Friday, April 03, 2009

April 3, 2009
I often cast characters in my graphic novels based on an old fashioned cattle call. I go through my many Old West photo books and look for a type to match the character. Case in point:

In the Mickey Free story, the Apache Kid comes into San Carlos after killing a man he believed was responsible for his father's death. At around five o'clock on June 1, 1887 the Kid and other scouts came riding in. As Phyllis de la Garza puts it in her excellent book, The Apache Kid, "Tired, guilty, nervous, the sullen group approached headquarters while other scouts in camp, Agency employees, and military personnel watched with much interest since the absence of the scouts had been the 'big talk' around the place for nearly a week."

A blacksmith, Edward Arhelger, formerly of Texas, turned to Frank Porter, the farm boss, and said, "Frank, that looks like old times. I believe we're going to have some fun here tonight."

Oh, did they ever. As a result of the melee that followed, Chief of Scouts Al Sieber ended up crippled for life from a wound he believed the Apache Kid was responsible for.

So, to set up this scene in the graphic novel, my cattle call is for two grizzled men, one a blacksmith and the other the "farm boss" at San Carlos. Here are the first seven candidates:

The trick, as I see it, is not to do Gabby Hays, or the cliche Hollywood townsman. And, I want good hats on both of them. I kind of dig the cap for the blacksmith and the farm boss probably is going to be wearing something similiar to the guy at top, or the guy below him, at right (the Teddy Roosevelt looking guy).

"Persistence plus failure equals success."
—Mitchell B. Huhem

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