September 27, 2008
Had kind of a poignant morning. Drove down to Mike Melrose's apartment with Kathy to meet Mike's brother Tim who flew out from Iowa to clear out his brother's apartment. Tim asked me if I wanted any of Minnesota Mike's Western collection so we went down and had a look see.
Mike had some good art and some of mine (ha), lots of True West back issues and even a Buck Taylor print. Took those, and also took the Steve McQueen "Tom Horn" movie poster and a Lon Megargee "Cowboy's Dream" poster.
I was going through some of my Mickey Free reference files last night and I found a bunch of photos of my staff at the magazine, stuck in amongst some Fort Apache shots (on the same roll evidently). Here's a candid photo of Mike, taken maybe two years ago. He seems to be thinking, "This could all end very quickly." Of course, hindsight is 20/20, but the guy was sitting on my couch helping me to recover last April and now he's gone. Yikes!
Worked most of the day on an image of Major Bullis, who replaced Captain Pierce at San Carlos and is kind of a villain in our Mickey Free story. He made radical changes on the res using mostly Buffalo Soldiers to do the grunt work. I wanted to portray him as the new army so I borrowed one of those WWI caps officers started wearing I believe around the turn of the century. I also wanted to give him a twentieth century look, sort of the anti-Remington idea of a cavalry officer. Here he is pontificating to Mickey Free, whose on horseback, or should that be mule back, (you can see his reflection in the window):
I spent part of the morning trying to find the right photo reference to portray him as a bad guy. I found a couple old illustrations from Century Magazine (1904) but they were too civil. Then I found the right reference:
"If you're going to steal, steal from the best."
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