Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Alleged Hit Squad That Targeted Glenn Boyer

April 30, 2014

   Thanks to several tips from here and from John Langellier at the Arizona Historical Society in Tempe and from Dan Nowicki at the Arizona Republic, I was able to track down the Quartzite Gunfight photo at the Polly Rosenbaum History and Archives Division in downtown Phoenix. It is housed in a huge warehouse style building down on Madison and 19th Avenue. Ken A. and I drove down into The Beast and went up to the second floor, signed a bunch of papers to gain admittance and, with white gloves on, were able to see the original photo, which is not very large:

Quartzite Gunfight Original from the Roscoe Willson Collection

   It's not very large and doesn't show much that we can't see in the scan we have of the photo:

The Quartzite Gunfight: An alleged gunfight in progress. The shooter, at left, is chasing down an assailant, at the corner of the fence, who allegedly is holding a rifle and according to the writing on the back, had fired at the gent at left and was in the process of fleeing. The writing confirms it was taken in 1904 at Quartzite, Arizona.

   We have ordered a high res scan so you can hopefully see it in better detail. I also got to check out some photos of Roscoe G. Willson himself at various times during his long and varied career when he was a prospector, a forest service ranger and a resident of Cave Creek (photos to follow). Roscoe collected photos from his time in Mexico and all over the West, and he also had the mug shots of the Tong Murderers who drove to Kingman and shot a former Tong gang member and were subsequently rounded up and after a sensational trial in Prescott, all four were executed. They are ID in pencil as Gee King, Shew Chin, Jew Har and BWL Sam.

   When we were done, the young lady helping us, Laura Palma-Blandford, asked me if I wanted to see something in the archives that pertained to me. Taken aback I wondered what that could possibly be. She then excused herself, came back in a couple minutes with a letter to the governor of Arizona written on December 8, 1999. Let's just say, it involves a certain Wyatt Earp fiction writer accusing me of being part of an assassination attempt on his life.

"It is requested that you have the proper authorities investigate this matter, principally. . .to discover for me who I should know may possibly intend to kill me. . ."
—Glenn G. Boyer

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A real gunfight photo?

April 29, 2014
  To celebrate the finish of "The 66 Kid" Kathy and I joined our neighbors Cal and Jon for a respite in Rocky Point, about a four hour drive from Cave Creek. Stayed at a hotel on the beach:

Room with a view: This is room #439 at the Penasco Del Sol Hotel, in Rocky Point, Mexico

Behind my three party hardy travelers is Sandy Beach where I once camped out with the Ds and Terry Townsend in 1974 and neither the hotel nor any of the condos or buildings out there existed. Someone, I think it was me, predicted that someday the entire beach would be covered with hotels, a la Waikiki. Well, here it is 40 years later and at least half that came true.

We also partied at a legendary cantina in Cholla Bay:

Meanwhile, We are doing The 50 Best Gunfighter Photos for the next issue of True West. In the Time Life series (1970s) they ran a photograph, which is credited to Roscoe Willson (yes, with two lls) on pages 166-67:

   It purports to show an actual gunfight, in progress, near Quartszite in about 1904. We can clearly see the first gunfighter, at left, and his clothing appears to be accurate for the time period. The other participant is half hiding at the fence corner and an eye witness is at right. Photo credit in back of book says, "—Roscoe G. Willson Collection, courtesy American Heritage Publishing Co. Inc., New York"

What we want to know is: Could this be the Roscoe Willson who wrote for the Arizona Republic back in the fifties and sixties? And do we know where his collection ended up? And more specifically, who owns this photo today? Gay, consider yourself on assignment.

"Fiction departs from the truth to intensify it."
—Adam "Flippin" Gopnik, in the New Yorker

Thursday, April 24, 2014

John Wayne Being Eloquent

April 24, 2014
   Got up at 5:30 and worked on a couple projects then went to yoga at eight. Just me and three other "girls" (women in their late sixties). All three were bunched up on their mats at the north end of the room and I walked down and took the south end of the room in the corner. Debbie, our teacher, looked over and said, "Bob, why are you way down there?" And I said, "Wild Bill Hickok." None of them got the reference, but I think everyone here will.

   Finished the "Legends of The Road" treatment at 11:45 with an assist from Ken A. and sent it off for proofing. Went home for lunch and had the leftover mole negro from Otro and went out to the studio to relax. Whipped out a little study that was about half done and sitting there waiting for me.

Daily Whipout, "Storm Over Kayenta"

   I've been on a Kayenta jag lately since I've been studying George Herriman, Maynard Dixon and Gunnar Winforss. Also, I've been reading the new John Wayne book by Scott Eyman and really enjoying it. And, of course, John Wayne and John Ford both have a little history in Kayenta, since it's just south of Monument Valley. I'm at the point in the book (page 495) where Ford is dying of cancer. They have a big ceremony at the American Film Institute to honor him with a Life Achievement Award. At the ceremony, The Duke seemed tongue-tied. If he had a speech he didn't give it. He simply said:

"I love him; I could say more."
—John Wayne

   That, my friend says it all. In fact, one of the amazing things about the book is how eloquent Wayne was. Kind of shocking really.

"It takes 15 years of kissing somebody's backside for a professor to get a chair somewhere and then he's a big shot in a little world, passing his point of view on a lot of impressionable kids. He's never really had to tough it out in this world of ours, so he has a completely theoretical view of how it should be run and what we should do for our fellow man."
—John Wayne, referring to Paul Hutton's world

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Painting Visitation

April 23, 2014
   Busy writing the treatment for "The 66 Kid." At lunchtime today I drove down into The Beast to visit one of my old paintings. Motored into the parking garage at One Central Avenue in downtown Phoenix and took the elevator to the 12th floor. This is the view from the office:

The 12th floor corner office view of North 1st Street looking north towards Piestewa Peak. That's the Adams Hotel at left.

   And here's the new owner of "A Stitch In Time"

Rodney Glassman, owner of the BBB painting depicting Ma'am Jones of the Pecos sewing her son Sammy's eyelid back on.

"Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not."
—Thomas Jefferson

Monday, April 21, 2014

Birth of A True West Moment

April 21, 2014
   One of my old neighbors (he lived up on Morning Star), sent me a letter way back in 1994, encouraging me to join the NCS (National Cartoonist Society) who were about to go to their annual convention in Washington, DC. I had just been fired from KSLX radio and suddenly had time on my hands, thus the invite. I have this letter tacked to my wall over my computer in the studio and I just noticed last week, that Jerry was doing a pretty mean George Herriman imitation at the bottom:

Cartoonist extraordinaire Jerry Scott of Baby Blues and Zits fame knocking off Herriman's Krazy Kat's style.

   Last week I myself did a couple studies, to bone up on Herriman's eccentric style. His moons are more like a fruit wedge and his buttes are more like a solid, Egyptian devan:

Ignatz Mouse lets fly with another brick at Krazy Kat's noggin' out Monument Valley way

   Then I got interrupted by my babysitting duty last weekend, so I put everything on hold and flew to Burbank for the gig. Today, I went home for lunch and whipped out a black and white version:

Ignatz bonks Krazy with another brick bat in front of the Mittens, Bozer style.

   Came back into the office and worked on the portrait of Herriman, which I had previously done in red in my "66 Kid" sketchbook. Added some black to make him more mysterious, since he passed for white his entire life:

George Herriman, from a photograph. Yes, the sombrero he's actually wearing is this ridiculous.

   Rebecca Edwards combined the two illustrations and I pruned the copy down to fit and she created an upcoming True West Moment which will run in the Arizona Republic in a week, or so.

   And NOW you know the entire story of how reading a book, "Shadows On The Mesa" by Gary Filmore, can inspire a sketch, or two, which can result in a True West Moment.

"Krazy burns a late candle tonight—I trust it attracts neither moth nor mouse."
—Offica Pupp

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Coachella Fellas

April 20, 2014
  Funny feature in The New York Times today under the heading, "Coachella Flaunts Its Masculinity." Six photos of some very "masculine" dudes follow, along with these descriptions of said dudes:

"Kelson Berkus was clad in aqua giraffe-print swim trunks (source: "probably Fred Segal").

"Ryan Greeley, in a vintage mesh cardigan and floral swim trunks."

"Robert Ackroyd, in a white-on-white ensemble."

"Rameet Chawla, in a bee print suit."

Notable quotes from Sheila Marikar's "Masculinity" piece, "'They're catching on.' His toned shoulders, left bare by his skeleton-print tank top, shimmered under the strobe lights." And, "I feel like everyone dresses exactly the same, for the most part,' said Kurt Collins, an actor based in Los Angeles. In an effort to set himself apart, he wore his grandmother's hot-pink tracksuit to Saturday night's Neon Carnival."

"Be graceful—like me, goddammit."
—John Wayne after line readings with Linda Cristal on the set of The Alamo

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Mole Negro at Otro

April 19, 2014
   Back from our quick babysitting gig with young Weston. We flew into Pasadena so his mom and dad could go downtown LA and see Nico Case and have a wild night at the Ace Hotel. We had to get up at two in the morning for a feeding (the young lad is only 10 months old) and it was a ton of fun. I'm serious. I wouldn't want to do it every night but we really enjoyed it.

Grandma Goose and Weston watching the cars go by (the only thing that makes him more excited is the dogs going by).

   Took off for home today, flew into Sky Harbor, and, since we were in downtown Phoenix we tried out the new offshoot restaurant Otro (The Other) which is a satellite eatery sponsored by Gallo Blanco. Had the mole negro:

Mole Negro burrito, at top, and mole chicken, bottom. Homemade tortillas and guacamole (in empty dish). Capped it off with Happy Hour margaritas and we were having fun.

On the plane home I read more of the new John Wayne bio by Scott Eyman. Just finished the cancer operation and the Alamo debacle before that. Not sure which was more terrifying. Both were brutal. The Alamo for its financial and artistic boneheadedness (something I can truly relate to) and the cancer for, well, the same thing: he had a lung taken out and still continued smoking! As for the financial bath he took on the Alamo, a young filmmaker he wanted to support suggested comparing the new film to the Alamo and Wayne said:

"That picture lost so much money I can't buy a pack of chewing gum in Texas without a co-signer."
—John Wayne

Friday, April 18, 2014

Adventures In Babysitting

April 18, 2014
   We woke up in Pasadena this morning and first thing on the agenda: watch the cars go by and point at them. The only thing more entertaining to Weston is to see dogs go by. Oh, my, how exciting.

Weston Allen Borscheller digs the cars zipping by on Sierra Bonito

"I was raised by coyotes."
—Weston telling me a windy

Thursday, April 17, 2014

John Singer Sargent & The Picture Book Kid

April 17, 2014
   Kathy and I flew to Burbank today on business. After a visit to the Huntington to see one of my favorite paintings by John Singer Sargent we headed north:

We ended up at the job site in north Pasadena. It was my job to read four picture books and I must say I think I enjoyed it even more than my little charge:

G-Paw reading Weston's favorite picture book "It's Time To Sleep, My Love"

"The otter utters by the lake
'Tis getting hard to stay awake."
—Nancy Tillman, "It's Time to Sleep, My Love"

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Krazy Kat, Jim Jarmusch and William Randolph Hearst

April 16, 2014
   Some artists are an acquired taste. In my own case these would include, John Prine, Van Gogh, Jim Jarmusch and George Herriman.

   John Prine won me over with one song: "Angel From Montgomery." And once I got that tune, I realized nobody does song lyrics better than Mr. Prine. Nobody.

   I hated Jim Jarmusch movies after seeing "Dead Man," with Johnny Depp and Robert Mitchum. In my opinion it's one of the worst Westerns I've ever seen. Neil Young does the music and it's just a series of distorted twangs and open chords, perhaps inspired (Hey, I love The Horse!) but ultimately just really, really irritating. I think I gave him another try on a winter Western about gold, but it was so bleak and non-narrative I just couldn't enjoy it all.

  For some reason, after reading a positive review of his new movie, "The Last Lovers" I decided to try "Broken Flowers." So, last night Kathy and I watched Jim Jarmusch's "Broken Flowers," with Bill Murray, Jessica Lange, Julie Delpie and Chloe Sivegney. Prepared for its odd flow (from the review), I actually enjoyed it and after watching a special features on the making of the movie and hearing Jarmusch talk about his method I am slowly, acquiring a taste for the artist, although I still hate "Dead Man." Here he is talking about his process:

"Filming is like sex. Writing the script is like seduction, then shooting is like sex because you're doing the movie with other people. Editing is like being pregnant, and then you give birth and they take your baby away. After this process is done, I will watch the movie one more time with a paying audience that doesn't know I'm there, and then I will never see it again. I'm so sick of it."
—Jim Jarmusch

"The beauty of life is in small details, not in big events."
—Jim Jarmusch

   Meanwhile, I'm doing a True West Moment on another dude who's an acquired taste, at least to me:

One Crazy Cat
    George Herriman was born in New Orleans in 1880. His parents were Creole (their marriage certificate labeled them as "mulatto") and although it seems obvious George was black, he passed for white his entire life (many assumed he was Greek). He was said to wear a hat inside and outside to cover his "kinky" hair.

Daily Whipout, "George Herriman, Comic Strip Genius"

   The family moved to California allegedly to escape the increasingly harsh Jim Crow laws of Louisiana.

   Mr. Herriman created a very eccentric comic strip that first appeared in 1913 and ran to 1944. People didn't get it (I was one of them) and, at best it was "likeably absurd." Krazy Kat is set in the ever changing landscapes of the imaginary deserts of Coconino, Arizona and the plot is simple: a doofus cat of hazy gender (referred to as both "he" and "she") is in love with Ignatz Mouse, who, in turn, despises Krazy and constantly schemes to throw bricks at Krazy's head, which Krazy interprets as a sign of affection, uttering grateful replies such as "Li'l dollink, allus f'etful". Meanwhile, Offissa Pupp, as Coconino County's administrator of law and order, makes it his unwavering mission to interfere with Ignatz's brick-tossing plans and lock the mouse in the county jail. And this premise ran for 31 years.

   So I went home for lunch today and took a try at Herriman's distinctive abstract style:

Daily Whipout, "Ignatz slings a brick at Krazy Kat in front of the Monument, a well-known butte near Monument Valley"

   Supposedly Woodrow Wilson and Picasso were fans of the strip, but not too many others. In fact when the strip fell below 50 newspapers (the threshold to cancel a comic) William Randolph Hearst would not allow it. when editors mentioned they wanted to kill it he yelled at them. When Hearst tried to give Herriman a raise, the artist refused saying it was too easy to draw, but Hearst forced him to take the raise. I dare you to name another business situation where a capitalist of Hearst's standing (Citizen Kane!!!!) not only supported an artist to do what he wanted to do but demanded raises because he appreciated the art and humor so much. I dare you!!!!!

   Known for its offbeat surrealism and poetic, idiosyncratic language, the comic strip Krazy Kat, was more influential than popular. Herriman empolyed idioyncratic language. Here is an example:

"Agathla, centuries aslumber, shivers in its sleep with splenetic splendor, and spreads abroad a seismic spasm with the supreme suavity of a vagabond volcano."
—George Herriman, in Krazy Kat

The actual Agathla Peak north of Kayenta during a dust storm

   And here's my take on the same scene but with a lone hogan at the bottom, a scene I remember as a kid traveling through the area with my folks.

Daily Whipout, "Dust Storm at Agathla Peak"

  And here's another take:

Daily Whipout, "Agathla Peak Dust Storm #3"

    The strip Krazy Kat features other characters, Mrs. Kwak Wakk, "Bum Bill" Bee and Don Kiyote, and the ever-changing landscapes of the imaginary desert of Coconino County, Arizona.

   Picasso was reputedly a fan. But the artist's most ardent supporter was William Randolph Hearst who refused to drop Herriman's Krazy Kat even when it was carried by fewer than 50 papers. Hearst kept the strip alive and It was Hearst who ordered the strip to be cancelled in 1944, when Herriman died of "non-alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver" and, at Herriman's request, his ashes were scattered over Monument Valley, Arizona. In Hearst's opinion, no one could replace the artist and Krazy Kat was possibly the first strip to die with his creator.

"Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is nonexistent. And don't bother concealing your thievery - celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: 'It's not where you take things from - it's where you take them to.'"
—Jim Jarmusch

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Gunnar Widforss Rocks Rock

April  15, 2014
   As I mentioned I got a sneak peek at the Wetherill Guest Ranch registry book last Sunday and the page that absolutely rocked is the page Gunnar Widforss painted in the guest book. Here it is:

Gunnar Widforrs, Daily Whipout, "Agathla Peak"

   Crazy amazing painting. Even more stunning in person to realize it's just on a random page of a guest book. Made a mental note to myself: "Paint better pictures!"

"No one has a cornerstone on great stuff."
—Steven Soderbergh

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Wild Bunch vs. Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid

April 14, 2014
  One of the clockwork-like-phenoms of Hollywood is that there are invariably at least two projects with the same theme, or story line, chugging through the development pipeline at any given point. "Tombstone" vs. "Wyatt Earp" is a good example. In 1967-68, two films about the Wild Bunch were perking. The one with the biggest profile was William Goldman's "Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid" which Twentieth Century Fox was producing to great buzz. Warner Brothers had a competing film, "The Wild Bunch" and intended to get it in theaters before Butch & Sundance.

   Allegedly, the guy who thought up the basic story of WB was Roy Sickner, the original Marlboro Man. Then, of course, Sam Peckinpah got on board and everything changed. Believe it or not, Sam actually thought if you showed violence the way it really is, people would shun violence. The "bullet driven ballet" is a long way from the Goldman version and has very little to do with the historical Wild Bunch, but both films deal with the theme of changing times vs. the men who could not.

The Wild Bunch Walkdown

 "It ain't like it used to be, but It'll do."
—Freddie Sykes (Edmond O'Brien) to Pike

True West Moments Number 180 and John Wayne Review

April 14, 2014
   Knocking down a kitchen wall this morning. The back story is this: when we built our dream house in 1987 the architect favored my fevered dreams of a Santa Fe adobe with humorous overtones. He did a very good job, but in the process he more or less insulted Kathy by insisting that a wall was necessary in the entrance to the kicthen to hide "Kathy's messiness." Needless to say, Kathy has issues with that wall. When she mentioned she would like to upgrade the kitchen a couple months ago I said, "It's all yours." So, the first thing the construction dudes have been tasked with, is this:

The Wall Destroyers, 8:30 a.m. April 14, 2014

   Last month marks four years of producing True West Moments for the Arizona Republic. Hard to believe, but the TWMoment that ran in last Saturday's Republic is the 180th moment.

A Letter From An Old Reader Who Found Us Again
   "I just re-subscribed to True West for another three years. While I’m thinking of it, I just wanted to thank you for the great job you’ve done with the magazine. It’s one of the few I read cover-to-cover each month. When I was a boy in the 1960s, I used to love reading my grandfather’s collection of True West. It’s where my fascination with the Old West was born. So what a treat later in life to find the magazine in such capable hands. I started subscribing last year, mostly as research and ideas for the Western novel I’m writing. Now I just can’t get enough. As a former magazine editor, I know how tough a job it is to produce such a high-quality piece of work month after month. Thanks, and keep up the great work!"
—John Hamilton, Eden Prairie, MN

My good friend Allen Barra wrote a very good review of the Scott Eyman book, "John Wayne, The Life And Legend," which I am reading now and thoroughly enjoying.

John Wayne review

"People who say they don't give a damn, do give a damn—because the ones who don't, don't say so."

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Teddy, Zane & Kit at The Wetherill Guest Ranch

April 13, 2014
   Here's another gem from the Wetherill collection, a movie still of a scene being filmed near Monument Valley:

Indian Attack On The Wagon Train, from the movie "Kit Carson" (1939)

   Working on the final tweaks of "The 66 Kid." I found this cartoon in my garage morgue this morning. I did this way back in the Razz days (early 70s) and may use it to illustrate the con man ways of some Kingman gas stations:

I totally forgot about cool cushions, those straw seats you strapped over your hot vinyl seat covers to keep from blistering your legs.

Oh, and it turns out Teddy Roosevelt visited Kayenta and the Wetherill's in 1913.

"Time is cruel. Her years are tragic. The pioneers could not stay the approach  of deadly civilization."
—Zane Grey's entry in the Wetherill Guest Ranch registry

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Maynard Dixon, Geoge Herriman and Jimmie Swinnerton Blow My Socks Off

April 12, 2014
   This morning, in Prescott, I got to take a sneak peek at the famous Wetherill Monument Valley Guest Ranch guest book. Many famous artists and dignitaries stayed there during the twenties, including Teddy Roosevelt and Zane Grey. But the ones I am interested in are the many cartoonists and artists who drew pictures in the guest book. These include James Swinnerton (Canyon Kiddies), George Herriman (Krazy Kat), Rudolph Dirks (The Captain And The Kids) and Frank King (Gasoline Alley). And then, there are the fine artists. Here's a taste:

Maynard Dixon's "Daily Whipout" signing the Wetherill registry book.

And here's William Robinson Leigh's full page entry:

W.R. Liegh's "Daily Whipout"

But the one that blew my socks off is the watercolor Gunnar Widforse whipped out of Shiprock. I'll post that masterpiece later. Here is the gentleman who owns the guest book and many other treasures of the Wetherill family.

Harvey Leake, a direct descendant of the Wetherills and the keeper of the flame. Great guy.

"Back again, Hey?" "Sure, I are, ain't that a hebit [SIC] among us 'kets'"
—George Herriman'a Krazy Kat entry in the Wetherill guest registry

Friday, April 11, 2014

Is This Pat Garrett?

April 11, 2014
   I'm attending the Arizona History Conference in Prescott and Paul Hutton just shared with me a new photo he believes is Pat Garrett when he was Customs Inspector in El Paso, circa 1903. What do you think? Is the gentleman, seated at center, Pat Garrett?

A Sneak Peek at The New Billy On The Horizon

April 11, 2014
   I'm at the Arizona History Conference in Prescott this weekend. Yesterday, on the way up, I stopped at Bronzesmith in Prescott Valley to see the progress on my next sculpture. The very talented Deb Gessner is working off a sketch of mine. Perhaps you recognize the subject matter.

Deb Gessner tweaks the Kid's Bowie knife.

I had a couple suggestions on equipment, chaps, boots, shirt, sleeves, and, of course I had to weigh in on the hat:

Ed Reilly utilizes one of my prop hats to point out his theories about the elusive crown.

If you are trying to capture the Kid, his damn hat has given countless artists and movie prop guys fits. Many assume wrongly it's an Abraham Lincoln top hat (Val Kllmer in "Gore Vidal's Billy the Kid") and most give the crown too much height, although, Garrett said the Kid wore a Chihuahua "sombrero" so a certain kind of artistic license is in order.

Deb continues to tweak Billy's knife.

That is a very authentic Lightning in his holster. The '73 Winchester is lying behind the sculpture. I asked Deb to applicate it so I could see it all together:

I agree with the Smiley Face on Deb's chest.

   I totally dig the stance she and Ed captured. Their hand (Billy's left hand) is better than mine (in the drawing behind). It's a tad more "ready for action" and yet cocky. It seems to be saying, "You want a piece of me?" They also pointed Billy's left foot inward which also adds to the cocky factor. All in all, very exciting.

"Advise persons never to engage in an art career."
—Kid Bozer

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

A New Appreciation of B Westerns

April 9, 2014
   I must have a dozen books on John Wayne, mostly picture and movie poster books of his movies. I have read a couple bios on him over the years and always thought I knew the Duke's story, but the new biography by Scott Eyman (see excerpt of "John Wayne, The Life And Legend" in next issue of True West) is a real eye opener. He gives all of the financials for the movies John Wayne made over his career. When you know Wayne was paid $1,000 for a Lone Star film in the early thirties (with a total budget per film of $8,000 to $12,000), and that he made Hondo in Camargo, Mexico and to see the rushes he and his crew had to drive to El Paso—five hours away!) and that the Duke is making $250,000, well you can see the career arc pretty clearly. Plus we get a close-in view of Wayne's divorce from his second wife, Chata, which cost him $375,000.

 "Hondo Lane is an Army scout who has an uneasy relationship with creatures with two legs, a marginally easier one with creatures with four legs."
—Scott Eyman

   But the big eye opener for me is I have always thought B Westerns were the end result of inferior talent and poorly chosen aesthetics. Not true. As Eyman explains, "Although these pictures got no respect, and didn't earn any, there was a good amount of money to be made." The media companies, mostly Republic, were filling a need: in those days the main movie needed an opening picture, the first half of a double feature, and the combine companies that put these double features in theaters paid a flat fee, about $28,000 for the B picture. Given that Republic was padding their expenses by at least $10,000, the six pictures produced "were carried on the books as having cost $128,000 and earning a total of $1.25 million, for a net profit that must have been in the vicinity of $850,000."

   So the guys, like Herb Yates, who were producing these B pictures, utilizing stock footage from older movies and slamming them out in six days, were actually geniuses, in my book, creating content for a new technology that resembles the current internet landscape more than it does anything else. Makes me appreciate their vision and ability to create these very smart movies.

"Harry Carey always wore a good hat, a good pair of boots, and what he wore in between didn't matter much."
—John Wayne

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Scratchboard Smorgasbord

April 8, 2014
   Found this compilation of old scratchboards I spread out on my studio floor a couple years back. Quite a compilation, eh? I think I spot a theme in there: It's Free Time.

Daily Whipouts, "Scratchboard Smorgasbord"

   And here's a pair of sketches that sums up the romantic version of Old California vs the reality of Old California:

Daily Whipout, "Tiburcio Vasquez Tricked Out vs. Tiburcio Vasquez In San Quentin"

   There is a huge butte just off Highway 93 on the south side of the Santa Maria Creek and it must have a magnificent name (or, at least it deserves one). Every time I drive to Kingman I look for it and you can only see the tip of it from the highway. Several years ago I finally pulled off the road and hiked up to a ridge to get this shot of it:

Massive Sandstone Butte (just above the joshua tree)

   I'm reading the new John Wayne book by Scott Eyman and it is an eye opener. Totally changed my view on B Westerns.

"When people say to me, 'You look familiar, where have I seen you before?' I like to say, 'I don't know, do you watch a lot of porn?'"

Monday, April 07, 2014

The Power of No!

April 7, 2014
   On the last day my grandson Weston was here, I taught him the power of NO.

The Power of NO!

   I wish someone had taught me that skill when I was his age. Not sure his mother agrees, but it's a G-Paw's Prerogative. But it wasn't all negative. Here I am training Weston to be like Ginger Baker:

Drum Solo Training

  Meanwhile, in "The 66 Kid" I have been trying to trade up on artwork and here is a sketch of a certain hispanic babe I know, who I want to get in the book. She will be billed as Jennie in the book:

Daily Whipout, "Jeanner Cuts A Pretty Radical Profile"

   Had art prints made of quite a few paintings from the book down at Document Station. If you want one, they're $45 plus S&H:

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

"The more a man knows, the more he forgives."
—Catherine the Great

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Man of The West Is In The House

April 5, 2014
   Got some house guests from Pasadena. They brought along this little guy:

Weston Allen Borscheller, 9 months old and mystified by his G-Paw's funny faces.

Friday, April 04, 2014

Harsh View of Coming Soon Billboards for The 66 Kid

April 4, 2014
   Here's a switch: Daniel Harshberger went home for lunch today and whipped out some billboard ideas for The 66 Kid. Here they are:

Harsh Daily Whipout, "Coming Soon Card #1"

Harsh Daily Whipout, "Coming Soon Card #2"

Harsh Daily Whipout, "Coming Soon Card #3"

Copy on back of postcards:


"Any traveler who misses the journey, misses about all he's going to get."
—William Least Heat Moon

Thursday, April 03, 2014

You've Got to Know How to Pony (Like A Bony Maroni)

April 3, 2014
   Now that the book is in the can, we are shifting gears to do the documentary of "The 66 Kid." We need youngsters who know how to do this:

Daily Whipout, "We Knew How to Pony Like A Bony Maroni!"

   We need kids who know how to pony, watusi, jitterbug, the jerk, and, for extra points, the skate. We'll pay real money for this and bonus cash if they have the outfits to make it fly. You know, stuff like this:

Daily Whipout, "The Mo-ped Mamas"

   And can hold poses like this:

Daily Whipout, "The Carkid Ponders Road Kill"

   Speaking of the book being in the can, here is a wonderful cover blurb by a friend and fellow traveler:

“Any rascal who misspent his youth in the ‘50s and 60’s toting ice for travelers at his Dad’s gas station in Kingman, Arizona, got his hand tangled up in a motel washing machine wringer, and lost his virginity in a Nash Rambler, should have one hell of a story to tell about his life and times on Route 66. And that is exactly what Bob Boze Bell delivers in this book about a fast life in the slow lane of that varicose and scarred path of concrete and asphalt. BBB’s words and images are as tasty as truck stop pie. You will want another helping.”
—Michael Wallis, Route 66: The Mother Road and “The Sheriff” of Radiator Springs in CARS