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
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