According to the Hollywood Reporter "Westerns are hot this year." In addition to Jonah Hex (Josh Brolin) coming out next spring, FX is "saddling up for Reconstruction, a period Western set in a Missouri town during the post-Civil War Reconstruction era and centers on Jason, a proper East Coast gentleman who returns from the war a changed man and seeks refuge in a border state."
The producers, Joshua Brand and Peter Horton, evidently came up with the premise when discussing the economic crisis and the situation in the Middle East, including war-ravaged Iraq. "We thought a good way to tell the story would be through the allegory of the Western," Horton said.
I've also heard through the grapevine that Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian is going into production and is schedule to be released sometime in 2011.
Speaking of contemporary Westerns, the Autry National Center in LA is hosting an installation called "Whatever happened to Ennis del Mar?" Ennis, of course, was the Heath Ledger character in the controversial gay cowboy flick Brokeback Mountain. The Autry will be recognizing "the contributions of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community to the American West."
This series Out West (get it? Out of the closet) is scheduled to take place over the next twelve months, will feature Western scholars, authors, artists, politicians, musicians, and friends of Western LGBTs in discussions and gallery talks at the Autry. Programs currently being considered examine LGBT Native Americans, LGBT rodeo culture, LGBT political strides including the struggle for marriage equality, and LGBT contributions to the Western arts.
“'What Ever Happened to Ennis del Mar?' is the first program in the Out West series. When Gene Autry issued his ten-point 'Cowboy Code' in the 1940s, he could not have anticipated the story of Ennis del Mar and Jack Twist, but the messages of tolerance, fairness, and integrity the Code promotes speak to the acceptance for which the Brokeback Mountain characters longed." Their story is the departure point for this first discussion which is scheduled for December 13.
Some have asked why there wasn't a lesbian counterpart to Brokeback Mountain and someone sent me this broadside:
How You Know You Are Still a Republican? if you are more upset about Brokeback Mountain than Abu Ghraib.
Still working out the kinks in the Blazing Pols cover illustration. Did a tight rough scratchboard yesterday at lunchtime:
Need to ground the elephant a bit more and bring out his suit of clothes a bit more. Also, need to spend some time on the gun hands. Want them to be a bit more accurate and stylish. On the home stretch, hope to finish tonight.
"Watch what people are cynical about and one can often discover what they lack."
—George S. Patton