Thursday, November 13, 2008

November 13, 2008
Still busy with snow scenes. Posting all of this work prompted this question:

On Nov 13, 2008, at 1:45 AM, Huffines, Alan C COL MNC-I Red Team wrote:
“Why are you doing all this Kid stuff? Aren't you trying to finish a
graphic novel on Mickey?”

We are waiting to see if any publisher picks up the project as a book. If someone does they will no doubt have modifications: drop this, don't do that, do more of this. The 20-page excerpt was just that, a treatment of the story with a sampling of graphics. So, when someone picks it up, I'll finish the GN. In the meantime, I'm moving on and launching a graphic novel department in True West to highlight other characters and stories I have always wanted to do (funny what a heart attack will do to your motivation). El Kid is one of them. The Mexicali Stud is also on the short list, as is The First 47 Loves of A Soiled Dove: The Pearl Hart Story.

Speaking of the Kid, here’s Fred’s Hilarious Reply to Yesterday’s Question:
“My dear fellow, are you mad? Do you think I, ten years your senior and six times more decrepit, am any better than you at carrying the complete text of every book and every anecdote ever written about or connected with the Kid in my head? I will be honest with you (and I do not make that promise to everyone) and say I cannot recall ever --ever --encountering that cowboy story you mention.

“I recall a scene in Cal Polk's memoirs where they had to get a wagon that went through the ice out of a river, a task that involved first, drawing straws to see who had to get into the water, then those two cutting a 'road' through the ice, pushing the cut ice under the uncut ice, fixing a rope to the wagon, then throwing it to the other boys who hauled the wagon out, with the two still in the water pushing from the back. I recall a story of Siringo's where one of the boys jumped into the Pecos fully clothed yelling "Hurrah for Billy the Kid!" but nothing, nothing like the tale you wish to tell. You may find this disappointing, but to me it is a revelation and a blessing to know that I am not anally retentive after all.

“There are something over a thousand Kid books out there, mi amigo, and I wish you joy of reading or re-reading all of them to locate that yarn. Maybe you would do better to call upon your vast army of blog readers to see if any of them can place it. One thing is for sure: I cannot.

“Mother of mercy, is this the end of [Frede] Rico?”

—Frederick Nolan

And, we got this letter today:

"Just a short note of appreciation on the Nov./Dec. issue. It could possibly be your best edition in a couple years! (And that is really saying something). The graphic "Novella" about Mickey Free was not only entertaining and intriguing but a thought provoking 'page turner.'

"I did have one question thought concerning what I thought was one of the few undisputed facts of Tom Horn's early life. Scotland Co., Missouri was where I thought he was born and where at age 14 or so he left home to go West. Never had I heard of the Memphis, Tn. connection other than a possible place he visited or passed thru while on his way West. Can you clear up my confusion on this point?"
—Eric A. Graf, Fort Wayne, Indiana

I'm checking with Paul Hutton and Larry Ball (who is writing a new Tom Horn bio) about this, but I have a hunch I may have pulled this out of my ass at the last minute to fill a blank space (which I often do).

Yep. Just heard from Hutton: "BBB: It came out of your ass, and you did the pulling. PH"

Still scanning images for the Spirit of The West program. Here is one of my favorite photos of Ed Mell and I. I think Ralph Rippe took this photo at our shared art studio in the mid-eighties. Ralph took our photo standing next to each other (and one of those shots, author Don Hagerty used in his bio-art book on Ed Mell), then after a dozen photos or so, Ralph wondered what Ed would look like in my hat. Ed took my hat, put it on and made a goofy face. I look quite thrilled with the look as well. Ha.

Another photo has a pretty amazing backstory. In 1984 I took my family back to Iowa to visit my Norwegian farmer relatives and on the way we stopped at an antique store in a small town east of Dodge City, Kansas. Browsing around I found a three-piece suit from an estate dating back to the late 1890s. I always need artistic reference to put on models so I bought it for $30. When I got home, I discovered it fit me like it was custom made. Ralph Rippe also took this photo:

"The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones."
- John Maynard Keynes

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