Monday, March 31, 2014

The Backseat Performer

March 31, 2014
   Okay, here we are 90 days in, and I'm still trying to trade up on images. Worked this weekend on sketch ideas for a sidebar I did on putting on plays for the people behind us on the road.

   Got up this morning and whipped a little panorama painting from the POV of the car behind us:

Daily Whipout, "The Backseat Performer"

   A little more subtle, although Dan H. thinks the three question marks are not needed. What do you think?

"If someone ever accused me of being a hypocrite, I think I just would pretend it didn't bother me."
—Jack Handy

Saturday, March 29, 2014


March 29, 2014
  A year ago I was standing on the beach at Rota, Spain when I had my epiphany about Route 66. Kathy took a photograph of me contemplating the Columbus boy's journey and then seeing the Route 66 Bar behind me on the beach. It ended up in "The 66 Kid" and is a very cool photo.

Meanwhile, the University of Arizona Wildcats play Wisconsin today and one of the main guys we are counting on is TJ McConnell, the dude on the right:

That's T. Bell in the center and Gabe York on the left. We accidentally ran into them last December while going to get our tickets upgraded at McKale Center in Tucson.

  Meanwhile, I'm trying to find a mention of the University of Arizona in The New York Times and by their coverage you wouldn't even know we were in the tournament. If, per chance, we make it to the final game I have a hunch how the NYTimes will handle the headline:


Worked most of today on getting atmospheric conditions right for a Little League night under the lights in Kingman, Arizona, circa 1959. A couple of the cars could be better but that traffic on 66 in the background is pretty accurate.


"Clear your mind. Overcome your fear. Be daring."
—Damn good advice from Ron Mann, Comic Book Confidential

Friday, March 28, 2014

We All Helped Skin Bob

March 28, 2014
   Well, this is quite interesting. We handed in "The 66 Kid" a week ago today, and here we are a week later, still working on it. Making tweaks, clearing quotes (spent two hours yesterday just providing the location of quotes in "On The Road" for Penguin's approval and clearance). I'm now actually somewhat sorry I even used the quotes. Not sure I even need them.

   Speaking of quotes, yesterday I was cleaning out the piles of reference photos for the book, that are in my office and ran across my old news folder which I used on KSLX 100.7 FM in the eighties and early nineties. Found a slew of old quotes, I pulled off the wire and other places. Love these:

"If I had a mine shaft, I don't think I would just abandon it. There's got to be a better way."
—Jack Handy

Or, this one:

"I guess we were all guilty in a way. We all shot him, we all skinned him, and we all got a complimentary bumper sticker that said, "I helped skin Bob.'"
—Jack Handy

Still noodling sketches for my Little League memories:

Daily Whipout, "HEYBATTAHBATTAH! II: (plus, we all helped skin Bob, by Sterling Hayden)

   And here's one that hits close to home:

"There is many a good man to be found under a shabby hat."
—Old Vquero Saying

   And one for the road:

Daily Whipout, "Shiprock Hitcher"

"Misquotations are the only quotations that are never misquoted."
—Hesketh Pearson

Thursday, March 27, 2014


March 27, 2014
   Spent the last couple days working on a chapter opening for "The 66 Kid":

Daily Sketches, "HEYBATTAHBATTAH!"

   My memories of playing right field at the Kingman Little League Park, circa 1959. I'd like to get a view from outside the outfield fence where all the parents parked in their cars:

With a big Ford parked next to the right-field fence.


   Came out a little too green. There wasn't a blade of grass within two miles of our park.

"Little League is good because it keeps parents off the streets."
—Yogi Berra

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

They Had Jugs They Needed Iced!

March 26, 2014
   Still noodling Jugs Iced Free images. Whipped this out this morning before coming into work:

Daily Whipout, "Jugs Iced Free, Number Three"

   Got inspired by a Noire poster book and came up with this header: They Had Jugs They Needed Iced! And I was the Kid to ice them. Added a background to an earlier take:

Daily Whipout, "Jugs Iced Free For Ms. Lollabrigida"

"Gina Lollabrigida wasn't built in a day."
—Jimmy Durante

Monday, March 24, 2014

Billy Logas Blows The Doors Off A Boulder City Chevy

March 24, 2014
   So funny that we turned in the last signature of "The 66 Kid" last Friday and here it is the next Monday and I'm still slaving away at corrections, redesign and adding more paintings. Worked all morning on corrections, then went home for lunch and whipped out this little painting:

Daily Whipout, "Billy Logas Blows The Doors Off A Boulder City Chevy."

Looks like I may be working another five or six days on hangouts and trade-ups (trying to do better paintings for weak spreads).

"Whatever it is that hits the fan will not be evenly distributed."
—Billy Logas

Saturday, March 22, 2014

When Do I Drink A Dos Equis?

March 22, 2014
  We handed in Signature 12 of "The 66 Kid" yesterday at about three. After 12 weeks and 12 photos of Command Central and 12 cups of coffee, it's time for a little celebratory XX.

Command Central at 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 22, 2014

"I don't always finish my books on time, but when I do I drink a Dos Equis."

Friday, March 21, 2014

Yes, We All Grew Up A Little Bent

March 21, 2014
   Hard to believe, but here we are at the end of 12 weeks of deadlines. Worked all morning trying to find room for the final photos and quotes. Sue, you will be happy to know we were able to squeeze in the wedding photo, plus this one:

And, of course, this one:

On The Road to Fatherhood
   In 1984, I finally steered our Ford van in the direction of Billy the Kid's grave. Here we are at a Fina gas station just north of Socorro, New Mexico. Two eager toe-heads, Tommy, 2, and Deena, 4, were already seasoned road travelers. It had taken me 27 years, but I finally got to stop the car at the lonely grave of the Kid outside Fort Sumner, New Mexico. My kids were not that impressed.

   And here's a quote I'm trying to find room for, because it sums up the fascination with Route 66 from across the pond:

Like Being In A Movie
 "Growing up in Northern Ireland, Route 66 always had a special place in my mind. I grew up enchanted with the movies set on that road such as 'The Grapes of Wrath', 'Thelma & Louise' and of course 'Easy Rider'.  I made a vow to someday travel to America and see it for myself. Route 66 is the fantasy road, leading to Hollywood and the most beautiful women in the world. Eventually in 2005 I moved to Arizona and was able to drive the road for myself. To this day, whenever I see a road sign for Los Angeles, I feel like I'm in a movie."
—Bryan Black

   And it looks like Dan The Man has found room for this wonderful quote on the very last page:

"We all grew up on Route 66 and we are all a little bent."
—Trudy Peart


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Bypassed And Left Behind

March 20, 2014
   Went home for lunch and whipped out the last painting of the last signature:

Daily Whipout, "Bypassed!"

   "We went chasing ghosts until the ghosts chased us," is the subhead. I've lived long enough to witness the passing of two or three phases of Western migration and development. Somewhat depressing. Ha.

   Meanwhile, as I mentioned earlier, I don't have room for some pictures I certainly would like to run, like this one:

July 28, 1979, Pioneer, Arizona

Or this one, of my grandmother Minnie making cookies. She, of course, is half of the inspiration for "Not-So-Gentle Tamer" and it's such a sweet photo. To think of her snapping the necks off of chckens is a vision to behold!

We have a couple days to try and shoe horn in some more stuff, so maybe it will make it in. How confident am I of this? I'd like to say I'm as confident as Angel:

"If a horse has four legs and I'm riding it, I think I can win."

 —Angel Cordero Jr.

The King of The Kingman Quarter Mile

March 20, 2014
   Finally getting around to one of the bigger legends of Mohave County when I was growing up. This Cat had the fastest cars in three states and he proved it night after night out on Stockton Hill Road.

Daily Whipout, "The King of The Kingman Quarter Mile: Billy Logas"

   I'm also wrestling with all the things I wanted to get in the book and now I'm out of space! To go from worrying about having enough to cutting some mighty fine images is just heartbreaking, but here I am at the end of the road. Final Signature (12) goes out the door tomorrow.

"If you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want, and all that is left is a compromise."
—Robert Fritz

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Are We There Yet?

March 19, 2014
  Dan The Man turned in Signature 11 of "The 66 Kid" last Friday and here I am at Command Central this morning looking at the last 10 pages.

Command Central at six a.m. with first cup of coffee, at right.

Are We There Yet?
  Lots of hangouts but it is going to wrap this Friday. Got an extension to reclaim a handful of spreads where the art could be better. The experience has been similar to a long road trip when you're a little kid. You start in total amazement and excitement, which leads to grinding routine, then detours and setbacks, then when it appears the destination must be over the next rise, you top a ridge and realize you have even more long valleys to go across the trackless desert. Finally, you top the final pass and you can see the oasis down in the valley, but the car you are in has a tire leaking air and you keep pushing it until you have to pull over a block from your destination to change the tire. And you can't find the lug wrench and the local station, which is back two miles in the opposite direction, doesn't have your size tire and and so you sit there, so close but yet so far until the night man jerry rigs twigs and scrap iron from a dumpster to create a makeshift wheel and you limp on the final leg of the trip and everyone at your aunt's house says, "What took you so long?" And when you tell them, they say, "That must have been fun."

  So, what have I learned?

"When the road ends, keep going."
—The 66 Kid

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Overboard On The Night Man Theme

March 18, 2014
   Dan didn't like the "Nightman Up Close" painting I whipped out this morning. Said it looked like a cop and not a service station attendant. So I went home for lunch and whipped out four more. Here they are:

Daily Whipout, "Bob Johnson Night Man"

Daily Whipout, "Night Stalker Night Man" (He REALLY likes working the graveyard shift!)

Daily Whipout, "Sleepy Head Night Man"

Daily Whipout, "James Dean Night Man"

   Now on to Billy Logas and the Logas Mile

"It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see."
—Henry David Thoreau

The Night Man Close Up

March 18, 2014
   Home stretch on "The 66 Kid." Daniel Harshberger handed in Signature 11 last Friday, before we headed off to the Tucson Book Festival and now we're on the final chapter of growing up on Route 66 and this is where the sadness and regret comes crashing in. Ha. Well, not entirely but some bummers are there-in.

   Meanwhile, trying to go back and recapture some scenes that I want to make better. Among them, The Night Man spread where we talk about those graveyard dudes. Got up this morning and whipped this out before breakfast:

Daily Whipout: "The Night Man Smokes While Hosing Off The Driveway With Gasoline, Part II"

   Then, before I went into work I decided I wanted to do a close up:

Daily Whipout, "The Night Man Close Up On A Hot, Neon Night"

   On Sunday afternoon at the Tucson Book Festival, my book editor, Stuart Rosebrook dragged me to a panel on journalism featuring the self-styled Texas Mafia, "Stephen Harrigan, Glenn Frankel and S.C. Gwynne. All three are notable authors (Gwynne's "Empire of The Summer Moon" is being made into a movie by Warner Bros., I believe). Anyway, it was a tour de force on the integrity of non-fiction writing and the lessons of journalism and it was a total treat to hear the three talk about their backgrounds in journalism and how it has informed their writing and their books. At one point, Mr. Frankel summed up journalism with this quote:

"Journalism is what people do not want you to print. All the rest is advertising."
—Lord Northcliffe, circa 1986, and also attributed to W.R. Hearst among others

Monday, March 17, 2014

The Most Successful Western Painter of All Time

March 17, 2014
  On Saturday evening True West hosted a party at the classic Arizona Inn in Tucson to present the True Westerner of 2014 award to Forrest Fenn. One of Forrest's old friends showed up for the festivities and I got to chat with him. Howard Terpning is the Godfather of Western Art. He has been painting for 67 years (since I was born) and his paintings now sell for $1 million AND he has people lined up at his door begging for the next one. Here we are just before the ceremony:

Howard Terpning, Forrest Fenn and BBB at the Arizona Inn

Howard is 84 and Forrest 82 and both of them are going strong. Forrest has retired three times and has written 8 books with three more coming. Great role models, eh?

"If BS was free, the person with the biggest shovel wins."
—Forrest Fenn

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Day Two at The Tucson Book Festival

March 16, 2014
  Great day yesterday at the Tucson Book Festival on the University of Arizona campus. Huge crowds (someone said it will approach 100,000 for the two-day event) and what's so cool about it is EVERYONE here is a reader! It makes all the difference in the world. This is my tribe—people who actually read. Ha.

On the mall at the U of A campus where the festival is held

Someone asked me if the campus has changed since I went to school here (1965-69) and I told them the mall ended at Bear Down Gym (the old, tiny basketball gym). Today it extends all the way to Campbell Avenue which is amazing. Huge growth, hard to recognize some of my old haunts, like "Louie's Lower Level".

"Go Cats!"
—A greeting that brings a smile to almost everyone in attendance

Friday, March 14, 2014

Surfers vs. Surveyors

March 14, 2014
   On our way to Tucson today for the Tucson Book Festival. Big party at the Arizona Inn to honor Forrest Fenn as Westerner of the Year.

   Weston Allen Bortscheller inspects the cracks on his parent's porch

The Surf War
   A little-known fact is that “Surfin’ USA,” the Beach Boy's first national hit, broke in Phoenix, Arizona. For some strange reason, surfing and surf music was a huge deal in Kingman, and the early Exits’ play list was dominated by that music.

   The first counterculture altercations in our area were between the Cowboys and the Surfers. A big turf war broke out in the high school in 1966, culminating with a showdown on south 66 between the Surfers from Lake Havasu and the Cowboys of Kingman. You could easily get in a fight by not wearing socks.

   I know because I almost got my butt stomped for not wearing socks at a cowboy dance. However, I wasn't being a surfer. No, I belonged to this tribe:

Hangin' Ten In The Cerbats: Kingman Surveyors

"When rich speculators prosper while farmers lose their land; when government officials spend money on weapons instead of cures; when the upper class is extravagant and irresponsible while the poor have nowhere to turn -- all this is robbery and chaos."
—Lao Tzu

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Kingman Compadres Revisited

March 13, 2104
   Working on more sketches for our Two-lane Flattop feature in "The 66 Kid." Spent most of this morning whipping out little studies of the guys and gals i went to school with. Here's a cool guy, who was a year older than me but he was in my third-grade class when we moved back to Kingman.

Daily Whipout, "Alex Sauthojame Stands Tall And So Does His Hair"

   I have fond memories of Alex carrying us all on his back as we tried to tackle him in third grade on the front lawn of grammar school as we played Runthrough. One kid is "it" and he tries to tackle someone as they run across the lawn towards him. If a guy is tackled then the two of them try to tackle the rest, until there is only one guy left. It very often was Alex. He was strong as an ox and on one occassion there must have been five or six of us trying to bring him down and he just kept walking with little anglos all over his big body.

   Then there's this dude:

Daily Whipout, "AT"

   He was one of the first to call me Boze. Then we have this guy who could be a handfull:

Daily Whipout, "Salty"

And this guy who is a great friend and editor:

Daily Whipout, "Bugs"

   And this guy who I worked with at my father's Phillip 66:

Daily Whipout, "The Stayne"

   And then there is this girl:

Daily Whipout, "Karen J."

   Going to be a fun section of the book. Need to finish tonight as we are going to the Tucson Book Festival tomorrow.

"Lena, I'm having one more bee with Sven. If I'm not home in one hour, read this message again."
—Old Swedish joke

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

True Detective Opens Big, Closes Small

March 11, 2014
   Kathy and watched the ending of "True Detective" last Sunday night and I have to say I was really disappointed. The first seven installments were brilliant and I kept saying about every five minutes, "We've never seen this on a TV series before!" Anyway, while I thought the ending was trite and typical of most TV shows, it wasn't bad bad, but after the brilliance of the previous episodes it was a huge letdown.

   But enough negative braying. Here's what I loved about the show. For starters it had the coolest opening credit scenes in the history of television:

   And this:

And this:

And this (a freeway cloverleaf is panned over while being transposed onto Woody's pensive face):

   Besides the excellent acting and story, the creator of the show, Nic Pizzolatto can also turn a phrase, or two. One of them, in the seventh episode hit me right where I live:

"I suppose I could've been an artist and a historian—you know—old scenes, new details."
—Rustin "Rust" Cohle, Mathew McConaughey

Monday, March 10, 2014

Don''t Forget Hanky & The Goose

March 10, 2014
   Worked over the weekend on several more portraits of Kingman Kids who had nicknames. I was studying an anonymous early do when the likeness of the sketch (totally accidental) reminded me of a classmate.

Daily Whipout, "The Goose"

   If you are from Kingman you know exactly who this is. And, there was always this gal with the big beehive:

Daily Whipout: "Hanky"

   And then there was this gal:

Daily Whipout: "Jennie"

   And that led to memories of this 66 Chick:

Daily Whipout: "Mary Kay Says Okay"

   That's not how it went down, but you get the picture.

"Yes, we see."
—The Bozetells

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Easy Rider Exact Spot Located!

  • March 8, 2014
       A "fried" on Facebook has located the exact spot of the Easy Rider photo I posted the other day. Check it out:

    • Hello Bob !
      Don't worry, I'm not the kid and you are not Olinger 
      I saw your post about Easy Rider on your True West blog and I think I have the answer. Look at this link:
      I think this is the right spot where the shot was taken... Keep on the good job and give my love to Arizona and New Mexico.
  • 20 minutes ago
    Bob Boze Bell
    • You have nailed it! This is the exact spot! How did you find it? And, I'm still a little lost though. Is this east of Valentine and is that Crozier Springs going up the road?
  • 5 minutes ago
    Kcirtap Yatsac
    • You are right Bob, this is about 3 miles north-east of Valentine. I must say luck has a lot of to do with my finding and I'm glad to see nothing has change since the making of the movie.

Friday, March 07, 2014

Beehives In The Wind

March 7, 2014

   Got up at four and wailed on a spread in Signature 10 of "The 66 Kid." Shifted gears at seven and whipped out a series of little paintings to illustrate another spread:

Daily Whipout, "Beehives In The Wind #1"

Beehives in the Wind
   Scientists can't agree where the Bee Hive Hairdo originated, but new evidence points towards Kingman, Arizona. In the early 1960s, young, female prom goers were known to shellac their hair, with massive amounts of hairspray, in order to survive the windy walk from the car to the gym. And with prom themes such as "Twenty Thousand Cooties Under The Sea" and "The Wind Beneath My Heels," it was a survivor-of-the-fittest choice. When all was said and done, these women could split watermelons with their hair (and often did for the amusement of their dates). But don't judge these women too harshly. Those were tough times and called for tough measures. Those early day Bee Hive Hairdos could withstand wind gusts of up to 60 miles-per-hour without mussing a single hair. The only downside was  with the giant wingspans on some of those early dos, smaller girls were actually taken airborne. One such prom date was later found near Topock. She was banged up pretty good, but her hair was perfect.

Daily Whipout, "Beehives In The Wind #2"

I did five, won't bore you with the rest. But now I'm going home for lunch to fine tune this idea:

Daily Whipout, "Slow Dancing With Mary Jane At A Rainbow Dance When I Was In Sixth Grade"

"Do you wanna dance and hold me tight, kiss me baby all through the night, oh baby, do you want to dance?"
—The Beach Boys