Friday, December 31, 2021

Why Men Earn More Than Women And A Bonus Burr

 Dccember 31, 2021

   Went into the Beast last night with two beautiful women and had dinner at Ingo's on Washington, then walked down to the Federal Theater for a few laughs.

Stop Lights at Washington and First Street

   This is my old stomping grounds. Worked at New Times Weekly in the Westward Ho Hotel, on the second floor, then at the San Carlos Hotel, also on the second floor, then when the offices moved again, on the eighth floor of the Lawyer's Title Building from 1978 to 1985, and then at 12th Street and Jefferson, in the old converted school, they still occupy today. Of course it's changed. The buildings are taller and the streets are torn up (oh, the blight and anti-delight of light rail!) and the homeless people seem to have better insulation in their cardboard houses.

   Anyways, Kathy bought me and her sister Debbie tickets to see Bill Burr at the old Comerica Theater at Fourth Ave and Washington. It was a birthday treat from Kathy, Debbie's birthday is Dec. 9 and mine is the 19th. Thanks to my girl, we had great seats, right in the center (see microphone to the left of my hat).

The Spot Where Bill Burr Took No Prisoners

   If you don't know who Bill Burr is, these short bits should give you a good idea.

"If you wonder why society is going down the drain take a look at the people having children, then look at the people who you think would make good parents. That should tell you just about all you need to know."

"Well, why does a guy make more an hour to do the exact same job? I'll tell you why. Because in the unlikely event that we're both on a Titanic and it starts to sink, for some reason, you get to leave with the kids and I have to stay. That's why I get a dollar more than you."

"You're a kid, your whole life is awesome. You had no money, no ID, no cell phone, no nothing. No keys to the house. You just ran outside into the woods. You weren't scare of nothing. I challenge you to do that as an adult. All your IDs, all your credit cards, just run out of the house with no phone, turn the corner where you can't see your house, and not have a full on panic attack."

—Bill Burr

   Okay, just for grins, here's one more Bonus Burr:

"I gotta be honest with you. I'm kind of jealous of the way my dad gets to talk to my mom sometimes. Where are all those old-school women you can just take your day out on? When did they stop making those angels?"

—Bill Burr

Thursday, December 30, 2021

A Patched, Crazy Quilt Serape for Free?

 December 30, 2021

   Since our bad boy Mickey Free is such a mutt with a crazy-quilt-mashup of cultural backgrounds, I thought perhaps his serape should emulate that. 

Daily Whip Out:

"A Patched, Crazy Quilt Serape"

   The first time I made a run at this, back in 2014, I designed Mickey's serape as a garish, patch job of an American flag and a Mexican design like this.

2014 Daily Whip Out:
"Mickey's Half-Mexican-Half American
Flag Serape"

      My backstory was that a bruja had sewn it for him and included the American flag to make him a better target.

Daily Whip Out: "The Bruja Curse"

("I put a curse on that little bastardo.")

   Bruja is Spanish for witch and as I understand it she didn't like him one bit. Unfortunately, the flag motif perhaps went a little too far into the Captain America zone?

Daily Scratchboard Whip Out:
"Mickey's Hideout Pistol Trick"

   Still, I did my due dilligence on the crazy-quilt design, adding more aztec motifs, etc., and ended up here.

Daily Whip Out: "A Crazy Quilt Serape"

   Which, on reflection, seems too garrish and ostentatious for a bad boy headhunter. Talk about a better target! Anyway, I think he needs a little more stealth look on the serape.

Or, perhaps his serape should be simple and clean?

Daily Whip Out: "Vaquero In Green-Tan Serape"

   Or, just maybe there should be more black in there.

Daily Whip Out:

"Mickey Free: Headhunter"

(Black & Red Hipster Serape)

   At the end of the day, I need to pick one and move on. I agree with Mr. Hickey.

"I'm not interested in the intentions of artists. I'm interested in consequences."

—Dave Hickey, (1938-2021)

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Ratcliff Ridge Is Coming Back And So Is Mickey Free

 December 29, 2021

   A little wet out this morning, but here comes another ree-donk-u-lous sunrise over Ratcliff Ridge.

   Growth is slowly coming back.

File this one under:

Deerhead Ambushers

   So, I came up with three adversaries ambushing and attacking Mickey Free on his big jack and paying dearly for it. That was the simple, opening sequence of a new graphic novel.

Daily Whip Out: "Deerhead Ambush"

   In movies, these three would all be from central casting, and all dressed the same way—Bandidos!—and all armed with the same weapons. Sorry. Too predictable and frankly, lazy. 

   In my scenario, one of the attackers is a renegade Yaqui, one is a flaky know-it-all cowboy from Rodeo, New Mexico and the third one is a Mexican Whiner with a capital W. You know, this guy:

Daily Scratchboard Whip Out: 
"El Quejica, The Whiner"

   The Yaqui renegade uses a deerhead disguise, which he copped from a Yaqui ritual.

Daily Whip Out: "Deerhead Yaqui Attacker"

   And the sad sack cowboy from Rodeo, New Mexico, is this guy:

Daily Whip Out:

"Fools Who Think They Know

What They're Doing."

And here is who they are up against.

Daily Whip Out:

"Mick On The Big, Bad Jack"

"I wake up every morning and paint. I'll be damned but I just can't stop."

—Wayne Thiebaud, (1920-2021)

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Break Out The Hipboots FREE Is Coming

 December 28, 2021

   This is for the graphic novel on Mickey Free which my brothers, the Hualapais, are obviously excited about.

Daily Whip Out:

"Old Hualapai Saying"

   Some Hualapai medicine men claim the Anasazi had a legend about the arrival of a giant jack ridden by a scrawny misfit with one-glowing-eye. A drawing of it is on the walls of Bakchuk Canyon in northeast Mohave County.

Daily Whip Out:
"Anasazi Wall Painting Predicting Free"

      All of which brings up an interesting dilemma. I grew up with the spelling as Wallapai, then mysteriously, a couple decades ago, or so, the official usage changed to Hualapai, which is the Spanish spelling. Going the other way, at some point Mojave became Mohave. And, perhaps bizarrly, I prefer Mojave Desert and Mojave County (the j is so much sexier than the drab h), but I don't really like Hualapai and prefer Wallapai. It just seems so much more descriptive. Am I insane, or just some kind of a racist-hypocrite?

   Back to the forthcoming story. Several eye witnesses, ahem, claim Mickey Free had a demonic, glowing eye and also a strange, twisted grin that conveyed a cruel laughter when given voice.

Daily Whip Out:

"A Jagged Frown Turned Upside Down"

   Was he scowling or laughing? Or both. No one knew or could agree. Now, a word about those teeth marks on the brim of his hat. Accoridng to Jim Young, Mickey's mammoth jack took a bite out of it, just to irritate the boy.

   It worked.

   Obviously, they were a match made in heaven.

  Here's a proposed cover, by Dan the Man, for True West magazine that regretfully never ran.

Good Advice From Someone Who Is Not A Dentist

“Nobody dabbles at dentistry. There are some jobs that are only done by accredited professionals.
   And then there are most jobs, jobs that some people do for fun, now and then, perhaps in front of the bathroom mirror.
   It’s difficult to find your footing when you’re a logo designer, a comedian or a project manager. Because these are gigs that many people think they can do, at least a little bit.
   If you’re doing one of these non-dentist jobs, the best approach is to be extraordinarily good at it. So much better than an amateur that there’s really no room for discussion. You don’t have to justify yourself. Your work justifies you.
   The alternative is to simply whine about the fact that everyone thinks that they can do what you do.
  "The thing is, it might be true."
—Seth Godin

   So this is it. I've whined and churned and burned on this long enough. Get ready for the Mickey Free graphic novel, coming whether I am ready, or not.

"Those of us who make images must always be very conscious about the powers of images—about how they function—especially in a society where we are not taught our own history."
—Yolanda Lopez 

Monday, December 27, 2021

Authentic Wanted Posters Wanted & Marsh On The Front Page

 December 27, 2021

I bought this "Wanted" poster at a museum-curio shop in Seligman, Arizona, when my family was returning from a vacation to the family farm north of Thompson, Iowa.

Must have been about 1959 and I remember I paid a quarter for it and I bought another one of a Jesse James Wanted Poster, as well. This one, above, kind of looks authentic, but to my jaded-stared-at-a-ton-of-old-imagery-eye—not quite. The fonts are authentic, but the layout isn't quite right (looks like what a layout-graphics person in the 1950s would do trying to emulate an earlier time). My hunch is it was printed for a movie, or perhaps just printed by someone to sell to gullible tourists, like me. Here is the Jesse James one, and as you should be able to tell, this one is really thin, and even less authentic, to my old eyes.

Anyway, both have survived multiple moves, and I still have them, and the Younger Brothers one is starting to look like an old, authentic document with the yellowing and the jagged edges. The moral is, keep something long enough and it becomes authentic even when it's probably not authentic at all!

By the way, here is an actual Wanted poster for the James boys:

The Real Deal

Notice how this poster is all type and no photos. One exception I have seen is a bunch of combo posters with the photographs separate from the wording, carried together by a California lawman in the 1870s. It wasn't until the turn of the century and in many cases, up into the twenties, that the photo on the poster became prevalent. We should revist this in True West magazine. Anybody know an expert on these?

Here was a suprise waiting for me at the end of the driveway a couple days ago.

   Yes, I was so proud of our own Marshall Trimble staring up at me when I picked up the newspaper at the end of the driveway. Full disclosure: it freaked out my dog, Uno, but he got over it when I finally got him down from the top of the mesquite tree.

"The art of relaxing is part of the art of working."

—John Steinbeck

Sunday, December 26, 2021

The Glowing Cigar Trick I Poached From A German Poster Artist

 December 26, 2021

   Here's a little graphic trick I have been dying to use for the last 35 years.

Daily Whip Out:

"The Man With No Name Lit Up"

Notice the intense glow on that cigar. I was inspired by a 1920s era German poster artist, who Ed Mell turned me on to:

By Ludwig Hohlwein


   Of course, "inspired" is a nice way of saying poached. When I first joined Ed Mell in his art studio back in 1980, I found that Edmundo had a very choice library of old art books and I often perused them looking for inspiration. Of all the books in the stellar collection, this old, beat-up-book on Hohwein was my go to standout (I believe Ed's older brother, Frank, was the one who found it when they lived and worked in New York City in the 70s). 

My unravelling, but still valuable,

Ludwig Hohlwein book of poster art

When I left the studio in the late 1980s Edmundo gifted me the book and I still keep it next to my desk and often look at it and I am always inspired. If you've never heard of him, Ludwig Hohlwein was a German poster artist, a pioneer of something called the Sachplakat style. He trained and practiced as an architect in Munich until 1911, when he moved to Berlin and switched to poster design. Here's a couple of random examples of his impeccable and wonderful design sense:

Ludwig Shows Off

 Of course, Hohlwein lived through two world wars and he invariably portrayed the home team in a heroic light.

   His work is often used today to illustrate articles criticizing the romanticizing of Hitler Youth, etc. and one American artist, about 25 years ago, poached one of these hopelessly handsome youth posters for an American Beef Council ad and got caught doing it. I cringed for both Hohlwein and the artist. It's unfortunate when politics and genocide collide with art, and, history is written by the winners and unfortunately much of his art is buried under the crushing weight of his glorifying Nazis and pro-military posters.

Ludwig as pictured on the title page
of my poster book

  Speaking of history being written by the winners, here's an unsettling quote to the owner of a magazine called True West:

"True is just the compliment those with power pay to their own beliefs."

—Louis Menand

Christmas Day Eve Sunset Extraordinaire

 December 26, 2021

  A Christmas Day Sunset last night on the deck of the Bob Hoss hacienda.

The Creek has water in it!

Thanks to the 16+ hours of rain, from two days ago, the creek is running again and that made for a wonderful final gift on a wonderful day in the high Sonoran desert.

"Leave us all enjoy it."

—Jack Williams, the one-eyed, former governor of Arizona who signed off his radio broadcasts with this bon mot (In French, bon mot literally means "good word.")

Saturday, December 25, 2021

Bonus Blog: Scratched Billy the Kid Painting is Now Unscratched

 December 25, 2021

   In case you missed it, here is the end result of fixing the scratched Billy the Kid painting which Santa almost ruined by letting it drop out of his overloaded sleigh on Christmas Eve.

    I spent about an hour blending the paint over the scratches on the painting and trying to keep the background values consistent.

Daily Repaired Whip Out:

"Scratches Painted Over Successfully"

   Full Disclosure: I took the opportunity to correct some of the anatomical and perspective mistakes as well and, if you ask me, it looks better than it did before the disaster!

   The person who bought it is thrilled and now we're going to get it reframed and this time sent by stagecoach to be safe. Sorry Santa.

"I stopped believing in Santa Claus when I was six. My mother took me to see him in a department store and he asked for my autograph."

—Shirley Temple

Rain And More Rain

 December 25, 2021

   It rained for about 16 hours straight the night before last and most of the day yesterday, giving our front driveway a lakeside look. 

   That is our neighbors in the red truck, the Waltons, splashing along the river of a road that runs in front of our house. I assume they paddled, I mean drove, down the hill to their lakeside home.

   The desert is starting to come back after the disastrous Ocotillo Fire of 2020, but just to give you a glimpse of what was lost, here is an old photo, looking over at the cave that Cave Creek is named for, from four years ago.

   And here is that same view today.

   So, the point is, I am very thankful it is regenerating and I am also grateful that I got to see it in all its former glory.

   And just to put everything in perspective, here is a certain puppy taken last January.

Unocito (literally!)

   So, Merry Christmas to all of you. Hope you have a chance to hug the ones you love and solve some life with them. I've got a fire in the studio stove and a fire in the house fireplace and between them we'll break bread and give thanks for everything we have and all the things we used to have that we miss.

"Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened."

—Dr. Seuss

Friday, December 24, 2021

Can A Santa Claus Shipping Disaster Be Salvaged?

 December 24, 2021

   Apparently even Santa's delivery system has supply chain issues this year. 

Ho Ho Ho, Look Out Below!

   Here is photographic evidence of an overloaded sleigh dropping precious cargo:

Original BBB framed painting dropped

from sleigh

   Someone who knows someone, told me Santa was flying low over some houses when the expertly packaged painting fell out of the sleigh, otherwise it would have been a total loss. As it is, the glass on the frame shattered and shards scratched up the painting pretty good.

A photo of the painting before retouching


Close-up on the scratches

   So, the challenge is to repaint all those scattered, scratches with the right amount of similar colored gouache paint (water soluable) that is behind the scratches and see if I can cover up the scratches without destroying the values in the painting. Not going to be easy. Wish me luck.

   Okay, here you go. I spent about an hour blending the paint and trying to keep the background values consistent.

Daily Repair Whip Out:

"Scratches Painted Over"

   Full Disclosure: I took the opportunity to correct some of the anatomical and perspective mistakes as well and, if you ask me, it looks better than it did before the disaster!

"Ho Ho Ho, Santa is not liable for damages incurred on Billy the Kid related paintings."

—The fine print on the Santa rider

Thursday, December 23, 2021

Related to Outlaws at The O.K. Corral

 December 23, 2021

  Finally, after a month-and-a-half of editing and fiddling and soundtrack copyright issues, here is the O.K. Corral video Bill Watters and I put together.

We're Related to Outlaws!

Thanks to iMemories, in Scottsdale, Bill had digital access to all of my family's early photos and film (a cousin of my mother's, Wally Tintsman, took 16 mm color film of her and my cowboy kin at a Neal Ranch roundup in 1939!). One of the stunners in the video is a moving image of my grandfather, Bob Guess. I am named after him and he died a year before I was born and so, growing up, I heard all the stories about what a great cowboy he was from every one of his five daughters (my mother being the middle daughter). The problem for me growing up was there really weren't any good photographs of him. This is a good example.

Bob and Lue Guess at Steins Pass, New Mexico

in the 1920s, with their firstborn daughter,

Sadie Pearl.

You can't make out his face, which somehow made him even more mysterious. So, imagine my shock and suprise when I first saw the Wally Tinstman film of my grandfather on horseback, for the first time back in the eighties? The O.K. video is full of little gems like this.

In my talk I mention owning an Austin Healey and Bill found a shot of me driving that cute, but infernal, British sports car, taken by the late, great, Rick Ridenour, who stood on top of the engine at locomotive park in downtown Kingman and filmed me driving by, in the early morning hours of July 4, 1963. Then there's a cut to me shifting and a snippet of my driving with a pork pie hat on. It's stuff like this that makes the video very personal and very cool.

Then, there's this:

Three Oldtimers:
Gary Lowe, BBB and Richard Ignarski
at the 140th Anniversary of the O.K. Corral

Hard to believe, but now we're the oldtimers, telling the tall tales with the youngsters not paying attention and then wishing they had paid more attention to what we were saying, AFTER we're gone. And, so it goes.

"If I knew he was going to be so famous, I would have paid more attention."

—A Wyatt Earp nephew bemoaning the lack of attention he gave his famous elder

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Raise Your Hand If You Miss Uno!

 December 22, 2021

   Today is the late, great Charlie Waters' birthday. He would have been 74. Still miss the boy. He was a good one.

   Deena's family flew home yesterday. Several times during the two-and-a-half hour flight, she heard her daughter say, "Raise your hand if you miss Uno."

   On one of our walks up Morning Star, Frances got tired and didn't want to go up the hill any farther. When we came back down, Uno was sitting behind her like a guard dog.

Uno and Frances waiting in the shade

   Uno seems to be saying, You want to look at bugs. I'll sit here and look at bugs with you.

   I got some mighty fine birthday gifts this year, but I have to say, this photo, snapped by Carole Glenn at the Shea Blvd. Barnes & Noble takes the cake.

True West mountain man issue,

front and center!

   The reason this photo is so righteous to me is because this is the way Carole found the rack when she walked up to "fix it". Wow! Somewhere, the rack gods must be smiling down on us, because I sure am!

   I saw this posted on Facebook. Wyatt Earp's house in Tombstone is on the market for $575,000.

   Imagine what the original owners could have done with that money? Wyatt could have built a mansion at Vidal, bought Musso & Franks, the entire town of Goldfield and a half interest in The Cliff House, and still had money leftover for Josie to blow ten Gs every week on gambling.

Vanilla Fudge Poster, 1968

 "I can't believe Wyatt was a killer because he lived with that woman for over 40 years!"

—Kin of Wyatt Earp, who didn't think much of Sadie

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Japanese Woodblocks In The Wild West

 December 21, 2021

    My son is in Japan teaching, so, of course, for my birthday yesterday, he sent me the heaviest present I can remember receiving (with the possible exception of a Bob Gilpin Kingman Auto Parts Honda 50 in 1962). Thomas Charles sent me a 16.5 pound book: Japanese Woodcut Masterpieces. And, Boy Howdy, that they are!

Japanese Woodblock Masterpieces Cover

   Of course, the Japanese were doing these massive gems back in the 1700s. A long, strong tradition. And, by the way, they inspired van Gogh and many of the Impressionists. So, it's a bit foreign, but all interesting to me.

  A certain puppy has taken to another pup staying at our house. They totally dig each other.

Weston and Uno

Then there's this:

What The Hell We're We Thinking?

"You're the one who said you wanted to see other people. Well, can you see'em from here?"

"Where no plan is laid, where the disposal of time is surrendered merely to the chance of incident, chaos will soon reign."

—Victor Hugo