Monday, February 27, 2017

The Mighty American Mule Finally Gets His Due

February 27, 2017
   I am working with mule experts from around the country on our big mule opus for May.  The one who is doing the heavy lifting is a woman who goes by the handle "The Jackass Lady." This is so bold I can hardly stand it. Here's my proposed take on the opening spread artwork. 

Daily Whip Out: "The Mighty American Mule Finally Gets His Due"

Too Smart for Rodeo?
   Ever wonder why you never see mules in the bucking chutes at a rodeo? According to my mule-savvy friend, Raymond Isenberg, a mule won't always come out bucking. He may buck one time and not the next. He may stop in mid-buck to stare at the crowd. He may run out and make a lap around the arena and then stop to look at everything. Or, he may run and twist trying to dislodge his rider, but he rarely will buck in the classic bareback rider form that horses do all day long. Now, this same mule may be "broke" to ride and two years later, on some lonely trail, decide to put on a first class rodeo buck-athon, but that is the mule's prerogative. They are too smart to just start bucking on command, like horses do. Or, as R.P.S. Brown puts it:"The horse is a noble animal who performs his service with grace. A mule will wait his whole life for the opportunity to kill a man."

Daily Whip Out: "Mickey's Daily Morning Rodeo"

   Also working on a couple other things, Custer for example.

Daily Whip Out: "Custer Hot to Trot Sketches"

   Went home for lunch and tried to whip out a cover idea of Custer and Cody heading up hill, but didn't finish. Yes, this is inspired by the great Nick Eggenhofer who did these kinds of scenes with such skill and panache.

Daily Whip Out: "Custer & Cody
In Progress"

Mickey Free And His Big, Bad Mammoth Jack
   It would make sense that the mixed-breed captivo, Mickey Free, would choose a sure-footed, fearless, intelligent and trusted companion: in this case, a big, bad mammoth Jack which he calls Tu, which is Spanish for "You." Now, some frontiersmen ride mules (that would be a John or a Molly) but Mickey prefers a straight-up Jack stud. Needless to say, they both get in a lot of trouble.

Daily Whip Out: Mickey Free On His Big, Bad Mammoth Jack"

"Horses were worth from fifty to one hundred dollars, and mules from
seventy-five to one hundred and fifty."
—Dr. George Keller, St. Joseph, Missouri, 1849



  1. Wunderboy7:24 PM

    Always a good read, thank you

  2. The mule and jackass issue is going to ROCK! Thanks BBB for giving those longeared heroes their due. Deb and the longears

  3. The Army once had a famous jumping mule named "Hambone". We would perform at rodeos. He was powerful.


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