Thursday, January 26, 2017

Doc & Wyatt: The Deadliest of Friends

January 26, 2017
   Once again, we're hot on the trail of the real Doc Holliday. Yes, I've been down this trail before and yet, the spirit of this crazy, alcoholic Lunger, gets me every time. As his good friend, Wyatt Earp put it, Doc was a "long, lean, and ash-blond and the quickest man with a six-shooter I ever knew."

Daily Whip Out: "The Deadliest of Friends"

   This Daily Whip Out led to a cover idea:

Dan The Man's first proposed cover

   But then the talented and astute author, Mary Doria Russell ("Epitaph") turned in a masterful, thought-provoking, take on what the real Doc Holliday means to her and, in her estimation, who exactly has captured him on film the best. That feature led us to this cover idea:

Dan's second cover based on Mary Doria Russell's take on "the best huckleberry."

   This led to an intense argument with me and my staff. First and foremost we are a history magazine and we must emphasize our separation between the "real" West and the "reel" West. Or, as our publisher put it recently, "Don't stink up the magazine with movie stars on the cover."

  I mulled the idea of doing a split run on the covers: with the newsstand getting the Val cover and our subscribers getting the "Deadliest of Friends" cover, but then Greg Carroll weighed in and claimed the two covers would be a "nightmare" for him, as he had promised certain advertisers that Val would be the cover.


   So, last night I had dinner down in Scottsdale with a group of Western afficionados, including author Jeff Guinn ("The Last Gunfight") at left;  historian Tom Gaumer, second from left; collector Kevin Mulkins, second from right; historian and renaissance man Garth Gould and historian Bob Palmquist. All five looked at the two covers and immediately pointed to their unanimous choice:

The verdict is Val.

   So what else can you expect in this issue? Here's a sneak peek:

Daily Whip Out: "The Doctor Will See You Now"

Perhaps, a glimpse of some of the stranger episodes in Doc's life:

 Nice to Meet You, Hope to Kill You Soon.
Daily Whip Out: "Doc Meets Billy Clanton"

The fact that Wyatt and Doc did some jail time in the Tombstone jail during the Spicer hearing:

Daily Whip Out: "Doc Behind Bars"

Daily Whip Out: "Doc Carries The Vendetta Posse's Arsenal Off The Train In Tucson"

Daily Whip Out: "Doc's Last Gunfight In Leadville"

And, a couple other odd angles as well:


Daily Whip Out: "Doc In Glasses?"

"Such then, was the beginning of my acquaintance with Doc Holliday, the mad merry scamp with heart of gold and nerves of steel; who, in the dark years that followed stood at my elbow in many a battle to the death."
—Wyatt Earp


  1. Anonymous2:02 PM

    Thank you for putting the only "Doc" I ever see in my minds eye, on the cover. I subscribe, and I would have been upset to see Val Kilmer on the newstands but not in my mailbox. Good choice by all. Shari M

  2. Bob, ever stop to think that none of those guys _likes_ you? 8^)

    1. Conrad, are you saying that Doc and Wyatt wouldn't like me if we could somehow meet? Or, are you saying that nobody on my staff likes me?

  3. A dying man fears nothing,not even the Devil. Such man was Doc Holliday.

  4. Boze "Doc in Glasses?" looks a lot like you

  5. Aww come on! Even your afficiondos can't get it right, caught up on the Kilmer portrayal

  6. Anonymous7:53 AM

    Doc, what makes a man like Bob Boze Bell, do the things he does? VAL the man in Tombstone

  7. Val personified Doc Holliday and spread his story throughout the nation

  8. Sometimes, although inaccurate, Hollywood helps to promote history. It certainly keeps it front and center, and alive.

  9. Val Kilmer best Doc.Holliday ever. Oscar winning performance,can't take that away from Val !!!!

  10. Val Kilmer best Doc.Holliday ever. Oscar winning performance,can't take that away from Val !!!!

  11. Anonymous7:40 PM

    I'll be your huckleberry.

  12. Anonymous6:05 AM

    Its hucklebearer not huckleberry

  13. Johnny Ringo (Michael Biehn) deserves a best supporting one-liner: Alright lunger, let's do it.

  14. Anonymous1:07 PM

    Can you tell me who the artist is of "The Doctor Will See You Now" painting you show? Thanks...


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