Sunday, January 17, 2021

Tall Tales On The Cowboy Up Podcast

 January 17, 2021

   I had fun with these two cowboys, Russell True and Alan Day:

Cowboy Up

"Let 'er buck!"

—Rodeo Command

Saturday, January 16, 2021

You Can Expect More Cowbell From Mr. Bell in 2021

 January 16, 2021

   The very idea of "more cowbell" is now classic zane, thanks to a Saturday Night Live skit with Christopher Walken playing a record producer who comes out of the studio control room over and over, pleading with the band to add more cowbell to a fictional studio session for the song "(Don't fear) The Reaper" by Blue Oyster Cult. The skit is a send up of VH1's documentary series Behind the Music and was written by Will Ferrell, Donnell Campbell and Erika Perez. It aired on April 8, 2000 and is still worth a giggle, or two.

   Or three.

"More Cowbell"

   This is Will Ferrell at his very best, and I especially love the too short, hipster shirt that exposes his ample love handles. Just a hilarious and perfect detail to a hilarious send up of a zany band with a zany name and a zany tune. This bit about the weakest link in a drummer's kit has entered the culture as a catch phrase with instant recognition. How does something so small and so insignificant—a cowbell!—become larger than the genre it is, in fact, sending up? I'm not sure but frankly, I have some history with the instrument.

BBB in the time of real cowbells, 1974

Carl Bell farm, north of Thompson, Iowa

      I've had a cowbell on virtually every drum set I have owned since 1964, but with the possible exception of "Honkytonk Women" by the Stones, which starts with a classic cowbell riff, I'm hardpressed to think of another tune we played that utilized one.

BBB's cowbell on Ludwig kit, 
New Year's Eve, 1964, Girl's Gym,
Kingman Arizona

   If you hadn't noticed, I get quite a bit of inspiration from Rockers. I believe this quote brilliantly sums up our current predicament better than any politician:

"I feel empathy for the people who have been so manipulated and had their beliefs used as political weapons. I may be among them. I wish internet news was two-sided. Both sides represented on the same programs. Social media, at the hands of powerful people – influencers, amplifying lies and untruths, is crippling our belief system, turning us against one another. We are not enemies. We must find a way home."

—Neil Young

   And this brings us to Leslie West and Mountain.

Leslie West, the Distinctive 'Mississippi Queen' Rocker, Is Dead at 75

   I am inspired by two things in his obit. One is, his real name was Leslie Weinstein. When his parents divorced, he changed his name to West. Hmm, that was certainly a creative tweak. The second inspiration is the comment about the description of his playing style as "snarling lead lines" and guitar effects that are "uncommonly thick, with a vibrato that could shake with earthquake force."

Mr. Jack Alves, at left, the lead guitarist
in the Razz Band, circa 1984,
had some major, snarly Leslie West
style crunch.

   Here's Leslie to sum it up: "If you take a hundred players and put them in a room, 98 or 99 of 'em are gonna sound the same. The one who plays different, that's the one you're going to remember."

   To me, this not only applies to music, but to magazines and books and Daily Whip Outs for that matter. 

Daily Whip Out:

"Honkytonk Sue Gets Down at The Heatwave"

   Notice the drummer in this early BBB strip is on his cowbell. Oh, the details! The moral of the story is, you can expect a whole lot more cowbell from Mr. Bell in 2021.

"All I know is that rock 'n' roll guitar, like blues guitar, should be melody, speed and taste, but more important, it should have emotion. I just want my guitar playing to make people feel something; happy, sad, even horny."

—Eddie Van Halen (1955-2020)

Friday, January 15, 2021

Vente Or Veinte, Uno Is Going to Come Either Way

 January 15, 2021

   So it was a shower miracle that gave the pandemic puppy his final nombre de hombre. Kathy came out of the shower two nights ago, dried herself off and said, "He's a 2021 dog, so we should call him 'Vente, Vente Uno' or just Uno.'" That was enough for me. There was only one problem:

"Vente" = Come! (You come!). Clever.
"Veinte" = 20

   Okay, but it still works, either way. "You come! Uno!" or, "Hey, Twenty-Twenty-One. You come!" 

   Anyway, he is starting to answer to "Uno!" but I also like to confuse him with, "Vente, Uno! Vente!" Somehow, I think he's smart enough to figure it out, because there's a treat involved either way.

Veinte-Veinte-Uno On The Road Again

   Kathy bought a new lemon tree for the back yard and a certain pandemic puppy got real excited about watering that certain tree.

BBB and Uno Looking at
Watering Obligations

   Should be fun. Meanwhile, finished up a final scene I wanted to do for the next CG.

Daily Whip Out:
"Bass And Crew On The Hunt"

   I've got a story I want to tell about this Black lawman and his faithful sidekick Larry, and I think it could be a cool way into a new kind of Western. On the other hand. . .

"Nothing stinks like a pile of unpublished writing."
—Sylvia Plath

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Back to Bass Reeves On The Hunt

 January 14, 2021

   Wrapping up our big Bass Reeves package and had another chance to delve deeper into the adventures of this amazing lawman.

Daily Whip Out: "Bass On Guard"

   Often on his forays into the In-din Territories, US. Marshal Bass Reeves and his crew would round up as many as 17 fugitives and criminals which they then had to guard every night on the return trip to Fort Smith. When they stopped to camp, the prisoners were shackled to the wagon tongue of the chuck wagon and had to be guarded all night.

Daily Whip Out: "Bass The Farmer"

The Master of Surprise And Disguise
   Bass Reeves preferred to arrest bad men by surprise to cut down the likelihood they might fire on him. According to Reeves' biographer, Art Burton, Bass "did this in many different ways. From riding up on felons before they woke up in the morning, to using his many disguises and totally catching them off guard." Supposedly, one of Reeves' effective undercover disguises was to dress as a dirt poor farmer and pretend to be harmless. Shuffling literally into an armed camp with his hands in his pockets, Bass invariably got the drop on his unsuspecting prey—sometimes more than one! With over 3,000 arrests to his credit, his achievements at surprise and disguise are unparalleled and unmatched. Later in his career, Reeves trained many young deputies who worked the Indian Territory.

   During Judge Parker's 20 year tenure on the bench in Fort Smith, some 75 to 100 deputies died in the line of duty. Bass Reeves made, on average $400 a trip and his biggest haul was bringing in 17 prisoners with a fee of $900.

Daily Scratchboard Whip Out:
"Bass Reeves On The Hunt"

   The U.S. Attorney General estimated that of the 20,000 whites living in the Indian Territory during the time Reeves was active, only 5,000 were law abiding. Judge Parker, known as "The Hanging Judge" actually hanged 30 Whites, 26 In-dins and 23 Blacks.

Daily Scratchboard Whip Out:
"Bass With His Trusty Rifle"

"He could shoot the left hind leg off of a contented fly sitting on a mule's ear at a hundred yards and never ruffle a hair."
—Oklahoma Yarn About The Shooting Prowess of Bass Reeves

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

More Poo Poo Adventures of The Pandemic Puppy

 January 13, 2021

   An update on the pandemic puppy front:

BBB Arm Candy

The Poo Poo Adventures of Pandemic Puppy

   Kathy said an amazing thing to me today, "I think I'm too old to have a dog." She was being facetious, of course, as she is wont to do, but her brutal honesty—in the midst of yet another poo poo incident— is so damn breathtaking it makes me love her more than ever. She has a point though. Actually, both of us are TOO OLD to have a puppy. One of the podcasts on raising a puppy warns that you should be prepared to care for your pooch for about 15 years, or you shouldn't consider getting one. Well, let's see, I'm 74 now, so that means I will be taking care of this dog when I'm 89? Is that right? Could that flippin' be right?

   Of course it is.

   Kathy took the pooch to the vet this morning and I took a photograph of them in the car, but Kathy later noted we put the dog in the crate upside down, (the crate, not the dog). Oh, boy.

Pandemic Pooch in Car Carrier Upside Down

   As for the name of the pandemic pooch, two of our favorite grandkids came up with "Rocko Leafy" which is hilarious, but Kathy and I just couldn't get our tongues around that funny and fractured nombre. It will make a great family story but we finally settled on "Vente Vente Uno" or "Uno" for short (Kathy came up with it in the shower last night). He is a 2021 dog in a 2020 world (he was actually born in November of 2020 but you get what I mean). One of the books says he will be in this Baby-Pooping-All-The-Time stage for 56 more days. Wish us luck.

"I just installed a skylight in my apartment. The people who live above me are furious."

—Steven Wright

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Hope for The Future And Finding Our Way Back Home

 January 12, 2021

   Sometimes when I am noodling paint in my sketchbook, a little snippet of a life story will take shape, like this.

Daily Whip Out: "Under The Tonto Brim"

What's In A Name?

   Tonto was no fool, but with a name like that he sure got the grief. That and the striped shirt he wore from a Yuma prisoner he killed on the road to Superior. Somehow they pigeon-holed Tonto as a fool AND a loser. Some people. Yes, some people are so judgmental. To his credit Tonto tried valiently to stop procrastinating but he kept putting it off. In fact, a total stranger from Galeyville said of him, "When a man tells you he's no fool, he has his suspicions." Can you believe that? Some people are so artless.

Other Artwork in Progress:

• The Coffee Drinker

• The Ind-din Nation Enforcers

• Wild Women Cover Babes

• Bass Reeve's Faithful Companion Larry

"Larry, The Faithful Sidekick"

Hope for the Future

Here's a serious young girl who is fascinated with a book she found in her parent's house. The young woman's name is Frances and the book is "The Illustrated Life & Times of Geronimo." Her grandpa is very proud of her taste in reading.

Love that "Toggy Snoggy" Sidebar

Out of The Car Longhair!

Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear when the length of your hair could get your little honky-butt whipped.

Central Heating, 1971

   L to R: Cliff Feldman, Jack Townsend, Mike Torres and BBB, in Tucson, one block north of Time Market on University Blvd. 

   The one guy in this cringy photo who actually made a decent career out of music is the Torres kid, who later, wrote and recorded a rockin' song, based on a Classic Gunfight I did for True West magazine. We intended to have "Cathouse Melee" be the theme song for the several hundred True West Moments I did for the Westerns Channel from 2002 to 2012, but it never quite made it to air.

Crazy Town
   A neighbor, down on the creek, sent me some crazy stuff that another neighbor sent him. I won't repeat it—trust me, it's plumb crazy—but I have to say, in response to the current crazy, I agree with this guy:

"I feel empathy for the people who have been so manipulated and had their beliefs used as political weapons. I may be among them. I wish internet news was two-sided. Both sides represented on the same programs. Social media, at the hands of powerful people – influencers, amplifying lies and untruths, is crippling our belief system, turning us against one another. We are not enemies. We must find a way home."

—Neil Young

Daily Whip Out:
"Old Man Vicente Otero"

"Old man take a look at my life, I'm a lot like you were."

—Neil Young, Harvest

Monday, January 11, 2021

The Twain Shall Never Meet?

 January 11, 2021

   Up all night with a puppy. What was I thinking of. I'm fond of old sayings that grow on you.

Classic Boze

They laughed when I said I wanted to be a comedian.

      Well, they're not laughing now.

The Daily Grind

   One of things I am eternally thankful for is when I stumble out to the kitchen first thing in the morning and pour a cup of coffee and grab a banana and go back to bed to wake up properly. I am beyond thrilled that we have an automatic coffee maker with a timer so that I don't have to do this old school. You know, chop wood, gather kindling, build a fire, boil water, add coffee grounds and pour mud into a tin cup 45 minutes later. I'm also thankful for our electric range.

Flippin' Flapjacks, Camp Cook, 1874

"Most people love their friends, family and country; if there is any love left over it usually goes to Mark Twain."

Alfred Paine Bigelow, Twain's biographer

Saturday, January 09, 2021

Welcome to Cactusland Triple B Double Trouble

 January 9, 2021

   Drove up to Chino Valley today and paid way too much for a dog. Brought him home. Looking for a name. The nominees are:

• Mank

• Ranger

• Panther

• Chino

• Pee Pee Head

Welcome to Cactusland!

  This is part of a new phenom called "Pandemic Puppies." Everyone is getting puppies and plastic surgery because, well, they have the time at home to recover.

   Meanwhile, here are a few more Classic Boze comics that got me in major trouble.

Triple B Double Trouble

   I've done quite a few cartoons that have given my home town heartburn. Here are three of them.

Kingman Heartburn

   Yes, this cartoon is based on the fact that Cornel Wilde starred in a Hollywood movie called "Edge of Eternity," in 1959, which was filmed all around my hometown and in my dad's gas station, Al Bell's Flying A, on Hilltop.

   And, of course, there were Route 66 legends I heard about working in that Flying A gas station and this is one of them:

   Several years later, I saw the Beatles at the Convention Center in Las Vegas, which prompted this broadside:

Who Opened for The Beatles In Las Vegas in 1964?

Coming next, the Over-The-Line Boze cartoons that got two newspapers firebombed. Ay Yi Yi!

"Nothing changes more than the past"

—Old Triple B Saying

Friday, January 08, 2021

A Literal Epiphany On Red State Blue State Cowboy

 January 8, 2021

   It's always darkest just before the dawn, or, so I've been told. With the ridiculous events of this week, I was heartened by an email this morning from a recent subscriber about a painting of mine that ran in the January issue of True West magazine:

Dear Mr. Bell,

   I am not from your area, or even in Arizona.  I live on the Central Coast of California, Los Osos to be exact.  I recently subscribed to True West magazine and saw your artwork and sentiments which were printed above.  Your words are exactly what Americans should be doing.  I am neither red nor blue, having been born in Bowie, Texas and raised in Arkansas, with my family coming from the Fort Smith Area.  I have valued both parties at times, but now we must learn yet again how to be Americans first, and leave politics to a secondary status.  I was a river pilot on the Mississippi system for years, but left it to go to graduate school.  Now I am a United Methodist pastor and clinical pastoral counselor.  I received the magazine on the eve of Epiphany, and our capital was invaded on Epiphany.  Your words were part of the Epiphany that helped me to understand and create some wisdom of how to treat these events of our time personally, and for my congregation and community.  As a person whose vocation is comprised of words, I appreciate your words."
—Blessings, Stephen Meadors

   This is so heartening and hopeful to me. Of course, when this same painting and caption was posted on the True West Facebook page last week, it got ugly fast. Here is the nicest comment I could find:

"I appreciate your opinion True West, but to use an old term, 'we have no truck' with socialist democrats."

   On the other hand, here is a response from one of our contributing editors to Stephen Meadors' letter:

   "Oh, cripe.  Beware those Methodist pastors.  Wes Hardin's daddy is a case in point. But seriously, his viewpoint is more common than we might think.  The great, quiet majority seeks peace and unity in this time of turbulence.  Your art spoke to their hearts."

—Pastor Mark Boardman

"Your religious and political beliefs don't make you a better person. How you treat those different from you is what makes you a good person."

—Russ Shaw, Jr.

   All well and good, but let's don't forget the words of a certain ear biter.

"Everybody has a plan until they've been punched in the mouth."

—Mike Tyson

Thursday, January 07, 2021

Classic Boze, Triple B Jeep Tours And Medical Marijuana

 January 7, 2021

   I recently came across some old artwork that caused a lot of trouble for myself and my former employer, New Times Weekly. Every week I used to do a Boze doubletruck on anything I wanted, and, as it turns out, a certain feminist group in Phoenix did not like this cartoon.

Or, for that matter, these cartoons.

   Fast forward a year, or so, later, and I did this illustration for the annual Best of Phoenix issue. I was asked by the publisher, Jim Larkin, to illustrate a billboard campaign for Best of Phoenix that would go with the headline, "We Settle All The Arguments." I thought it might be funny if we had the two mayoral candidates at the time, Terry Goddard and Margaret Hance choking each other. You know, like this:

Daily Whip Out:

"Terry Goddard And Margaret Hance"

   This illustration appeared on a billboard on Central Avenue in Phoenix. The local members of "Women Take Back The Night," the same feminist group who were not amused by the PMF cartoons, were convinced that Terry Goddard had a "superior choke hold" on Ms. Hance and they subsequently kidnapped 500 New Times newspapers holding them for ransom on the condition that I be fired. Editor Mike Lacey steadfastly refused, but later fired me for other reasons.

Classic Boze Lack of Business Sense

   I have been playing around with opening a small art gallery to sell paintings, scratchboards, art prints, books and Bozecards. I asked my creative friends to come up with a store name—befitting old school Cave Creek businesses like The Town Dump, The Horny Toad and The Satisfied Frog—and here are a couple of the more zany suggestions.

The Clown Dump

—Dan The Man Harshberger

Triple B's Jeep Tours and Medicinal Marijuana Plus Art and Books! 
   Once you get them in the door, you can tell them the jeep tours and marijuana are currently sold out.
—Michael Bortscheller

Triple B Ranch
—Carole Glenn

“There is a dark side to our history. But those who see it only in terms of the warts are as one-sided as those who see only the glory.”
—Elmer Kelton

Wednesday, January 06, 2021

The Sordid Truth Behind The Killing of The Kid

 January 6, 2020

   Here's something that's been eating at me for a long time.

The Sordid Truth Behind The Killing of the Kid

   I have been researching and studying the life of Billy the Kid for at least four decades and I've just finished my third—and final—book on his short and violent life. I believe it's finally time to tell the truth about one of the biggest lies in the entire saga and that is the contorted and ridiculous Pat Garrett version of how the Kid died. In my opinion, it's a total lie. I don't believe Billy was walking in his stocking feet across the parade ground to get some beef. I don't believe he was armed with a Colt Thunderer.  

"I'm not afraid to die like a man fighting, but I would not like to be killed like a dog unarmed."
—Billy the Kid

   To be blunt, I believe the Kid was shot down like a dog.

   Why the goofy and unbelievable subterfuge?

   Garrett knew he had some 'splain'in' to do. He knew it was cold-blooded and, on some level, he did what he had to do in order to get the job done. Plus, he felt an obligation to protect the Maxwell name from scandal (Pete's sister was 15!) But, it doesn't change the fact that the Kid had zero chance to defend himself. He had been caught with his pants down and he took a bullet in the heart. 

   In the end, it was inevitable that one of the lawmen with Garrett that night would confide to a mining partner the brutal truth about how Garrett got the Kid, and it wasn't pretty.

   And, in the end, Garrett got what was coming to him.

"Spit in the sky and it comes back."
—Old Vaquero Saying

Monday, January 04, 2021

'Staying Alive' to Witness Rare & Collectable BBB Books

 January 4, 2021

   Our intrepid editor, Stuart Rosebrook, has been rounding up some great images for our next issue, including this sweet, little piece:

Early Lone Ranger artwork

  Great color and action. I want to apply this to a couple things I'm working on, which is a nice way of saying, I'm stealing it.

Lost A Couple More Friends Last Year

   On days like this, I miss my friends who have passed. Mostly I regret not being able to call them to ask them what they think of the current insanity. This is so true of my best friend Charlie Waters, who passed six years ago. Not a day goes by that I don't want to call him up and say, "How did we end up here, Charlie, and where the hell is this all going?"

   And, the thing is, he would have a good, solid answer!

   On another front, I have now lived long enough to see the prices on some of my books begin to enter the Rare & Collectable Zone. It took some time. The first—and most painful—phase is when you go into a used book store and see your precious titles on sale for less than the original retail price!

    That will keep you humble—for decades.

   This year a couple of benchmarks have appeared on the horizon. I got an email from a book collector named Josh, who bought one of my books from the estate of the legendary Ed Bartholomew. Here is the title page with my personal note to Ed.

The Title Page of "El Chivato"
my first book on the Kid, published in 1992

   This morning I heard from a Billy the Kid researcher and friend, Chuck Usmar, who informed me he just bought a special collection, first edition of the same book, "El Chivato," and that it is signed to Bob McCubbin. In fact, it came out of the McCubbin estate sale where it was bought by Kevin Mulkins of K&B Books in Tucson, who then sold it to Chuck. It's not polite to reveal the prices they paid but let me just say, they made me smile.

   Meanwhile, in the new year I intend to return to earlier work with the hope and desire of reviving story ideas that inspired me before the lockdown.

Daily Scratchboard Whip Out:
"Olive In Shadow #2"

   Here we go. Wish me luck. Where do I start Pablo?

"To know what you're going to draw, you have to begin drawing."


Sunday, January 03, 2021

Signs Point Up for A New Year

January 3, 2021

   We are all so hopeful as the new year takes off. I wish we had a saddle for it, but, well, at least we are still in control?

From the movie set of "The Misfits"
1961, photograph by Ernest Haas

   I'm a firm believer that there are signs all around us if we are willing to open our eyes. Sometimes even nature signals us.

Finger Rock near Union Pass, Arizona

   Yes, even nature is signaling up for the new year. 

"The producer kept telling me: 'Get tough. Get mean. Get angry.' But I'm a nice guy. I'm Canadian."

—Nick Cordero, actor 


Saturday, January 02, 2021

The Best Western I have Seen In Years

 January 2, 2021

   Holding my breath. So far, so good for the new year.

   Thanks to John T. Marshal for the great cartoon.

   I am a fan of Anthony Lane and his writing. Thanks to my friend Daryl Drake, I reread Lane's piece in The New Yorker on the new director Chloe Zhao and it made me want to find and watch her first film "The Rider" which I really had no interest in seeing when it came out (2018). She is from China, via England, and she landed out West at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation where she filmed and created a movie that is half-documentary and half fictional and she paid for the entire film herself ($80,000) and I know this is all off-putting, as it was to me, but let me just say, the scene around the campfire is the best depiction of real cowboys I have seen since I sat around a real campfire, with real cowboys, on the Big Sandy in Mohave County many moons ago.

   Here's the link to the story.

On The Road With "Nomadland"

  "The Rider" is the best Western I have seen in years. Just so damn honest and it constantly plays against the tropes of Westerns: he smokes weed, he is a bully, he is selfish and, yet, when he backs down (which cowboys in Westerns never do) it's the bravest thing a cowboy has ever done on film. I cried, watching him cry! Which is another thing you never see cowboys do in a Western. Wow! If you haven't seen it, check it out. Meanwhile, Chloe has a new film coming out called "Nomadland." It debuts in February and it also looks very, very good.

Daily Scratchboard Whip Out:
"Thunder Thighs"

   Last night we watched the new "Wonder Woman, 1984" and it is a turgid mess. Doesn't hold together at all and just goes on and on, forever. The first one had a sweetness that is totally missing here.

   I don't know why, but I am in the mood for a superhero with thunder thighs. Dammit, aren't you?

"Every decade or so, the world is tested by a crisis so grave that it breaks the mould: one so horrific and inhumane that the response of politicians to it becomes emblematic of their generation—their moral leadership or cowardice, their resolution or incompetence. It is how history judges us."
—Jo Cox, October 13, 2015

Friday, January 01, 2021

The Best Parts of The Worst Half of A Ridiculous Year

 January 1, 2021

   In celebration of the passing of the most ridiculous year in memory, here is the second half of my notes culled from the six sketchbooks I filled with scribblings and notes in the past 12 months.

Daily Whip Out:
"March 13 Quarantine Inspired Sketches"

   Just prior to the quarantine on March 13, I became obsessed with a certain Mexican character I have wanted to pursue for some time.

Daily Whip Out:
"Pendejo On The Peak"

   Some of my New Mexican friends are a little mystified and troubled by my character's nickname (hello Lynda!) but I just think there is room in the graphic novel world for one bonafied A-hole. Not to be too crude about it all but I actually think a name for last year could seriously be, 2020: The Year of The Asshole. Or, is that too sentimental?

   But enough about rectal matters. Let's get on to my reflections and concerns about being in the heart of the demo ripe for coming down with Covid-19.

Daily Whip Out: "The Scowler"

• Whoever said one person can't change the world never ate an undercooked bat.

Daily Whip Out:
"A Walk Down Memory Lane"

• One of the greatest curses ever inflicted on the human race is memory. In the middle of our never-ending quarantine, for some reason I keep obsessing about a waiter at Victor's in NYC who spilled soup in my lap. I'm almost positive he did it on purpose and the restaurant paid to have my jacket cleaned but the real question is, what the hell was I doing to incite such hateful scorn? True, I was wearing a cowboy hat and I was probably talking loud and joking around and I was with The Top Secret Writer and my son Thomas, so, well, of course he must have had it in for me. Or, maybe it's all in my head (Kathy thinks it is). Ha. True, this was in 2006, but this was not a fun obsession to be dwelling on in the middle of a pandemic. Too much time to think about snotty New York waiters and a long forgotten dinner in a Cuban restaurant I will never go back to.

   So, there was that.

Daily Whip Out: "Bob Dylan Is El Pendejo?"

• True fact: Robert Allen Zimmerman is his real name.

• The tiger and the lion may be more powerful, but the wolf doesn't perform in the circus.

• True fact: Robert Allen Bell is my real name.

• Now, in the middle of the pandemic, marijuana is legal and haircuts are not. It took fifty years but the hippies finally won!

• A wise man can learen more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer.

Daily Whip Out:
"Mexico Reaps The Whirlwind #11"

   I did at least a dozen of these studies, inspired by two things: A plethora of dust devils I witnessed last summer and fall and the inescapable, metaphorical connection between these devious "devils" and the death and destruction of the Mexican Revolution, which I intend to marry in an upcoming project, or two.

Daily Whip Out:

"Mexico Reaps The Whirlwind #12"

"Seeing ourselves as others see us would probably confirm our worst suspicions about them."

—Franklin P. Adams

• During the daytime I don't believe in ghosts. After dark I am more open-minded.

 • Telling headline: Movie Theaters Returned. Audiences Didn't.


"I hate the feeling of being nervous and when that verges on panic, I get great ideas. The more I feel backed into a corner, the more rewarding it becomes when I figure my way out of the corner."

—Stephen Spielberg

"No matter how great the talent or efforts, some things just take time. You can't produce a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant."

—Warren Buffet

"No artist tolerates reality."


"What usually has the strongest psychic effect on the child is the life which the parents have not lived."

—Carl Jung

All Six Sketchbooks And The Kid

"War is God's way of teaching Americans geography."

—Ambrose Bierce

"The historian will tell you what happened. The novelist will tell you what it felt like."

—E. L. Doctorow 

• Learning is a slow process but quitting won't speed it up.

"Your struggle is your strength. If you can resist becoming negative, bitter or hopeless. In time, your struggles will give you everything."

—Bryant H. McGill

"Everything is bad for you. We're all dying. Being healthy is just dying more slowly."

—Ricky Gervais, "After Life"

• In failure, there is victory. In death, there is life.

"Difficulty is our plow."

—W.B. Yeats

• Pros are just amateurs who know how to gracefully reover from their mistakes.

"In 100 years much of what I take to be true today will be proved wrong."

—Kevin Kelly

"The secular has left us with no rules to break and, therefore, not more thrills to gain."

—Doreen St. Felix

"Trump is, for better or worse, the foremost symbol of resistance to the overwhelming woke cultural tide that has swept along the media, academia, corporate America, Hollywood, professional sports, the big foundations and almost everything in between. To be blunt, for many people, he's the only middle finger available to brandish against the people who've assumed they have the whip hand in American culture."

—Rich Lowry

• If your candidate lost it's because you didn't put enough flags on your truck. Blame yourself.

• Your call is very important to us. Please enjoy this 40 minute flute solo.

Daily Scratchboard Whip Out:

"Billy Throws Down"


  Yes, we just got our advance copies of BtKIII and this illio, above, appears on page 27. I have to say, it's the best book I have had the privilege to work on. Kudos to Robert Ray, Dan Harshberger, Stuart Rosebrook, Ken Amorosano and Beth Deveny. Just rich color on every page and the layouts are spectacular and thanks to Stuart and Beth the typos are nil. Of course, because of the pandemic we had to work over Slack (a cousin to Zoom) and it took about 90 extra days to finish the book. I did not enjoy that, but we had to do it, and we still brought it in at only two weeks late. I paid for that though. I'm too old to be doing this and I think I broke something.

"Turn loose now you sons of bitches, I'll give you a game!"

—Billy the Kid to the men guarding the Tunstall Store, February 15, 1878

"I spent so many years in the fourth grade they gave me tenure."

—Marshall Trimble

"Craziness down through history, has performed impressively."

—John Updike

• Be careful when you follow the masses, sometimes the M is silent.

"One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries."

—A.A. Milne

Daily Whip Out: 

"El Pendejo Approached The Cave Warily"

"I haven't spoken to my wife in 18 months. I don't want to interrupt her."

—Red Skelton's recipe for the perfect marriage

Daily Whip Out: "Pecos Maiden Not Amused"

"The calamity that comes is never the one we had prepared ourselves for."

—Mark Twain, 1896

"Your religious and political beliefs don't make you a better person. How you treat those different from you is what makes you a good person."

—Russ Shaw, Jr.