Thursday, November 06, 2014

The Slag Heap of History

November 6, 2014
   Drove in early to the True West World Headquarters to get cracking on my next book. As I cruised up Old Stage Road, dawn light was just tipping Elephant Butte:

Sunrise on Elephant Butte at 6:48 a.m. A crisp 48 degrees out on the high Sonoran Desert

   Met my production manager, Robert Ray, at seven to go over the schematic and production schedule for "The Life & Legend of Mickey Free." Looked at several earlier versions of the book and cover:

Mickey Free, The Graphic Novel, 2008

Mickey Free: the graphic novel, 2009

Mickey Free cover idea, 2011 (caught between two worlds)

Mickey Free Caught Between Two Worlds, No 4

   I will probably lead with this graphic, which I think sums up the one-eye captivo and his discarded visage on the slag-heap of history:

The Mickster Rides Past The Burning Slag Heap of History On His Big Jack Mule

   Last night I started reading "The Authentic Death & Contentious Afterlife of Pat Garrett And Billy the Kid: The Untold Story of Peckinpah's Last Western Film," by Paul Seydor. Really an eye-opener: I didn't know Sam Peckinpah wrote the screenplay adaptation for Charles Neider's "The Authentic Death of Hendry Jones," which is a fictionalized treatment of the Billy the Kid story, and which ultimately became One Eyed Jacks, the Marlon Brando Western. I also never knew Stanley Kubrick was hired as director, but he and Brando couldn't agree on anything.

   When they finally got ready to film they decided to bring Peckinpah back but he was off doing the pilot for The Rifleman. When One Eyed Jacks came out, Peckinpah called it "a piece of shit" that ruined "the definitive work on Billy the Kid." Or course, Sam will later try and remedy that with his own version of the Kid's life and death and that's what the rest of the book will tackle.

"The unruly genius who made many enemies but reserved first place on that team for himself."
—David Thomson, on Sam Peckinpah