I have been chasing Billy the Kid for most of my life. Not full time, and not all the time, but often enough that I came close to a divorce, or two. Believe me, I know this is insane. My friends and I call it Kid Krazy. So, why am I so obsessed? How have I remained married to the same woman, who actually despises the Kid, for 41 years? And why am I even considering doing a third book on the same outlaw? This morning, I think I found the answer to all three questions.
And, it will all be in the book. As I said, this will be the third book I have done on Billy the Kid. That my friends is the definition of Kid Krazy. If you looked up the term, my picture should be there.
The first two books sold out and my book publishing partner, Ken Amorosano, asked me if I wanted to do a third book, rather than a reprint, and I said, yes, but this book is going to be a little different. I'm going to make a leap of imagination that I didn't attempt in the first two.
My curator, Kristi Jacobs, has dutifully filed all of my failed Billy the Kid efforts upstairs in my studio. They have been up there since the last book (1996). So I went up there this week and dug around and found a couple unfinished, or half-finished boards that I thought might have some potential. Like this one.
So I brought it downstairs and started adding some paint.
I can't really call the finished result a "Whip Out" because I have done at least five, long passes, at it in the past five days. For grins I sent it to a musician friend of mine, who flipped out over it and wrote a song inspired by it. His insight into the power of the image has led me to a very different take on the Kid. Final results tomorrow.
Meanwhile, I did whip this out this morning.
He could outrun the law but he couldn't outrun his heart. In the end, he should have gone south, but he chose to go north. And he lost his life over it.
Another Kid Krazy Kompadre
"I had avoided Billy the Kid because I knew down that road lies madness."
—The Top Secret Writer