Saturday, November 30, 2019

Ten Finalist Geronimos

November 30, 2019
   We're having fun at my house choosing the final 30 Geronimo paintings for the Scottsdale Museum of The West art show in January. One painting is a shoo in (It's on the flippin' cover, so it probably should be in the show!) and a few others are no brainers.

"Geronimo's Red Tear"

    A couple we are still debating:

"You Never Caught Me Shooting"

   Others I had such high hopes for but they failed to launch ("Drunk As Lords") or, I didn't stick the landing ("The Baserunner").

   Without further ado, here are a few of the final paintings that will definitely be in the show:

"Geronimo Is A Cowboy"
also known as
"Yippy Ti Yi Yatahey!"


"Geronimo In The Sky"

   "Geronimo In The Sky" didn't make it into the book. My production manager, Robert Ray, quipped, "We could do an entirely new version of the book with images and paintings not in the current edition."

"Judge Geronimo"

"The White In-din"


"Unarmed And Dangerous"
also known as
"Geronimo's Armed Escort"

"Geronimo In Twilight"

"Cowboy Geronimo"

"George W. Geronimo"

  A Letter from Southern Arizona 
   "Dan and I both received our signed copies of your Geronimo book today.  We both think it's your best book ever.   I was instantly captivated by the visual storytelling power of the photos, art, captions and careful timeline.  The whole book exudes power that grows as the reader proceeds.  So much heartfelt labor apparent in this book, so much to be proud of. I'm going to visit Apache Grove someday.  I might pick up vibes from both Geronimo and ERB [Edgar Rice Burroughs] there. Thanks for my signed copy."
—Frank Puncer, Rio Rico, Arizona

Friday, November 29, 2019

Four Peaks Four Legends

November 29, 2019
   I am rounding up 30 paintings from "The Illustrated Life & Times of Geronimo" to be included in an art show at the Scottsdale Museum of the West on January 16.

   I had Kathy help me choose the best paintings (there are 67 original BBB illustrations in the book) and as she did so, she pulled out a handful of them and said, "If these are going to be in a museum show, these five need more work."

   Ha. This is funny because they are in the book as is, and if I "improve" them, what will that say about the images in the book? Never mind. It was good advice.

   Some of the fixes were small; pencil lines visible, sloppy eyes, and I fixed those in ten minutes. A couple of the others are more problematic and challenging, and I spent all day yesterday—and a half-day-today—trying to salvage one of them.

   My original take on Sibi's Crew was a parody of Frederic Remington and how he would approach the concept (in fact, it's signed "Freddy Remington, 1888" in the lower right-hand corner). As I was cleaning it up for the show I found myself falling back under the spell of these four legendary characters and how obvious, it seems to me, that a movie is in there waiting to be filmed.

Four Peaks in snow

Four Peaks Four Legends
   There was a time in the mid-1880s when the Apache Kid, Al Sieber, Tom Horn and Mickey Free rode the rez together enforcing their own harsh brand of justice. This is actually true and it's why the painting is in the book. In terms of a movie idea, from there, the Apache Kid seeks vengeance (true), Sieber is wounded in the resulting showdown (also true) and Mickey and Tom Horn join forces with N-Jim and go after the Kid who escapes to Mexico. (true, true and true enough)

   So, here's the reworked painting. You can compare it to the one in the book and I have a hunch you will exclaim to yourself, like I did, "Damn dude, listen to your wife more!" 

Daily Whip Out: "The Rez Riders"
Left to right: The Apache Kid, Al Sieber,
Tom Horn and Mickey Free

   And, yes, that is Four Peaks in the background.

Good Advice
"The next time you're afraid to share ideas, just remember someone once said in a pitch meeting, 'Let's make a movie with a tornado full of sharks.'"

"Movies are history's gateway drug."
—Mary Doria Russell

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Thanks for All the Ridiculous Sunsets

November 28, 2019
   Lots to be thankful for. For starters, here is the view out our backdoor, last night:

Thanksgiving Eve #1

   I tried to go back into the house, but it just kept getting more ridiculous.

Thanksgiving Eve #2

Thanksgiving Eve #3
  There's eight more shots, but I won't bore you with them. They are all equally spectacular and I'd like to say it gets old, but it never does.

   So, I'm thankful for that!

   I'm also thankful for good writing and you will not find a better collection of prescient ideas than in the current issue of Atlantic magazine, which takes on the task of healing our national divide in these rancorous times. 

   A taste of the Table of Contents and a couple salient points:

• How America Ends: A tectonic demographic shift is under way. Can the country hold together?

• Why It Feels Like Everything Is Going Haywire: Social media has destabilized democracy. What can we do?

• The Enemy Within: "As a general rule, I think we focus far too much on Donald Trump. We act like he's the problem, but he's not. He's just a sympton—a sign of poor political hygiene. Social media has flooded our consciousness with caricatures of each other. Human beings are reduced to data, and data nearly always underrepresent reality. The result is this great flattening of human life and human complexity. We think that because someone is pro-choice or pro-life, or that they drive a truck or a Prius, we know everything we need to know about them. Human detail gets lost in the algorithm. Thus humanity gives way to ideology. . .our political system requires us to have a basic level of respect for each other.  That loss of empathy is what I call a breaking of charity."
—Tara Westover, raised by survivalist parents in the mountains of Idaho, she somehow learned to read, got a degree from BYU and then a doctorate from Cambridge. She is a redneck-sympatico genius and is the author of the 2018 best seller, Educated.

• What Would Mister Rogers Do?
   "The last thing Fred Rogers ever said to me was 'How like you.' He gave so much to me,  so much trust and friendship, without asking for me to earn it. But still I wonder whether I have. Still I find myself asking for his blessing, and like the aged Private Ryan [Juno points out that Tom Hanks stars in both Saving Private Ryan and the new Fred Rogers film A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood] after he walks away from the grave of the officer who rescued him, I issue a plea that sounds a little like a prayer: Tell me I'm a good man. Tell me I've lived a good life, then tell me what to do now."
—Tom Junod, writing about his unlikely friendship with Fred Rogers in The Atlantic magazine

Okay, One More Giggle to Be Thankful for:
   When we were in Seattle visiting the grandkids a week ago, I just had to turn Weston and Frances on to this little ditty, which is a perfect tune for today:

Ohio Express Turkey Day Song

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Moonshine Mamas, Cartooning Heroes and the Going Home to Duncan Tour

November 27, 2019
   I found this random photo online and I'm fascinated by the pure cheesiness of it all. Very profound in a Lil' Abner meets Hugh Hefner kind of way.

Moonshine Mama

   And speaking of classic comic strips I loved as a kid:

A Hard Shot Indeed

Alex Raymond rocks!

   Another cartooning hero of mine is the late, great Hal Empie of Duncan, Arizona fame.

Hal and Louise Empie, 1939

   Hal actually ran a drugstore in Duncan, Arizona when my mother went to school there. 

Empie Drugs in beautiful downtown
Duncan, Arizona.

   On the side Hal drew and sold his "Way Out West" postcards. This is a good example:

   Hal did many cartoon postcards featuring various Southwestern locales including my hometown of Kingman.

   Hal Empie is considered one of the four legends who came out of Duncan, Arizona. The others are Sandra Day O'Connor, Geronimo and Ted DeGrazia. Quite an eclectic list for such a small town.

   Hal's daughter, Ann, has just published a book of  his "Way Out West" cartoons and it's a must have if you love Arizona like I do.

   As an added bonus, I am proposing a mini-Going Home to Duncan Tour, and I'm trying to corral Alan Day and Scott O'Connor (Sandra Day's brother and son), Ann Empie Groves (Hal Empie's daughter), myself with my Geronimo book (my grandparents had a ranch near Duncan) and a musical guest. We will sell books and dance and raise hell in our old stomping grounds. If I can get all the above yahoos in the same place at the same time, you will be invited and we will have this ridiculous—but amazing—Going Home to Duncan, with an old-school-barn-dance in April. Will it make money? Absolutely not. Do I care? No. I think it will be a hoot-and-a-half.

    Stay tuned.

"The word Queue is very ironic. It's just a 'Q' with a bunch of silent letters waiting in a line."
—Old Vaquero Saying

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

And Now For Something Completely Different: Bozecards

November 26, 2019
   I'm developing a line of BBB postcards that I am going to call:

      I'll feature some past and present giggles:

   Not to mention some Kingman classics from the book "The 66 Kid":

Daily Whip Out: "Leaving Before Dawn"

   "If my grandfather were alive today, he'd still have his blinker on."

Daily Whip Out: "Coyote Pass In Rain"

I'll also be featuring former crushes. . .

And plenty of back road secret passes. . .

Daily Whip Out:"Back Way to Oatman"

   More from right out of the book, "The 66 Kid":

Daily Whip Out: "Rockabilly Billy"

   And legends that happened all across the Mojave country.

Daily Whip Out:
"The Legend of Red Ghost"

Daily Whip Out: "Lone Light On Mesa"

Daily Whip Out: "Painted Lady Sneer"

   And a classic from my earlier life:

Daily Whip Out: "Jugs Iced Free"

  Meanwhile, I'm still working on vaqueros, but I'm also updating and consolidating 30 of my best Geronimo paintings, from the G-Man book, for an upcoming art show at the Scottsdale Museum of The West (January 16).

Daily Whip Outs: "Four Geronimos"

   Expect to see these Geronimos on Bozecards as well. As a matter of fact, the Bozecard rack in Tombstone will have an entirely different emphasis:

"O.K. NOW do you believe me?"

And speaking of fires that ruin everything. . .

Daily Whip Out: "Campfire BSer II"

"If you can't improve on a story you have no business retelling it in the first place."
—Old Vaquero Saying

Monday, November 25, 2019

A Print Junky Comes Clean

November 25, 2019
   Kathy and I had a financial meeting yesterday and during this fun exercise (I absolutely hate it, even more than she hates it) she informed me that we are spending $33 a week on newspaper delivery!

   A week! At True West, we argue all the time about raising our magazine subscription rate ($29.95 a year) but when others are offering year long subs for $8 we have felt like we are on the high end and need to hang tough and stay put. 

   But, by comparison, The New York Times costs $20.75 a week. A week! That is almost $1,082 a year and with the Arizona Republic thrown in at $50 a month we are spending $1,716 a year on dead trees being delivered to our house every day. What does that look like? Like this:

Dead Tree Delivery

   This is insane. It's outrageous, it's highway robbery, it's—sigh—a sign of the times. As print advertising disappears, newspapers and magazines are scrambling to pay for producing news and articles and printing it on dead trees. So far this year over 2,000 newspapers have closed or merged. My hometown newspaper, The Daily Kingman Miner, has cut back to three issues a week.

   Everyone in my world wants to know: Have we hit bottom yet? Here is part of my blog post from 2005:

"In 1909, United States manufacturers produced 828,000 horse-drawn vehicles compared to fewer than 125,000 automobiles. By 1929. . .fewer than 4,000 horse-drawn vehicles were produced.”

This is a stunning turn of events, especially if you were heavily invested in the horse-drawn conveyance biz. Which leads me to this Email:

"I no longer subscribe to a newspaper—I used to receive three. Why should I when I can get all the same news online for free? Now, if magazine subscriptions start coming down, then I might start worrying!!"
—Bob Reece.

Is print media (ink on dead trees) headed for Boothill in a horse-drawn vehicle?

“A bird in the hand is dead.”
—Old Vaquero Saying

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Vaqueros Riding, Vaqueros Faces, Vaqueros Mucho Galore

November 24, 2019
   My current sketchbook is so full of vaqueros I am considering a book called "On The Border With Boze."

   It all started back on October 20.

Daily Sketchbook Whip Out:
"Vaquero In Serape"

Daily Sketchbook Whip Out:
"Vaquero Up Close"

Daily Sketchbook Whip Outs:
"Vaquero Mas Mucho"

Daily Sketchbook Whip Out:
"Vaquero Skidder"

Daily Sketchbook Whip Outs:
"Vaquero Pendejo"

Daily Sketchbook Whip Out:
"Vaquero Loping"

Daily Sketchbook Whip Outs:
"Old Vaquero Faces"

Daily Sketchbook Whip Out:
"Vaquero On The Mesa"

Daily Sketchbook Whip Outs:
"Vaqueros Galore"

"I'm not a cactus expert, but I know a prick when I see one."
—Old Vaquero Saying