was actually better than my theory). I asked her if she read the book. No, she told me, she said she couldn't even finish Blood Meridian (Cormac McCarthy's classic border book which preceeds No Country). Gee, I wonder if Steve Jobs has anything to say about this?

"It doesn't matter how good or bad the product is; the fact is that people don't read anymore. Forty percent of the people in the U.S. read one book or less last year."
—Steve Jobs, at Macworld Expo, when asked what he thought of the new Kindle, a computer that mimics a book

Friday, January 25, 2008

January 25, 2008
Great game tonight at the Cody High School Gym. Senior Preston Randolph and the Cody Broncs took down the number one team in the state from Lovell, 47-33. Really a great game and I enjoyed every second of it. Preston hit the only three in the game, had four boards and 11 points, made two great passes and fouled out of the game. And all this while playing with a deep muscle pull right in the you know where.

The school band played Santana (Oya Como Ya) and Chicago (25 or 6 to 4) so a certain old man in his sixties was groovin' to the beat, Baby!. Preston's parents, Steve and Chris, are quite proud of their boy as they should be.

As I mentioned in the last post this is the land of the really long bus trip. I come from the land of the 189 mile trip (which we thought was ridiculously long), but these kids do 350 and 400 mile trips to play games. Douglas, Wyoming is coming in tomorrow which is about 300 ice-packed miles away.

Flying out in the morning to Phoenix. Had a fun time in Cody. Did a lot of good business and learned a lot. Yes, it was hands down a winning trip. Wonder what Minnesota Mike has to say about that?

"You're never as bad as you think you are when you lose, and you're never as good as you think you are when you win."
—Minnesota Mike
January 25, 2008 Bonus Blog Post
Last day in Cody. Had breakfast again with Lou Cady. Afterwards went to his house to look at my mother's belongings (I was kind of dreading this but it wasn't too bad). He feels guilty about giving away her clothes but I gave him permission to do it. He gave me several keepsakes of hers, including her apron and a Wyoming Sprinkler gimme cap she always wore. He also gave me three watercolors she did when they lived in Anacortes, Washington. Actually pretty sweet little Impressionistic numbers (I had no idea she ever painted). Evidently, my mom took a watercolor class, did three gems and quit after two weeks.

Gee, that sounds familiar.

While I was there, Daune Hagen, owner of the Fiddle Back Ranch near Meeteesie, called. He had driven in from Denver and the Denver Stock Show and got in at 10 last night. He said he hit bad ice west of Casper and barely made it through. It was 22 below in Shoshone. He's off again today, driving to his daughter's basketball game in Farsen (sp?). Such is the life of a parent in Wyoming, he told me with a laugh.

Speaking of basketball, I'm going to the Cody High School Gym tonight to see Preston Randoph play against the number one team in the state (Lowell, 10-0). I love high school basketball and am really looking forward to this. Preston is the cinematographer who shot the Pike Landusky footage and the Old Cowtown PSA we posted last year. Very talented boy. He's won numerous state film awards and you can see his work at:

"Courage is the thing. All goes if courage goes."
—J.M. Barrie
January 25, 2008
Got up to 23 degrees in Cody yesterday! Everyone thrilled, sunbathing, etc. I'm still perfecting the layered look. I do admit to enjoying waking up to the sight of snow out my window with the heater cranking inside. I recall a quote to the effect: when people say they like winter and the snow they really mean the proof against it. Or, somthing like that. Speaking of snowbound profound. . .

Minnesota Mike Bites
"BBB Saw 3:10 to Yuma, really liked the movie, but what a bad ending. I didnt understand it. Sad story about Heath Ledger. Suicide? My God, he dated Heather Graham and Naomi Watts, what else do want out of life? Hey mail me one of those Exits postcards-its so 60's. Recently they held a rodeo in New York City at The Madison Square Garden. If I want to see bull**** at the Garden, I'll watch the Knicks play. Maureen Paup-out!"
—Minnesota Mike

Going to meet Lou Cady in the restaurant to have some oatmeal. More later.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

January 24, 2008 Bonus Blog Post
Had breakfast this morning with my step-father Lou Cady, Jr. He's still grieving my mother's passing and wants me to pick out some of my mom's keepsakes for Deena. He gave me a ride down to the Buffalo Bill Museum in his new Dodge pickup. He's 86 and still driving.

There was an article in the Billings newspaper this morning about a guy up in Forsyth who's 98 and still bowling! Otto "Babe" Krueger has been bowling at Evergreen Lanes for 62 years and the guy who owns the bowling alley wants to retire and sell the place but he's waiting for Babe to decide when he's through bowling.

Babe isn't the oldest bowler in the state. No, over in Great Falls (Charlie Russell's hometown) Leslie Hackett is three months older than Babe and still spreadin' the lane. Ha.

Met with Juti Winchester at the Buffalo Bill Museum at ten. BBC film crew was there doing a doc on Westerns.

Picked out a whole gaggle of Cody photos for an upcoming cover story we're doing. Really some great stuff. Very exciting. Took Juti to lunch at Maxwell's. Had a cup of chili and a caesar salad and hot, green tea ($22, includes tip, biz account).

Mas Botas Info
"Was just reading your blog an saw the reference to the gent wanting a pair of 'Botas'. well there's several different answers and questions to his query; exactly what type of Bota does he want..... the faux 'boot' style, ie: like the Villaista in the photo on yer blog, and the type the military wore during the Indian wars, or the Mexican style you saw the 'Long' Bill Coleman character wearing in the recent Comanche Moon series (tooled leather, that are worn below the knee, but that i assume pull up over the knee) or the Charlie Russell mixed blood style made of blanket wool.

I'm unaware of any historical reproductions being made of the military boot style. Mr. Bagilore might try Missouri Boot & Shoe Company; they make historical reproduction footwear for the living history crowd, or Bison Saddlery in Helena MT, that gent also makes museum quality repros. He could also try a leather worker or local saddler, to see if they'd be willing to make him a pair.

If he just wants to have a pair of the wool ones, those are pretty easy to make. Basically it all comes down to how much money he wants to spend.

—Jeff Prechtel

Going with the Dude Ranch Association people to dinner tonight at the Irma Hotel, named for Buffalo Bill's daughter. Great old place. The trolly leaves the hotel in a half hour, so I've got to take a shower and go.

Really fun talking to everyone in Cody about the future of the West. We're all basically in the same business: providing a Western experience to the rest of the world. Gee, I wonder what ol' Antoine has to say about all this?

"As for the Future, your task is not to foresee but to enable it."
—Antoine de Saint-Exupery
January 24, 2008
I spoke last night to the Dude Ranch Associaton, maybe 250 people in the main ballroom. Showed a slide show of our recent covers. When I got to 3:10 to Yuma I asked how many people had seen it and maybe 12 raised their hands. Then I showed the No Country For Old Men cover and I asked for hands and two people raised their hands. Then I showed them our next cover (at the printer as you read this) Daniel Day-Lewis and There Will Be Blood on the cover and only one person raised his hand (it was one of the people who raised his hand for No Country). Afterwards, I saw the guy and asked him where he is from and he is a Bronx guy who lives in Palm Springs, went into developing with other wise guys from Jersey, and they bought a dude ranch in Mancos, Colorado. And this is their first convention. So, he is hardly the average dude ranch guy (or, maybe he's the wave of the future?). Take him out of the equation and those covers are not appealing to anybody in this group. Of course it's just one sampling, but a whole bunch more people responded to the horse cover and Darly Newman's column than either of those hip, dark movies. Hmmmmmmmmm.

On a related note, a woman who runs an art gallery downtown told me that The Assasination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford played in Cody for two weeks. She went because of our cover story and was shocked when three couples walked out in the middle of the movie.

I always learn good stuff on these jaunts. Did have a great conversation with two guys from the Buffalo Bill Museum last night. We're meeting this morning.

"The fewer the voices on the side of truth, the more distinct and strong must be your own."
—William Ellery Channing

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

January 23, 2008 Bonus Bog Post
My number one son, T. Charles turns 25 today. Fortunately he's in Peru where he can't do any more damage to the U.S. economy. Speaking of number one:

The Duke Still Rides Tall
"John Wayne is the only movie star to appear on every Harris Poll top ten movie star list since it first began in 1994."

If you don't believe me, check it out at Harris Poll Online.

Walked down to the lobby and had breakfast in the Laramie Room. Had the veggie skillet, orange juice and coffee. Did a batch of sketches and looked out on the cold landscape. Felt good to be snuggled in (I'm wearing a T-shirt, True West Aesthetic Department sweat shirt and a flannel shirt. ($14.50 business account)

Going down to the Buffalo Bill Museum this morning. The BBC is there filming a feature and I want to meet with the photo archivist because I heard they have some William Cody photos that have never been published. This is the great thing about my job: going to see stuff I would pay to see, but I'm getting paid to go see it.

I know what you're thinking, how do I get a gig like this? Easy. Call Trish Brink, sell some ads for us and I'll bring you along next time. I'm not kidding. Call Trish at (480) 575-1881. Tell her you want to "sell a ton of ads and go with BBB to exotic locations and charge meals to the company."

"Thanks a lot, Bob."
—Trish Brink, publisher True West magazine
January 23, 2008
I flew to Cody yesterday to attend the annual Dude Ranchers Association confab. I'm speaking tonight in the ballroom.

It was 14 degrees when we landed last night at 8:30. Snow and ice on the runway, rough landing. I felt like we bounced to the terminal. Bummed a ride to the Holiday Inn with an insurance guy from Estes Park who rented a car.

On the Denver to Cody leg I sat next to Russel True who owns the White Stallion Guest Ranch outside Tucson and we chatted about the challenges facing both of our industries. I feel that we are in the same business really: selling people on the Western experience. So, it's interesting to hear about trends and problems they are having. For example, it's a long standing rule that dude ranches don't have phones in the rooms. Makes sense. Takes you out of the experience. On our end, I had Meghan remove a photo of a crowded freeway in a feature sidebar in the last issue because I felt like it takes the reader out of the fantasy of being in the Old West.

So, I asked Russell, do you have high speed internet access? He kind of winced, but yes, they do. There are some things they have to provide and broadband is one of them. So, no phones, but internet access? Hmmmmmm. Russell also told about the problems with cell phones on trail rides. They try to discourage them ("Dammit Bill, sell those grain futures immediately!" "Nothin'. I'm on a horse. What are you doin'?") but some guests can't survive without them. He also told of isolated instances where a guest will sit in the lobby and be online for the entire stay and not partake of any activities.

I heard about a new book out called "Love And Sex With Robots" or something similiar, which predicts that we will be able to have sex with robot-computers in the next ten years and that people will fall in love with these programmed humanoids within the next forty years, I believe it was. The good news is they will need their own magazine and I intend to supply it. Here are a couple titles I'm working on:

• Cyber Love Secrets: Sixty Sexy Ways to Satisfy Your Computer. Plus, 12 Tips For Cleaning Out Bodily Fluids From Your Computer Afterwards.

Okay, it needs work, but I'm all over this.

"Is that a computer in you pocket or are you just happy to see me?"
—Mae 10-Gigibites West

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

January 22, 2008
After three years, three months and many an ad sale, my good friend Joel Klasky is leaving us here at True West. I wish him well and I must admit I will personally miss his professionalism and classy manner.

My daughter Deena got me a New Yorker desk calendar with some great cartoons on it. This one (above) is for January 4. Funny, no?

I had a hunch that someone would know exactly the name for the unique leather leggings Vaquero's wear:

Buck Knows Botas
"The short answer to Alan Bagliore's question is botas. The long answer, spread out over several pages of Hubert Howe Bancroft's CALIFORNIA PASTORAL, 1769-1848 (1888) is botas de ala or botas de talon, a form of legging typically made of antelope or deer skin. Per Bancroft, the California vaquero typically wore breeches that reached to the knee, leggings from the knee to below the ankle, and some sort of shoe, sandal, or moccasin on the foot.

"Bill Mackin, COWBOY AND GUNFIGHTER COLLECTIBLES (1993), calls them botas-de-ala, meaning leggings, commonly worn wrapped around the leg above sandals or moccasins. He says that Buffalo Bill resurrected the bota de ala in his Wild West show.

"Richard Slatta's COWBOYS OF THE AMERICAS (1990) reproduces an 1893 Remington drawing of a vaquero in botas de ala.

"Related gear: the bota de potro, made out of the leg skin of a colt (potro), which was worn by the Argentine gauchos of old, but banned in the mid-19th century because too many colts were being slaughtered. Also, the knee-high bota de montar (riding boots), such as still worn today by the Lipizzan riders,

"Oddly -- sooner or later every question involves the word oddly -- bota may have two origins, botin, meaning legging, spat, gaiter, and bota, meaning cask, barrel, and that wineskin you and Ernest Hemingway shared during the running of the bulls in 1925. Etymologists differ, which is a redundancy. In any event, the word bota came to mean both legging and boot.

"Where to buy leggings? Don't know."
—Dan Buck

Thanks Dan. Here's a photograph of one of Pancho Villa's Villistas wearing botas (leather leggings with buckles on the side):

Now all we have to do is find out where we can buy them. Hint: I have been playing with putting them on Mickey Free.

"Find out what you love. Do it because you love it. Stick with it. Start it now."
—Barbara Sher

Monday, January 21, 2008

January 21, 2008 Bonus Blog Post
Went home for lunch and fed the chickens. Got another egg yesterday. Not exactly sure who's laying, but the eggs are great. Made myself steak and eggs for lunch.

I'm reading Cowboy Metaphysics: Ethics And Death In Westerns by Peter A. French. Quite interesting. He quotes Sam Peckinpah: "I don't make documentaries. The facts about the siege of Troy, of the duel between Hector and Achilles and all the rest of it, are a hell of a lot less interesting to me than what Homer makes of it." I met Peter at a Carefree Christmas party and his son Sean is doing some freelance web work for us.

This Just In:
"Question: The old Spanish Vaqueros used to wear leggings that went up to right above the knee, and were usually buckled. Do you know the correct name for these, and where would they be available to buy?"
—Alan Bagliore

I recently discovered these unique-style-Vaquero leggings in a Frederic Remington illustration from 1888. I'm not sure where you can still get them but I will find out.

I have quite a few collectors and craftspeople who read this blog and I have a hunch someone will know.

Speaking of Vaqueros, here's a painting of a California outlaw, Juan Soto. It has been at Tri Star Boze for the past nine years. Theresa found it and gave it to me this past weekend when I was down there signing artprints. This illustration appeared in black and white in Bad Men: Outlaws & Gunfighters of the Wild West (1999), on page 19. Looks a ton better in color.

On the old California mug shots, which lawmen carried in their saddlebags, they would write descriptions right on the photo, like the one above (which I didn't make up!).

""When TV first came, people tried to look at it as a radio with pictures. We're at the stage now where the Internet is TV with poor connections."
—Andrew Grove from Wikipedia
January 21, 2008
Chilly out this morning. Frost on the truck windshield when I came out for the bike ride. You could see the Peach's and Buddy's breath as they loped up Old Stage looking for trouble. Made it up and back, without incident.

Kathy rented The Namesake from Blockbuster and we watched it last night. it's about an East Indian couple who come to the United States in the 1970s and raise a family, cutting back and forth between Calcutta and New York. Really enjoyed it (9). In fact, I watched the making of Special Features and watched part of the film again with the commentary track by the director, Mira Nair (she did Monsoon Wedding and Vanity Fair). I think between Robert Osborn on Turner Classic Movies and these DVD commentary tracks, this has become my favorite pastime. I keep learning so much, it's like going to film school.

Speaking of movies, ordered The Charge of The Light Brigade from Netflix to poach images of Errol Flynn. Believe it or not, he looks like a dandyfied version of Frederic Remington, and so I took snapshots of a couple dozen still frames from the film, on my computer and then drew sketches extrapolating between the two. Here are a few of those efforts:

Worked on Spanish Daggers over the weekend, trying to capture the fan effect as best I can. Couldn't get the oil paints to cooperate for the points, so unlimbered my gouache pallette and did a couple studies:

And here's another angle of a tall quasi-Joshua Tree Spanish Dagger I photographed near Mount Graham in about 1994:

On Friday, Robert Ray and I worked on Mickey Free layouts, experimenting with scratchboard images over a sepia background. Got some intriguing contrasts, but not sure if it's working yet.

Watching those commentary tracks reminds me that the reader (in my case) really needs to know what is going on in a simple, direct way. I don't want to get too fancy, because a guy I met at the SASS convention in Vegas really reminded me of the basic appeal of my Old West books:

"Your books are easy to follow for someone who's easily lost."
—Rick Anderson, SASS member who bought Classic Gunfights, Volume III in Vegas
January 19, 2008
Long day in the Beast. Abby Pearson got married at 11 over on the westside to her beau Scott. Most of the True West staff there (we all sat on the "bride side"). Abby looked beautiful and radiant. A good time was had by all.

Kathy and I left the reception at noon, and drove over to Tri Star Publishing's new digs at Olive and the 101. Signed a whole bunch of artprints. Took about an hour. From there we drove over to Grandma Betty's and took her to lunch at Manuel's on Peoria ($55 includes tip).

From the westside we drove over to Desert Ridge and caught the 5:30 showing of Cloverdale ($19 cash). Basically, Godzilla meets Blair Witch Project. Or, put another way, The 9•11 hijackers meet the monstor movie in Manhattan. Lots of handheld camera stuff. Quite clever (7).

I read that chess great Bobby Fisher died and was heartened to find out that he "was intolerant of. . .cartoonists." Ha. It always amuses me when people are threatened by lines on paper ("It's just lines on paper, folks."—R. Crumb)

"Find out what you love. Do it because you love it. Stick with it. Start now."
—Barbara Sher

Friday, January 18, 2008

January 18, 2008 Bonus Blog Post
Quite chilly out. Broke ice on the chicken's water bowl. Got four eggs! Must be Bea-52 and Bea-53, because the sucker's are big.

Speaking of egg layers, here's a shot of the Exits in full bloom:

Left to right: the late and great Wendell Havatone, Terry Mitchell, Charlie Waters, BBB and Wayne Rutschman.

The scene is the Girl's Gym at Mohave County Union High School. New Year's Eve 1964-65. Rick Ridenour made me the drum riser in shop class. Modeled after the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show, of course. I had to buy the wood ($40). It took an extra pickup to haul it to the gigs. In fact we took it to the State Fair, the month before, but it wouldn't fit in the building. Ha. No joke.

Speaking of my ego:

BBB: Are you selling The Exits postcard as a poster? I want one. Its priceless. Why does it make me wanna watch 'Spinal Tap'? I was a Pistol Pete fan also. Always remember his gray socks he played in and his no look passes, which he did well before Magic Johnson made famous. You are right, his story is very sad. When he graduated from college, everyone thought the Boston celtics would draft him, but Red Aeruback (spelling is wrong ) just did not like him, didnt feel he would fit in. Just think if he had become a Celtic and played in all those championship teams they had then, would his life had been different? It was so warm yesterday, Al Gore won another Nobel prize. Tom Brady-out!"
—Minnesota Mike

Yes, we are considering a poster of the Exits invite. Dan The Man is designing one even as you read this.

"Think of the poorest person you have ever seen and ask whether your next act will be of use to them."
- Mohandas Karamchand [Mahatma] Gandhi
January 18, 2008
Well, I did two things last night I haven't done in a very long time: I went to a honkytonk (The Buffalo Chip) and I danced with a couple good lukin' ladies. Met Darly Newman, who does the PBS show Equitrekking, and is also a columnist for True West. We had dinner with her and her husband Chip Ward and their cinematographer Greg Burnes. They are filming in Cave Creek this weekend and we all got together for dinner and dancing. Did the country-swing with Meghan and the Texas two-step with Darly. Got two comments from the other dancers out on the floor: "Hey, you're that guy on the Westerns Channel," and "I like your outfit." Older guy, I think he was sincere, although it sure looks gay in print. Ha.

It Was Twenty Years Ago Today. . .
"Here's an email that's taken over 20 years to write...

"When I was but a wee film student at the University of Colorado in Boulder back in the mid 80's I was reading the Denver free paper (Westword?) when I came across a comic/page bit that you did on, 'Ten Things I would Do to Improve Football' that blew my mind. Seeing as how I actually don't like football, it's unusual for me to still think of it all these years later. I think I value excellent humor and tight writing above all else, even my dislike for the true American pastime.

"Number 8, 'When a forward pass is touched by a defending player, everyone in the stadium become eligible' I consider to be one of the greatest sentences in the English language. Hemingway? That guy couldn't write a slapstick joke to save his life.

" Oh, sorry bad taste. Too soon?

"Did you do a series like this, or was this just a one off? I kept looking through that paper for years after that hoping to see more of your work, but alas that was the only one I ever found.

"So with the magic o' thar innerweb, I was able to find you and finally thank you for making me laugh."
John Venzon
Film Editor

Yes, I did two books of the best of those comics (Low Blows, and Even Lower Blows). Unfortunately, I don't think that football one you mention is among the articles included in the two books. I vaguely remember writing that, but am thrilled that you remember it and still think it is funny.

I did those "doubletrucks" originally for New Times Weekly in Phoenix (1983-1988) and for a short time tried to syndicate them to Westword and maybe five other alternative papers in the West. Never could pull it off consistently.

And what have you edited?
—Bob Boze Bell

"Thanks SO MUCH for clearing that up. I have always thought that I just missed it because I didn't look closely enough. I think Westword missed out, your stuff is really funny.

"Anyway, I've been editing for Dreamworks Animation Studios for the past 8 years, I edited on shows like, Chicken Run, Shark Tale, Madagascar and Flushed Away. I also cut the South Park Movie.

"Funny how your career isn't something you really 'control,' that's something they don't teach you in film school, it just sort of happens.

"I'm on my way to Amazon to check out Low Blows. Thanks for the heads up, and I'll check out True West as well.
—John Venzon

That's pretty amazing, that something I did twenty years ago is just now coming back to me. Gee, I wonder if the Old Vaqueros have anything to say about this?

"Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day. Teach a person to use the internet and they won't bother you for weeks."
—Old Vaquero Saying

Thursday, January 17, 2008

January 17, 2008 Bonus Blog Post
Just got word from Rob Bandhauer that our good friend and Wild West performer, Pistol Packin’ Paula, hit a deer last Thursday evening (January 10), while driving on a county highway near her home in Boerne, Texas. She rolled her truck and was thrown from the vehicle, exiting through the driver's side window. When she regained consciousness, she realized she needed to call for help, but her cellular phone was missing from its holster. Incredible as it may seem, her beloved dog, ran nearly a mile to a nearby farmhouse to get help (shades of Lassie!). About this time, Paula’s landlord called her and she was able to reach the cell phone located near her knee. An ambulance arrived on the scene shortly thereafter, and she was transported to a nearby “Flight for Life” location. She was then airlifted by helicopter to the University Hospital in San Antonio, TX.

Paula’s suffered a broken sternum and pelvis (front & back), two cracked ribs and hairline fractures to three vertebrae. A surgical procedure was performed on Tuesday, January 15, with a permanent pin implanted. She expects to fully recover, however, this will take several months of therapy and determination. Her tough cowgirl spirit is intact and she will twirl her guns and ride her horse again! After a short hospital stay, Paula will be leaving the hospital by the end of the day tomorrow and she will be staying with friends for the next several weeks who will assist her in her recovery.

I'll keep everyone posted on where to send cards, etc.

We just finished the March issue (2:35 p.m.) and it goes out the door to our printer in Liberty, Kansas in about an hour. Going to be another good one.

Meanwhile, I'm slaving away at my daily sketches. Here's a couple pages from last week:

At the time I felt exactly like Tin Tin. I have no idea where I am going or why I'm doing this. Ha.

The next day's sketches, we have Mickey, above, himself expressing the same notion (Tu is Spanish for "you" and is the name he has given his mule):

By this week I had a better idea of the graphic possibilities for the red-headed red---- (inappropriate term):

Thicker, bolder, darker, is the theme. Steve Canyon meets Degas in a funky bar at Rodeo, New Mexico. So, what does this all mean?

"Within the best is some bad. Within the worst is some good. Acknowledging both leads to a better world."
—Arthur Dobrin
January 17, 2008
Went up to the Flat Tire Bike Shop (that's the actual name) to check on my flat tire and the owner said, "What did you run into, a mountain lion? That tired is shredded." Turns out they had to order a new one from down in the Beast. I didn't tell him that we did, in fact, run into a bobcat the day before the Fang Fest, or that it was in fact Amy, a ten-year-old declining b---- (innapropriate term), who shredded my tire.

Worked late last night whipping out a black and white illustration of Captain Jonathon Davis, who single-handedly took on a polygot gang of killers in the Sierra Nevadas in 1853 and killed 11, seven with his two Colt pistols, and four with his 12-inch Bowie knife. Just an incredible story of courage under fire:

This will run in the next Classic Gunfights.

Met Deena and Frank at El Encanto last night for dinner. They were out in Cave Creek looking for granite slabs. She is redoing her kitchen and this place north of town has a clearance of huge 6 foot by 9 foot slabs for $150 each. El Encanto has a new menu. Tried the lamb barbacoa and it was excellent. Deena and Frank split a chicken fundido. We split the bill ($31 Sue account, includes tip).

As you know, I've been trying to find out the answers to many of life's questions. Gee, I wonder what McGinnis has to say about this?

"True freedom lies in the realization and calm acceptance of the fact that there may very well be no perfect answer."
—Allen Reid McGinnis

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

January 16, 2008
Worked late last night, but not as late as Meghan. Kathy said she saw our managing editor's lonely car at the True West offices when she drove by at eight last night. Closing in on another very strong issue (goes to press tomorrow). Great photos of 49ers armed to the teeth (thanks John Boessenecker!) and a super piece on The Trainman, Jim Clark (who dropped in this morning to say hi).

Dan "The Man" Harshberger is working up the Exits Exit postcard which goes to the printer today. Here's an early layout without the copy:

Got the Profit & Loss report for True West yesterday and I was happy to see Samantha Somers has driven sales in her division (store and online) to over $120,000, which is about double what it was three years ago. Very promising. Thanks Sam!

The Top Secret Writer sent me the DVD of The Stunt Man (1980) and I watched the making of it last night. Just amazing how hard it is to make a good movie, much less, find a distributor, and by extension, an audience. Gee, I wonder of ol' Ben has anything to say about this?

"Content makes poor men rich; discontent makes rich men poor."
—Benjamin Franklin

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

January 15, 2008
Deadline on the March issue is on us and I've got a ton to do today. Finish Classic Gunfights for this issue (Captain Davis vs. 14 outlaws), a "potato chip" (Low Slung Guns) and To The Point (my editorial). In addition to that I'm ramrodding three house ads we need to shoehorn into the issue. Lots to do. Got to get moving.

"While reading your blog I saw the email from Gary McLellend representing Old West and his comment regarding TW filling the gap left by WOLA and NOLA. I hope TW will support the new Wild West History Association (WWHA). It's first of six annual Journals will be sent out in late February, 2008. I don't think there will be any gap! We do look forward to working with True West and other organizations in the promotion and preservation of the Wild West genre we all love. Thanks for your support!"
—Kevin Mulkins

Yes, I said as much in my response to the question on Gary's website. In addition, I plugged Roy Young and Chuck Parsons on their individual Journal publications and we are giving WWHA a plug in this coming issue.

As promised, here's more facial and landscape efforts from my daily sketches:

One of these sketches (below) represents the number 5,555 (as in, six a day, since 2005):

And yes, that's a poach from Lon Megargee with the blanket wrapped Native American (bottom).

Meanwhile, I tried to crank up a decent scratchboard based on these sketches and got a decent mood piece called "Mick In Storm." (above).

"This is the golden rule of screenwriting: There is no golden rule."
—Ronald Harwood, screenwriter for "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly"

Monday, January 14, 2008

January 14, 2008 Bonus Blog Post
Paul Cool emailed me and said his new Salt Warriors book is now available from

"Thanks for the plug. The book has done pretty well, on the Top 100 best selling Southwest history books list most days since Dec 31, though of course it fluctuates wildly. (Overall, of course, between 600,000 and 46,000, behind all the self-help books.) The good news is so far this month it has been the top selling not-yet published book on that list, so that's a good harbinger (I hope).

"Best wishes for you and your mangled hand."
—Paul Cool

Meanwhile, my good friend, Sherry Monahan has updated and recreated her website, and she would love to know what you think:

And, I was asked by Gary McLellan of the popular Old West History website if True West is going to fill the gap left by NOLA and WOLA journals. My response is posted at the Old West News section:

The Old West History Net

News From The Front Lines:
"Bob Schrader from Flagstaff called to order your newest book Classic Gunfights, Volume III today. He started reading True West, after seeing an article in the Arizona Republic about you and TW, last Sept or Oct. He is a fan of yours and Marshall’s. Thinks people relate to you because you are down to earth."
—Carole Glenn

I've really been working hard on the facial images for Mickey Free and gang. Here's a sampling, going back to last week:

Nice scarring effects, (above, middle right), but not quite there.

Yes, that's Manga Mick, (above, lower right).

And yes, the blowing hair (above, bottom right) is totally Manga influenced. Ha.

Nice designs, crappy features (above). I'll publish my weekend efforts tomorrow. Gee, I wonder what Ike (I like him) has to say about all this?

"Our real problem is not our strength today; it is the vital necessity of action today to ensure our strength tomorrow."
—Dwight D. Eisenhower
January 14, 2008
After a couple days of warm weather, woke up to a cold wind this morning. Donned my Bob-ushka outfit and trundled out to the spare bike for the gashed-knuckle tour. Peaches was good, although we didn't meet anybody on the road.

Talked with Mike Torres over the weekend about our big, "Exits Exit" gig in Kingman in March. Here's a photo of Mike's band, The Dimensions, with the Paup twins as Go-Go girls, circa 1967. I believe this photo was taken in the Mohave County Union High School Auditorium:

I haven't gotten around to it yet, but I think it would be great to have the Paup twins, Maureen and Coreen, dance at our gig.

Met Deena and Kathy at Chompies for dinner last night, then joined them for a chick flick, The Orphanage. Lots of holes in the story (it's in Spanish): for example, if the kid went into the stair closet and found the downstairs room, why would there be wallpaper over the opening that had to be removed at the end of the movie to gain access? And, by the way, what's with the never-ending endings? Is this the new curse of our age? Movies that just refuse to end, with turn after turn. Makes me long for a film where the guy shrugs and rides off (Shane, The Searchers, The Good, The Bad And The Ugly and about 1,500 other Westerns).

When I brought up the fact that The Orphanage was too long, she retorted, "It was only 110 minutes. I looked it up. So, what did you think of that Jesse James movie that was three hours?" And I replied, "Touche, I guess one person's eternity is another person's flash card."

Worked all weekend on artwork, trying to get one good face. Struggling. Very frustrating. Gee, I wonder what Ralph has to say about this?

"Relish the difficult challenges. They are the ones which will bring the most spectacular results. Take on the tough projects. They carry the biggest opportunity for excellence."
- Ralph Marston

Saturday, January 12, 2008

January 12, 2008 Bonus Blog Post
Here's a review of the film all my friends are talking about:

2007 restored my faith in American period films. Lots of long titles and great material culture as well as highly watchable movies. The most recent, THERE WILL BE BLOOD, (title taken from Exodus 7:19) is no exception. When a move gets the hats correct mysteriously all other elements fall into place (usually). TWBB is at once a bio-pic and an exposition on Capitalism and Religion and the strange uniquely American marriage of the two.

TWBB opens with protagonist Daniel Plainview mining silver by himself, he gets injured and then crawls into town with his ore to the assayer’s office. Following events occur which show us that Plainview moves into oil and adopts an orphan. All sans dialogue. I didn’t time it but would guess it runs about ten or so minutes and we learn everything we need to know about this man and his drive. Off genre by a ways, the opening reminded me of the DAWN OF THE DEAD (2004) opening where we learn everything we need to know for the story with only images.

Plainview, now a successful oil man establishes operations in New Boston, and we see the roughnecks’ camp organized with military streets oriented on the derrick, the object of their worship, just as past centuries martial camps had their colours so situated and venerated. There are several antagonists for Plainview, notably a Pentecostal-influenced Elmer Gantry-like young preacher, Eli Sunday. Sunday’s family owned the land where the oil was discovered by Plainview, and the first salvo fired is when Plainview denies Sunday his invocation at the beginning of the drilling. Another notable protagonist is Plainview’s half-brother (Played by Kevin J. O’Conner who appeared in SERAPHIM FALLS but is most memorable as Beni in THE MUMMY franchise) who shows up and is so seemingly affable and innocent; Plainview brings him into the family business.

Plainview is not the normal corporate fat cat. He is self-made and family oriented almost to a fault. Understanding a young girl is being beaten by her father, Plainview lets him no in a surprisingly delicate way that he will not tolerate this. This tenderness is later overcome by Plainview’s inner-demons, but we are reminded that this is not a cardboard character.

The ending, as with the other endings of the long-titled period films this season is problematic. In NCFOM, if the viewer forgets the story is about Ed Tom, may be confused. Such is the case with TWWB. The story is about Daniel Plainview—a sympathetic and determined, fairly decent man at the beginning who becomes something else by the end.

"Yes, the Western is back, Bigtime."
January 12, 2008
Woke up to a beautiful day. Worked on Mickey Free closeups. Did three, want to do five today.

Top Secret Writer Exchange, Part II
On Wilson's War--you are so damn left wing! Knocking the reds out of Afghanistan brought down the Soviet Union and ended the Cold War. Nice work. So now we are fighting these same Islamic nutcases--so what. First we worked with the Soviets to defeat Hitler and helped create that monster. Just like the French helped us in the Rev and then got their own Rev as a result. You never know what will happen--thats the joy of history. The point now is to finish off Islamic fascism. I could do it--but of course I can't be President. [because the Top Secret Writer is foreign born—German!—and was adopted by an American family and the constitution strictly prohibits "foreign born" history professors from being president, or at least part of that.]

Let's see, we created a vacuum in Afghanistan, armed Osama bin Ladin, left them in the lurch then complain when they turned their guns on us. In the opening of the movie, we see an Islamic kneeling to pray, in silhouette. Prayers over, he stands and brandishes an RPG, turning to point right at the camera, and ta da, just like the cowboy in "The Great Train Robbery", he fires the missile right at the screen. Nobody ducked. We're too jaded toward that gimickry, but it is symbolic in more ways than one, you damn Legal Immigrant, you.

"We f----- the end game."
—Charlie Wilson, quoted at the end of the movie

Friday, January 11, 2008

January 11, 2008 Bonus Blog Post
Just got back from lunch down at the new Marriott Resort near Desert Ridge. Talk about instant lush environment. It's amazing how they truck in the mature trees and foliage and the place looks like it has been there for a half century, rather than the half a year ago when it was raw, flat desert. Met James McPherson of the Arizona Preservation Foundation to talk about our joint efforts. Good guy. He bought.

Ever wonder what the behind-the-scenes correspondence between the Top Secret Writer and myself, looks like? Well, wonder no more. Here is a typical, recent exchange:

January 10, 2008

We saw the Brit flick “Atonement” last weekend and it really jumped around in a non-linear fashion. It appears , Pulp Fiction-style storytelling has entered the mainstream. With that in mind, here is a beginning of the graphic novel I’m toying with:

He sees the village from a blackened, volcanic ridge. Sporadic fires have broached it’s rambling borders, but have not consumed the center. Swirling smoke still eminates from some of the outlying buildings and the pungent smell of seared livestock wafts over the landscape.

As a biting sandstorm sweeps across the the far edge of the village he sees furtive rat-like figures fleeing from the church with their hands full of shiny objects. He guesses at their trajectory, and takes a side street, coming in from behind as two of them round a crumbling adobe corner. Pulling up at the rear of a cantina, Mick warily dismounts, pulling his machete, as he approaches the rear entrance where a flickering light cuts the gloom.

Cut to: the interior of the cantina where an assortment of bandidos and miscreants are sitting at tables drinking out of bottles, with their hooch (stolen goods) spread out in front of them. One of them wears a Rurale uniform, and while he has no swag in front of him, it’s obvious he is condoning, if not profiting from the massive looting of the town.

A cry is heard along with a SL-NNNNNNK, as the head of the portly bandido bounces into the room. Mick wades in with pistol and machete drawn and dispatches most of the bandidos, shooting and slashing as he goes. The Rurale escapes the carnage and gets the drop on Mick, but out from the back room flies a feminine form as Beauty plunges a knife into the Rurale’s back and drops him.

“Damn you Beauty,” Mick says with some digust. “I told you to stay out of

TITLE: 13 Hours Earlier

He sees the twin sunsets floating above the distant peaks of the Sierra Madres, but he knows they are not sunsets because he is heading due south. His relentless range finder takes note of the billowing dust on the far side of the massive dry lake bed. Rarely does he follow a road unless he knew it leads to a place his prey wanted to go.

Dry lake sequence with warning: “Beware those devils left behind.” Mick
trails the Kid across the dry lake, and thru the fire.

TITLE: Three Months Earlier

Escape of the Kid.



BBB: It Only works because you know the story--a bafflement to all others. Reminds me of the beginning (tease) of an old TV western. Of course I started my TV doc on Kit Carson that way (the Mrs White episode) and then flashed back. All this new non-linear filmmaking is simply character driven as opposed to narrative driven. Its not new--think of The High and the Mighty or other disaster flicks where the characters' soap-opera tales are given as the main part of the filmwithin a film while the plane in peril frames it all.

“But it Only works because you know the story--a bafflement to all others.”

Poppycock! We know everything we need to know at this point. Good story
telling is about giving the reader information only when it's necessary.
January 11, 2008

“BBB: Poppycock?!?! Is that some kind of Kingman term? Have you been
watching Bill O'Reilly? Poppycock??”

Yes, it is a Kingman term, translated loosely as, "distinguished opium penis."


BBB: While you busy yourself getting bitten by dogs and seeing art films (which is what "Atonement" is) I took the kids to see "National Treasure". No non- linear structure in that puppy--but its now in its third week at boxoffice #!. The girls all went to see "Juno" as well, which they loved. I want to see "Charlie Wilson's War", but can't find the time.

" Juno" is wonderful (I gave it a 9.5). Really excellent little film with a very satisfying wrap-up (unlike "No Country" and "There Will Be Blood"). "Charlie Wilson's War" really irritated me (I'd give it a 4). Here they try and make us root against the Russians, but every time a Mig is shot down I kept thinking, "Now these same people are shooting at us! Those aren't faceless villains they're shooting down, those are kids like Robert Chenal from Cave Creek who's in Iraq now. Everything Wilson and the CIA did, led directly to 9/11! And they spent $500 million messing it up, and the Saudis matched it! They matched it, with no questions!" And other things, but I won't bore you with them. By the way, "Atonement" has a five-and-a-half minute tracking shot at Dunkirk that is better than anything in "Charlie Wilson's War".

And does anyone wonder why the Top Secret Project is not finished?

"Not me. I knew it from day one."
—J. Waldon, Kingman area president of the Anti-BBB Fan Club
January 11, 2008
Big planning for our first True West Preservation Society party to be held in March. We're still mulling names for the event to be held at the Buffalo Chip. Here are the finalist names we're considering:

• Western Legacy Ball (Trish's favorite)

• Save Our West Swar-EE (Soiree, Meghan's favorite)

• Save Our West Fandango (Dan's favorite)

• True West Preservation Fandango (I like this one because it says our name and has a bit of bite and flair)

• True West Preservation Celebration

• Dust And Roses Ball

• Heritage Stomp

• Bronco Ball

Got Those Lowdown Doghouse Blues
I didn't even go on a bike ride yesterday because of the Amy-Fang-Fest on Wednesday. This morning I brought a leash and went on foot (bike tire is in shop). All the way up the road past Amy's spread, Peaches is lunging and wheezing. Once beyond I took off the leash and let her run. She immediately takes off and sees one of my new neighbors coming out on his bike to pick up the morning paper. He has two dogs with him and Buddy runs up to play. For some reason Peaches didn't go into total attack (she came close) and, after much screaming, I got her leashed. Sigh. I guess the good old days of living out in the Boonies where the dogs can run free are coming to an end. One thing's for certain, that little B---- (inappropriate term) has ruined my morning ritual.

Yesterday, one of my relatives from Thompson, Iowa dropped in. Bonnie (Bell) Kaiser is my father's cousin. She married an FBI agent (he's retired) and they spend their winters at an RV park in Chandler, I believe. Bonnie told me there are about 15 other Thompsonites living out here (Thompson has maybe 800 residents). They brought along a couple from New Jersey who watch me on the Westerns Channel and subscribe to True West. He seemed quite impressed with the operation (I always give visitors the tour).

Got this from my son, T. Charles, who sent this photo of himself teaching a class in Peru:

Not quite sure how he ended up on this path. Gee, I wonder if Anne Frank has anything to say about this?

"Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person's character lies in their own hands."
—Anne Frank

Thursday, January 10, 2008

January 10, 2008
My hand is much better today. Feel awful lucky on the dog-related injury. Here's a couple comments:

"Hey! Hey! Hey!" Defense
"Action and adventure-hell of a bike ride. I have used the 'hey-hey-hey' (no caps-almost whispered) weapon myself, always after I promise myself to buy some of that pepper spray, never have. I hope you heal up-I suppose even today a writer/artist/drummer stills needs his hands. "
—Larry Murphy

"You had me all excited for a few lines thinking you had neighbours with some real charactor. Then my imaginary balloon is pricked by the knowledge they are only DOGS. What a bummer! Next time stay away from the pooches and save your own hide! You run with the dogs you have to act like a dog. Bite back!!"
—Bill Dunn

"BBB: Don't you know by now not to mess with dangerous, snippy bitches??!! This is not acceptable--I have quite an investment in the continued mobility of your hands. Watch it!!"
—Paul Andrew Hutton

Don't worry. I'm going to finish the Mickey Free project if I have to draw with a pencil stuck in my nose!

On a related note, the Arizona Republic has asked me to post my blog on their site. When I posted yesterday's blog, their automated censor-bot changed "bitches" to (inappropriate term). Funny how words go in and out of fashion. Apparently it's still okay to bash "Men," as this Honkytonk Sue from 1991 shows:

Although we'll see when I post this over there today. Ha.

And, by the way, here's a shot of the Hualapai Mountains south of Kingman covered in snow. I took these two photos several years ago at Coyote Pass (and just found them looking for something else):

Still struggling with a clean way to illustrate Mickey Free. Have some so-so sketches from yesterday, but I still feel confident. Gee, I wonder if Horace has anything to say about that?

"He who has begun has half done. Dare to be wise: begin!"

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

January 9, 2008
Worked up copy for the next Classic Gunfights, utilizing Robert Alexander's excellent book Lawmen, Outlaws, And S.O.Bs., Volume II. We're going to do the Steins Pass attempted train robbery by the Black Jack Ketchum Gang on December 9, 1897. My mother's family has lots of history at Steins and my great-grandfather, Henry Guess, is buried there.

Went home for lunch and painted on stagecoach commission. I'm painting in oils for the first time in a long time (1991). I forgot how nice it is to rub and blend. Oils are so pliable.

Meanwhile, here's another couple scratchboards for consideration to be included in the Black And White book:

Nice ethnic effects on this Native American farmer. I really like his lower lip and chin. Very subtle and accurate (for a change). The second sratchboard is of a store clerk (below), which I created to illustrate the Tombstone census count which ran in Classic Gunfights, Volume II. Good beard and fabric. Poached from an old west photo, perhaps in the Time-Life Old West series:

"Through imagination, we can visualize the uncreated worlds of potential that lie within us."
—Stephen R. Covey
January 9, 2008
Typing with a sore right hand. File this one under:

Went for my daily bike ride at about 7:30. Beautiful day, nippy and damp, but not too cold. On the way back down the road I saw Nikki and Amy, two neighborhood bitches hanging around the Ratcliff driveway. Peaches really hates Amy, but she normally is a coward and runs through cholla patches to avoid running into her face to face. When we got closer, I saw Peaches run through a rain puddle to get away as Amy came out to challenge her. Peaches cut across Muffy's property, then came back out on the road with Amy giving chase. After about a twenty yard run, Peaches stopped, turned and went right for Amy's throat, throwing her down with a choke hold and ripping back and forth like a, well, a wild dog. I came up on the bike brandishing my usual weapon of choice, the big, loud, "Hey! Hey! Hey!"

No one listened, and now Buddy runs in, "Hey, let's play!" and Nikki comes in as well, I don't want to reach in there because I just know I'll get bit, so I ram my bike tire at Peaches' mouth, attempting to dislodge Peaches, but Amy bites my front tire and it immediately goes flat (that should have been clue number one: do not reach in!). But, of course, I reach in, and Amy bites me right on the right hand. I manage to separate the two and grab Peaches by the collar and pull her free. She seems calm, so I let her go and she runs betweens my legs and attacks Amy again. I'm holding my bloody paw, I mean hand, and I kick them free this time and grab Peaches by the collar and hold her for about three minutes until Amy can retreat to her corner.

Both dogs seem to be okay, but my bike's front tire is history and I've got to go to the Doctor's office and get a tetanus shot.

Just got back from Doctor Voelker's. Turns out I had a tetanus shot last year (they're good for ten years). I was lucky on the puncture wound, as it missed my knuckle by about a quarter inch and the doc told me if Amy had punctured the knuckle they would have had to go in and clean it out. Whew! Had a $20 co-pay and I'm going to be on anti-biotics for a week or two and a new tube and tire is going to run about $50. So that was a $150 bike ride. Ha.

"Dog gone it, dogs like me!"
—Al Franken

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

January 8, 2008 Bonus Blog Post
Buddy Boze Hatkiller treed a bobcat on the bike ride this morning. I saw him up ahead, near Rockaway Hills, circling a tree and looking up. When I got within 50 yards I saw the big cat high up in a palo verde giving him the evil eye. Can't say I wasn't proud of the wayward New Yorker, but I turned around and called to him to come along home. Fortunately, he obeyed (a first!) and sauntered along with that look on his face that said, "I cornered a cat. . .I cornered a big cat."

Here's another shot of the Exits, circa 1966, at the National Guard Armory in Kingman. Bandmates are, lower row, left to right: Charlie Waters and Wendell Havatone; second row, Wayne Rutchsman and Steve Burford; top, BBB.

By this stage of the game we were making a cool $25 a man and our songlist included such monumental hits as "Steppin' Out," by Paul Revere And The Raiders" and "Snoopy And The Red Baron, by The Royal Guardsmen.

Actually, though, the number one request we got from our standing only crowds was this:

And speaking of the Exits, got this today:

"BBB, you should make it an open event, It would be worth the drive to Kingman."
—Kip Coryea

Kip, you've got your wish. We are going to do two nights at the Old Elks Club in downtown Kingman on Friday, March 21 and then Saturday night, March 22. The Friday night gig will be styled as "Mike Torres And Friends" and we will be jamming for fun and profit (open to the public). Saturday night will be the "Exits Exit" and is for family and friends only (hint: if you read this blog and are actually willing to drive to Kingman, you qualify as a friend of mine).

"Simplicity of character is the natural result of profound thought."
—William Hazlitt
January 8, 2008
Woke up to a jolting headline over the breakfast table. One of those where you blurt out, "Oh, no!" when no one else is even in the room: Ron Bergamo, of KSAZ TV was killed in a head-on traffic accident coming home from Prescott yesterday. Happened east of Prescott Valley, when a car going the other way veered across the center stripe and struck his car. Ron's wife, Jane, is in critical but stable condition after being flown to Good Sam in Phoenix. Ron ran Channel 10 when our radio station, KSLX was bought by the same chain that owned them. We shared many a laugh together. He attended U of A, so we had the Cats in common and every time I saw him we dissected the problems in all sports. I had lunch with him about six months ago to talk about doing a True West show for KSAZ. He was 64.

This morning, I got this from Pierre O'Rourke, who knew Ron well: "When I introduced him to Willie Nelson on the famed bus, as soon as they shook hands, the legendary singer offered a ‘smoke’ to Ron who politely thanked him and declined. What some did not hear was, that after shaking hands, Willie hugged me and whispered in my ear, 'It’s in his eyes and hands. There’s a man you can trust. Keep him around you.' I did my best, and regret we didn’t get to that lunch in last December."

I was just on that stretch of highway in November when the Top Secret Writer and I were in Prescott, so I know it well. The road between Dewey and Cordes Junction has always made me nervous, because you have highway speeds going through small towns where people pull out from side roads.

It certainly does give one cause for pause. Gee, I wonder what Nikita has to say about this?

"Life is short. Live it up."
—Nikita Krushchev

Monday, January 07, 2008

January 7, 2008
Rained all night. Really soaked out. Clear out now (3:20 P.M.) but it really came down about 11 this morning. Ken Amorosano is in town so he, and the Brinks and I, went down to Tonto for lunch and the wash at Grapevine was closed. Of course the big clue was the TV helicopter hovering over the area, which is always an easy way to determine if the washes are running. Ha.

Would John Kinney Lie Like A Rug?
"As for where he was born--of course he would lie. First he was a criminal, so he lied about everything. Seceondly he lied so he could be an American citizen and not another Mick immigrant. He lied for the same reason that Phil Sheridan lied (on three sworn federal documents and in his memoirs). Hell, I should have lied, then I could be President!"
—Paul Andrew Hutton

As previously mentioned, Charlie Waters and I are planning a farewell gig in Kingman, styled as "The Exits Exit." In 1964 (the year the Beatles invaded), we landed a slot as "entertainment" at the Arizona State Fair in Phoenix, and the Arizona Republic ran a photo of our band, the Exits all decked out in our almost-matching-uniforms. The photo was taken by Dick Waters (Charlie's father), who published The Mohave County Miner newspaper in Kingman and had a professional camera (think big box camera with the bar flash, a la True Detective). This shot was taken in my parent's living room on Ricca Drive (note my high school class photo on edge of coffee table, at left).

Why they styled me as "Bobby Bell" I'll probably never know. My mother went by Bobbi Bell, but I never was called that. The actual gig was in the Teen Building, a small, delapidated affair near the front gate of the State Fairgrounds, with a dirt floor dressing room that was a step down from my current chicken coop (maybe five feet wide, more of a lean-to shed on the back of the building). I remember the manager (or was he the janitor?) of the building coming backstage and telling us, "Better keep these two end doors closed. We had a knifing in here yesterday." Ah, that was my welcome to the "big" city.

"I want to hold your hand."
—Bobby Bell to Bobbi Bell at the Fairgrounds in 1964

Deena and her boyfriend Frank came out yesterday afternoon for football and tacos. Made a big fire in the living room fireplace and snuggled in. First NFL game I have watched this year. After tacos we played a word game. Really fun. Nice to have kids who are grown and act like adults.

Struggling with too many deadlines and not enough progress. I really tend to get down on myself and the more I do it the more I get stuck. Had a good therapy session with my shrink yesterday afternoon. Felt good to lay out my troubles and concerns. Kathy, I mean my shrink, had some good advice, essentially, the same as Ms. Hendrick's advice:

"A workable measure of your progress is how fast you can get free when you are stuck and how many ways you know to get free."
—Kathlyn Hendricks

Saturday, January 05, 2008

January 5, 2008 Bonus Blog Post
In response to the gent from Omaha who had the info on outlaw leader John Kinney (see Jan. 3 post):

Kinney (Or Can't He?)
Your Omaha Mesenbrink must be related to the Dorothy Mesenbrink of Denison, Iowa who I contacted back in 1994 or so about the origins of John Kinney. No reason to suppose he'd make all that up about Ireland, but surely the "Potato War" was part of the Wars of Bavarian Succession in the 1770s -- perhaps he means the Irish potato famine of 1845-1852? As for John Kinney's having been born in Ireland, I can only say that's not what he told the U S Government when he applied for a pension. He claimed to have been born in Hampshire, Massachusetts in May, 1847 although no such place exists in that state. His obituaries said the same thing. Hampshire County, MA yielded plenty of Kinneys but none where the names of known siblings coincided. It's not impossible that Mr. Mesenbrink is right, but why would Kinney have had any reason to lie about his birthplace?

According to Kinney's grandson George Linn, Kinney was the son of carpenter John Kinney and his wife Mary Ellen (Hoar) who was Irish. The family tradition was that John died when the children were quite young (there were eight or nine of them) but the cause of his death was unknown. Mr. Mesenbrink might like to take a look at my two-part study of "Boss Rustler" Kinney in the September and October, 1996 issues of TW. I wouldn't claim it was definitive (I know better than that) but it was pretty thorough.

Love to Kathy,

—Fred Nolan
January 5, 2008
Cloudy and cool. Started sprinkling at about 11:30 this morning. Went out to toss an apple core into the chicken coop and noticed the silent pool ripples.

Went up to Bashas' after work last night and bought groceries ($85, plus $20 cash back). Came home and made spaghetti. Kathy got home late and we watched a bit of the 24/7 coverage of the latest Britney Spears meltdown. I'll give her one thing: she sure is a cute mess, as opposed to say, Kenya or Pakistan.

Fiction By Omission
Read with interest in this morning's Arizona Republic that Pistol Pete Maravich died 20 years ago today. Pete was one of my basketball heroes, making show-boat, ridiculous shots with ease. He averaged 44.2 points a game in college. Yes, I said "average." In the NBA he once scored 68 against the Knicks in 1977 and three weeks later against the Phoenix Suns, after five of his teammates were injured in a taxi cab traffic accident at Third Street and Thomas, Pistol Pete came into the Coliseum with only seven players and single-handedly beat the Suns, scoring 51. "We couldn't stop him," former suns coach John Macleod remembered. "We double-teamed him. Tried to prevent him from getting the ball. Nothing worked." Alvin Adams, of the Suns said, "That night, Pistol Pete beat an NBA team all by himself."

My beef with the piece is that it skims over the rest of his life, mentioning "he gave his life to Jesus Christ," but fails to mention Pete had nasty problems with cocaine, dying of a heart attack at age 40 (cocaine abuse, of course, can lead to a weak heart). If you didn't know the real story you would conclude by this article, that Pistol Pete Maravich's life ended on a happy note.

To me this would be like summing up Custer's demise with, "in the last hour of George's life, he found religion." Yes, I'm sure he did—among other things—maybe worth mentioning.

" In each action we must look beyond the action at our past, present and future state, and at others whom it affects, and see the relations of all those things. And then we shall be very cautious."
—Blaise Pascal

Friday, January 04, 2008

January 4, 2008 Bonus Blog Post
Picked up a big bag of Scratch chicken feed ($11 plus $1 tip), at Black Mountain Feeds on my lunch hour. Went home for lunch today and finished culling the 75 black and white illustrations for Kathy's book project (she and Theresa at Tri Star will choose the finals). Here's two of my nominations:

Road Rage In Front of The Heatwave Cafe, 1986

This illustration was based on a photo I took circa, 1976, in Tucson. We were doing an article "A Guide To The Gritzos" about funky Mexican food in Arizona, and this was for The Razz Revue. I pulled over on South Fourth Avenue and took a photo right out the window of my Ford Pinto, of Mi Nidito, I think it was, and the resulting photo had my Pinto side mirror in it, with a beer truck going the other way. I changed the logo to an A-1 Beer logo for nostalgia's sake and converted Mi Nidito into the Heatwave Cafe, a fictitious place I made up, which is actually based on Froggy Bottom, a legendary cafe-brothel, north of Buckeye. It's no longer there.

The second image is a look at aging Baby Boomers (the button on his leather jacket says, "Class of '65"). I did this for New Times in about 1990:

This image might work well with our upcoming, proposed farewell band gig ("The Exits Exit") which Charlie Waters, Johnny Waters, Mike Torres and I are planning for March 22 at the Old Elks Hall in Kingman. We're inviting all the old pickers and players, Vern Andrews, Arnold D, Steve Burford, Wayne Rutschman, Terry Anderson, Steve Paroni and Gordon Smith for one more set, in honor of bandmate Wendell Havatone (he passed a couple years ago). It's going to be an intimate affair with just our old friends and family. And hey, it's in Kingman, so what could possibly go wrong?

"Do you think anyone actually cares whether you can still play Wipeout?"
—J. Waldon, Kingman Area BBB Anti-Fan Club President
January 4, 2008
Never fails: been writing 2007 for the past two days on my blog and in my sketchbook. Sigh. So damn stupid and predictable.

Had dinner last night at Earl's on Frank Lloyd Wright and the 101 with fellow Hat Nazis, Rusty York and Thom Ross. Thom had an art opening in Scottsdale and we got together to talk about all things Western. Ross has a big Indians on the Beach Show coming up next September in San Francisco. It's based on a famous photo of Buffalo Bill and his Indian performers posing on the beach. Thom expects to have over a hundred cut-out images for the performance piece (similiar to his Little Big Horn performance several years ago, mounted right on the battlefield, on Crow land).

After dinner they went down to the show and I went to see the last sneak of There Will Be Blood (it opens today). The opening of the movie is spectacular with Daniel Day-Lewis in a silver mine. No dialogue, just riveting images of him using a pick, setting fuses on a bunch of dynamite, breaking his leg, painfully crawling out with his ore sample. Brilliant exposition on his character without a word of dialogue! And oh, the landscape (Marfa, Texas) and the costuming and mining equipment is dead-on accurate to the times (turn of the twentieth century). Then comes a slew of the best hats I've ever seen in a Western themed movie. I'm not joking (Hey, I'm a Hat Nazi!) I mean, the main hat Daniel Plainview (Lewis) wears is just about the best ever: brown job with pencil curl and haphazard dents in crown (see examples, below).

Plainview had a kid with him (below, left) who he claimed was his son (don't want to spoil a plot point) and I read this morning that the Casting Director Cassandra Kulukundis shunned the usual Hollywood precious types and drove around Texas, finally finding a kid in Fort Davis, Texas named Dillon Freasier who knows how to shoot shotguns.

Believe it or not, I got a call in the spring of 2006, asking if I would audition for a part in the film (they saw my photo, top) and I thought about it, but ultimately decided I had no business being an actor (I have a hard enough time pretending to be an artist). In retrospect, I'm glad I didn't get caught up in the tornado of trying to audition for a part in the film, because I heard that they had to fire one guy and refilm a whole bunch of scenes because the poor guy was getting blown off the set by Daniel Day's intensity. I have a sneaky hunch, that even if I had gotten the part, I would have been humiliated by Lewis blowing me off the set in spite of my substantial resume ("Hey, I was the second lead in Arsenic And Old Lace in high school!").

The mining and oil rig stuff was just amazing and delightful for a history nut like myself. Lots of big action and small attention to detail. The little railroad siding town of Little Boston, was dusty, forlorn and perfect.

When I got home late, Kathy was in bed and she said, "How was it?" and I said, "Great hats, bad ending." She laughed at my absurd value system, but she understood the short review.

Here's Daniel Day in a bowler. Ain't that a sweet lid?

The first half of the film is just about perfect. Really strong story. But then, it kind of goes off the tracks at the end. It seemed overcooked to me. They had me, and they made their point long before the long, drawn-out ending. But hey, what do I know? I'm just a hat Nazi.

"'There Will Be Blood' is a masterpiece; Daniel Day-Lewis' performance as a ruthless oilman is without flaw. That doesn't mean it's easy to watch."
—Bill Goodykoontz, who gives the film five stars in The Arizona Republic

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Janauary 3, 2007 Bonus Blog Post
Got this in just now. Had to post:

"Hey Boze, I read on the internet yesterday where a Cave Creek man got bucked off and mauled by his pet buffalo - does Buddy Boze Hatkiller have an alibi?"

No. Of course not. Been talking to Law Dogs all morning.
January 3, 2007
Just got a call from Jim Mesenbrink from Omaha, Nebraska who claims to be related to outlaw John Kinney. Jim claims that the New Mexican gang leader was born in Ireland, how he came to America at age 15. His father was in the Potato War and they hung him on the dock as the family was leaving for America. Jim told me to tell this to Fred Nolan and I assured him I would. Fred?

Feedback On Beasty Voyages
"I'm surprised how often you visit the so-called 'beast'. You either don't gave a 'D' about traffic or the food is awfully good!"
—Bill Dunn

Actually, most of the restaurants mentioned in my Sue chronicle in yesterday's post, are in Cave Creek, or the foothills, which is north of the Beast. But it is true, that the Beast is coming out to meet us. We had a pretty woman in yesterday looking for a job and she commented on how "small town" Cave Creek is. But every day it becomes less and less so as Phoenix and Scottsdale sprawls out to overrun the area.

Need to catch you up on my Mickey Free efforts. Did a sketch, based on a logo I saw in the SASS Chronicle, of the Mickster, flying high on his mule. Did about ten versions of it, here are two:

By the way, according to author David Michaelis, Charles Schulz's ex-wife, Joyce, raises mules. Ha. Too funny. She is also quoted by a New York Times reporter who tracked her down after the publishing of the Schulz And Peanuts book, saying, "I'm not talking to anybody about anything." The reporter makes the case that this sounds like something Lucy would say. Ha. Too true, although, I must admit, I really like and admire her. To some she may come off as a bitch and the heavy ("poor Sparky!!"), but I know a thing or two about the Saints who put up with cartoonist behavior! ha.

Meanwhile, here is what my sketchbook looks like lately:

Contrived Doodles # 5,454
Meandering on style and technique. By the way, that's Spike, the Silkie Rooster, bottom, right:

I really need to knuckle down and get Mickey Free ready for the big screen. I kind of see the Mickey Free movie as a summer event. Gee, I wonder if box-office-champ Will Smith (I Am Legend) has anything to say about this?

“Summer movies are about things that happen, and fall movies are bout how people respond to things that happen.”
—Will Smith