Monday, January 17, 2022

Warning: Colon Hydrotherapy Potty Humor Ahead

 January 17, 2022

   Well, I survived the Colon Hydrotherapy session yesterday but I will tell you it was a sitstorm from start to finish. 

Shades of Mister Pee Pee Head!


   Warning: there's even more juvenile, potty humor ahead, but for your reading protection I have changed out the offensive scatalogical slang for feces with the word "sit" so you can get the full bowel moving effect of my hilarious, anal probing experience, but not, I hope, sit your pants. 


   First off, here is what the spa brochure says about the procedure: "Colon hydrotherapy is a simple, safe and convenient treatment, taking up to 45 minutes. Cleanses and rehydrates to detoxify and tone the peristatic muscles of the large intestines. FDA approved, closed system, professional equipment means there is no mess or smell and your therapist will work discreetly, always protecting your safety and dignity."

   All true. I should also say that my therapist is the director of the spa here at the resort and she was quite calming, professional and funny. When it was over, she said, "Well, how was it?" and I quipped, "Quite impactful." I thought that was pretty clever, but she rolled her eyes and I immediately realized she has probably heard every crap joke in the history of the world—every single day. So I asked her to name a couple of colon groaners and she laughed and offered me this, "Well, I guess I'm not as full of sit as everyone says," and "I'd rate this as a number two." Oh, man, wish I had thought of that one, or two, as the case may be, but as you can see there are some funny crappers, besides myself, who have done this. She also confessed to me Colon Hydrotherapy changed her life. She told me she used to be high strung and angry and when she did a colon cleanse "ten times in a row," so much of her anger and stress just fell away. I totally bought this, but I just can't quite get passed the "ten times in a row" part.


   The words ass and hole are never used. The catchall term is "speculum," which, at first, gives it a confusing nomenclature: "You want me to insert the tube in my speculum?" And then when she applies the lubricant, you know exactly where the speculum is going. And speculum apparently is an instrument for dilating a body cavity to permit examination of its interior.


   As for the sensation of the experience, you know that feeling you get in your lower body when you have eaten something bad and you are concerned you are not going to make it the bathroom in time. It's that feeling for 45 minutes.


   Honestly, I felt better for having done it, but on the scale of things I have enjoyed on this vacation, colon hydrotherapy would fall somewhere below driving on I-10 thru Palm Springs during rush hour. 

   No sit, Sherlock.

"Rectum? Damn near killed 'em!"

—Old Vaquero Saying

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Get Back to Where You Once Belonged

 January 16, 2022

   Fifth day in rehab. And, by rehab, I mean vegging out at a desert spa on the Mojave Desert. Kathy believes my nagging headaches are not Long Haul Covid related, but rather, are caused by the stress from my work, which is invariably executed while crunched over a drawing board and/or a computer screen. Turns out a masseuse here, named Mercedes, agrees with Kathy. She has beat me up pretty good for two days straight. I firmly believe her elbow alone could bring down a charging bull moose and Whoo boy, she really hurt me (in a healthy way), all the while informing me my shoulders and upper back are "frozen," and if I don't learn to stretch and let go, I will have a severely curved spine, like those old people you see who come in the post office and don't have to bend over to open their PO box near the floor. Four more massages to go and we'll see if it makes a difference.

   And, yes, the Colon Hydro-flushing is today. I promise to spare you the intimate details.

   Or, maybe I won't spare you. Could be funny in a shits and giggles kind of way—literally!

Get Back to Where You Once Belonged

Beatles 4-ever

   It dawned on me this morning how fragile creative efforts are, especially when it involves a team. I finished the epic "Get Back" Beatles documentary last week and it has been eating at me ever since. On the one hand it was breathtaking to watch those talented Liverpool lads create some of their most classic songs out of thin air, but, at the same time, it was painful to me to witness the backbiting and the bruised egos (George quit the band half way thru!), and that pathetic aspect of being in a band and trying to create something is all too familiar to me. I have been in numerous bands so the terrain is familiar. What invariably happens is, one—or two—of the band members are ambitious and want to practice and create original material and get somewhere, while the other members just want to get laid and do the least amount of work possible. That in a nutshell is what all creative effort is about. The slackers vs. the hackers, the latter hacking away at anything that might lead to a better outcome. A recording contract, a successful tour, an actual house to live in.

   Or, creating covers for True West magazine. It's a very fragile contraption.


"If two people agree on everything, one of them is uncessessary."

—Old Vaquero Saying


"If I'd asked my customers what they wanted, they'd have said a faster horse."

—Henry Ford

Saturday, January 15, 2022

The Life of A Desert Rat

 January 15, 2022

   We can't visit a new place and be there very long before I start seeking out the history of the region, especially seeking out someone quirky, who helped found the town. In the case of Desert Hot Springs, California, that would be Cabot Yerxa, who homesteaded in the Coachella Valley in 1913 and built a ramshackle pueblo-castle home from 1941 to 1949, that we visited this morning.

A Desert Rat Admiring Another Desert Rat's

Rambling Pueblo


   On this quirky, totally cool homestead, Yerxa, dug his own well and, in doing so, discovered a vast underground mineral springs acquafier.


Cabot Yerxa, at left, digging his well while a friend, Bob Carr, holds Cabot's son, Rodney.


   He discovered 130 degree water at a depth of thirty feet, up on Miracle Hill, which we can see from our resort window.


   Yerxa wrote a column for the local paper—The Desert Hot Springs Sentinel—for many years (he died in 1965) and in one of the columns he describes encountering the local wildlife:


"So every day we learned more about desert animals, birds snakes, lizards and insects. Most were retiring and kept out of the way. Not so with the desert rat. This is the smartest little creature of them all, and it came forward at once to investigate us and our belongings. Rats went in and out of our boxes and bags. If no holes were present, then holes were made. Food was eaten on the spot or carried away to their storehouse in a business like way.

   "A 25-pound box of prunes has 2,000 prunes, and rats left alone will carry every one away in a few nights. They will eat lables off cans, eat corks out of bottles, and cut holes through one inch boards easily, and two-inch boards with more time. Yet they look so clean and are so smart in eluding their enemies that one is tempted to forgive their depredations. All snakes are after them, coyotes work sly tricks, and hawks, owls and birds of prey watch for the busy rats day and night. Yet they prosper in a country where food is a problem and there is no water. Rats can climb a barrel cactus and gather seeds from its top in spite of all the thorns."

—Cabot Yerxa, September 7, 1951


   You might file this one under professional courtesy because Yerxa was a first class desert rat himself. In another column, he writes, "Letters are my only amusement. I do not have radio or visitors. I live entirely alone. I have not seen a moving picture in seven years, nor have I been in a restaurant, or any place styled as amusement, in seven years."

—Cabot Yerxa,  May 21, 1953


   And, so, I love the guy. On a related note the first newspaper I worked on was the Kingman Junior High Desert Rat.


"The trouble with winning the rat race is you're still a rat."

—Lily Tomlin

Friday, January 14, 2022

Colon Flush Anybody?

 January 14, 2022

   So, Kathy told me she was treating me to the spa experience but only if I accepted and tried everything they offered. I agreed. 

Desert Spa Regimen

   Today I got the full menu of all the spa therapy we will be experiencing. Some of it I have already sampled. There is something called a Himalayan Salt Room. Check. There is a regular steam room. Check. There is a Lymphatic Flow Treatment Massage. Check. There is something called The Black Baltic Mud Wrap, which Kathy received and gave me a pass. Whew. I swam laps in the gigantic pool and enjoyed it. Check. And there are even healthy drinks in the Oasis Cafe, on the premises, where I sampled the Orange Immunity and the Agave Lemonade. Check. But, now as we head into the weekend there is one treatment looming, scheduled for Sunday, and I didn't really know about it when I agreed and I am not looking forward to it, but here we go. It's something called Colon-Hydrotherapy and, as I understand it, for all you guys with service station experience, it's basically a radiator flush only the hose clamps are attached to your anus. And, in this case, that would be my anus.

   Oh, boy. Anybody experienced this? Who has the huevos to talk about it?


"Serves you right, for leaving me here."

"I'm thinking about it!"

—Old joke about a guy who is bitten by a rattlesnake on his privates and when he tells his friend if he doesn't suck out the venom he will die, he gets this answer.

Thursday, January 13, 2022

The Past Coming In Thru Another Gate

 January 13, 2022

   We are holed up at a desert hot springs on the Mojave Desert. Here is the view this morning.

San Jacinto Peak with snow on it


  Love the Mojave Desert and all these hidden hot springs. While we are away, Kathy hired her nephew to babysit a certain dog. EJ sent us this photo of the boy this morning.

The Regal Uno


   One of our readers is bothered by all the swearing on "Yellowstone" and "1883" and wants to know if they really swore that much in the real old west. Here is what I told him.


Old West Potty Mouths

   The short answer is Hell Yes! With one caveat. Men have always had potty mouths around each other going back to the beginning of language. The one area where men cleaned up their act is around women. A good example of this is a memoir I read by a farm woman who remembered an incident soon after her marriage. Her husband was out with several other farm hands, building a barn for their homestead and she thought she would surprise him with a treat, so she went out and sat in the shade to wait for an opportunity to show herself. She wrote that she was mortified to hear her husband cursing up a storm, using words she had never heard him utter, ever. When she showed herself he too was embarrassed. This illustrates to me how swearing was very male oriented in those Victorian times. The other change in our language is that the F-bomb became ubiquitous during WWII when it evolved to be used as a verb, an adjective and everything else. So, yes, there was plenty of swearing in the Old West, but as a general rule, men did not swear around women. 

    Hope that fuckin' helps.


"I believe the future is only the past again, entered through another gate."
—Sir Arthur Wing Pinero

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Hot Springs Tonight!

 January 12, 2022

   We are working on a character for the Mickey Free story I am calling the Gotcha Kid, a young, whippersnapper reporter who hates bad history and exposes many of the lies in the popular Mickey Free story which will anchor the first half of the story. He is very brash and he's hopelessly stuck in the seventies with paisley shirts and a scorpion embedded bola tie. This is how I envision him.

Daily Whip Out: "The Gotcha Kid"


   I was inspired by a bola tie that I was gifted by the New Times Weekly many moons ago, but when I went to find it, I discovered it was not a scorpion but a black widow.

BBB Buttons and ID tags

   Anyway, just giving the reporter a bola tie is hilarious enough, but to make it a scorpion, or even a black widow, is priceless and I'm glad I saved all those do dads just for this art reference.

  Remember the old just married joke: Hot springs tonight! Actually, that's exactly what Kathy and I are doing today. Traveling to a California hot springs. She is convinced my long haul Covid symptoms of having a constant headache and acute tinnitus are due to stress and not the pandemic and she wants me to literally chill in the hot springs for seven days and seven nights.

   Meanwhile my son thinks I'm merely suffering from "oldassittus." Such a smart ass he is.


 

   An Ed Mell sunrise this morning over Ratcliff Ridge. My daughter Deena remarked it looks like the saguaros are doing their morning yoga excercises and stretching towards the sun. Kids today.


   Let's end with two road trip quotes:


“A tourist is a fellow who drives thousands of miles so he can be photographed standing in front of his car.” 

—Emile Ganest

“Sometimes the road less travelled is less travelled for a reason.” 

—Jerry Seinfeld


Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Kevin Jarre In The Rearview Mirror

 January 11, 2022

   I am taping a 30 Minutes with BBB this afternoon and here are some of my basic notes, which I have cribbed from our big feature in the next issue:


Tombstone On The Cutting Room Floor
(in progress)


   The talk will actually be launched next week, but this is a sneak peek.


The Basic Premise

   Was Tombstone a massive hit because it was, in fact, gutted and recut into a commercial revenge plot? Or, if they had actually filmed Keven's original script would the resulting film have been an even bigger hit?

   In my opinion, there is evidence for both conclusions. The reshot film works because enough of the structure remains from Jarre's brilliant screenplay, that the streamlined version—less is more—works as a very potent genre movie. And this is in no small measure due to the editing wizardry of Andy Vajna (pronounced Vie-nah).

   On the other hand, the nuances and shades of gray from Jarre's original script would make for a very compelling mini-series.

   So, who is going to dust off that original script and make it shine, completing Kevin Jarre's original vision? I have a hunch someone will take that challenge and we'll see the results sooner than later.


Michael Biehn Gets Real

   Oh, and by the way, Michael Biehn, above, who portrayed Johnny Ringo in the classic film weighs in with some very cogent remarks about the script and the resulting movie.

   This is one of them.


"The movie that emerged after [Kevin Jarre's] departure is a boiled-down version of what was always in the screenplay and not some compromised artistic vision."

—Michael Biehn


   Meanwhile, in the job hunting department:

"Michael, your grandfather is 90-years-old. He's not going to live forever. Wouldn't it be great if before he died, he could turn the TV and see you doing something that looks like work?"

—Mike Rowe, on how his mother creatively prodded him into creating the TV show "Dirty Work."

Monday, January 10, 2022

My Mother On The Mother Road

 January 10, 2022

   Mickey had detected our foes on the other side of the ridge. He had a gift for that, which was unusual even for an Apache. He claimed he dreamed it, right there in the saddle. At least that's what he told me when we had a chance to talk about it, after he bagged the Kid.


   Speaking of Mickey Free, here is a video we did way back in 2011 announcing his arrival. The voiceover is Robert Ray and the music soundtrack is by Royal Wade Kimes.


Mickey Free Promo From Way Back


"Who you callin' Mickey Free?"


   And speaking of old trails.




   The family that travels together, has more fun together. My mother was a great road tripper and so was my dad. They both made it fun. I have to say, I enjoy being on the road with someone else. I have done many road trips by myself, but it just isn't as much fun. 


“I get a friend to travel with me… I need somebody to bring me back to who I am. It’s hard to be alone.”

—Leonardo DiCaprio

Sunday, January 09, 2022

How In The Hell Did We Miss Woodpecker Arch ?

 January 9, 2022

   I need a visually strong opening for our Mickey Free story and I'm envisioning something like this.


Daily Whip Out:

"He Rode Higher Into the Sierra Madre"

"So there we were trailing along behind Mickey Free and we went straight up into the dark heart of the Sierra Madre with Doroteo Arrango and his bandidos on one side and the Mad Russian and his Rurales on the other. We rode like that for several days and, I for one, never got a wink of sleep."

—James Young


   And now, for something completely different. . .

The Bells Miss Woodpecker Arch

   In the late eighties, our family drove to Cubero, New Mexico for Craig Hamilton's wedding to Anna Bebo. This was the trip where Tommy got the boxing gloves in Show Low and there's a funny family photo of him lying outside our tent (we actually camped!?) at El Morro Rock near Ramah, New Mexico with the gloves on. The joke being he was knocked out and is on the ground with the boxing gloves. One of my favorite photos was taken at this same place. El Morro Rock (east of Zuni) is where some of the Spanish explorers stopped to write their names in the sandstone and I believe the oldest is "Paso por aqui" (passed by here), Don Juan de Onate, April of 1605. We looked at the inscriptions and then decided we would take the hike, which goes around the rock face to the north side and up on top. One of the family members was rather cranky about this and pouted the entire way. I think you can spot which one of us that would be in this photo I took along the trail.


Deena, Kathy and Mr. Pouthead
on the El Morro Rock trail

   What's weird is, one of the most famous outcroppings on the cliff face, directly behind them, and to the left, is this dramatic arch.

Woodpecker Arch at El Morro National Park


   Dang! How did we miss that?! 


Road Trip Alert!

I think we need to go back and check it out, don't you? Air up the tires, load up the CDs, it's time for a road trip.


“We all have that one friend who is either on a roadtrip or planning a roadtrip or thinking about a road-trip or talking to people who are on a roadtrip or posting quotes about a roadtrip.”

—Old Vaquero Saying

Saturday, January 08, 2022

I Got A Plan

 January 8, 2022

   The right show at the right time.



The Right Show at The Right Time


   Yes, I know there are a couple holes in the story and there's a few sketchy weapons and random wardrobe anomalies, but I just love the spirit of the show and the honesty it tries to convey. In the opening, for example, which actually appears to be the end of the show, we see In-dins attacking a wagon train and many of them are wearing civilian, or, anglo clothing. I have never seen anyone portray this in battle scenes in Westerns and it was, in fact, a big problem for the U.S. Army in the Custer era. He wrote a scathing report after a dust up with the Sioux saying how hard it was to fight them in battle because the reservation authorities had gifted the In-dins civilian clothing and it was difficult to make out who was who in a running fight. For guys like me, this is just the coolest.


Patina Practice Made Patina Perfect

   I've been experimenting with a new idea. Or, at least it's a new twist on an old concept.

Daily Whip Out: "Patina Background #3"


   If you love Old West photographs, like I do, you are no doubt enamored of the wear and tear on the images. In the photo biz this is called noise. I often try to capture this noise with my warm-up passes on art paper, like the above. Many times this subtle background gets obliterated by the resulting painting—the main character(s) I end up placing in it cover up the subtle aspects and I wondered this morning if I scanned a few of the background patina pieces and saved them, to perhaps marry, or sandwich together on a finished figure? It's a work in progress. Here's a few more.


Daily Whip Out: "Patina Background #4"

   And, then sometimes, the scene is born straight out of the patina painting, like this.

Daily Whip Out: "Veil of The Maiden"


   Love this one. Hope I can marry it to something compatable. . .



Daily Whip Out: "Patina Background #1"


   Yes, I see the skull. Others have a mind of their own and I can't help add stuff. . .

Daily Whip Out: 

"There She Waited In The Doorway"


Meanwhile, in the Sierra Madre

   "So there we were trailing along behind Mickey Free and we went straight up into the dark heart of the Sierra Madre with Doroteo Arrango and his bandidos on one side and the Mad Russian and his Rurales on the other. We rode like that for several days and, I for one, never got a wink of sleep."

—James Young

Daily Whip Out: "The Lone Sentry"


   And, thus a new story comes to life. But, the important thing is, I have a plan.


"Cinema is a proxy reality, storytelling as the process through which ugly little facts are transubstantiated into grand, emotional truths. . ."

—Doreen St. Felix

Friday, January 07, 2022

Mickey Free With The Sidewinder Gaze And Taylor Sheridan Man On Fire

 January 7, 2022

   Back to basics, with an eye on the sky, I mean, eye on this guy.

Daily Whip Out: "Mickey In Shadow"


   "Yes, I knew Mickey Free and I was there when he bagged the Apache Kid. Mickey’s real name was Felix but he was captured as a young boy by the Tonto Apaches and raised with them on Aravaipa Creek where he learned the pinecone process and many other warrior tasks.He was light on his feet, with a sidewinder gaze."

—James Young, as quoted by Glenn Burns


   Speaking of Westerners with a sidewinder gaze.

Daily Whip Out: "Sam The Man In Twilight"


Three Shows In With Another On The Way

“I don’t know how to make a TV show,” Sheridan told me at one point, at least not the way that other prolific show creators like Chuck Lorre, Shonda Rhimes, Ryan Murphy and Greg Berlanti do it, which involves a lot of delegation and trust. “I don’t have any idea and don’t really care to learn. I don’t do pattern budgeting, or write act breaks into things. I write 10-hour movies, and go shoot them. I don’t have a writers room, I’ve written them all myself. It’s not for lack of effort, I’ve tried three times.”

—Taylor Sheridan, interviewed by Mike Fleming, Jr. for Deadline


How 1883 Got Made



Daily Whip Out: "Ojo de Loco #4"


 "He moved like a coyote, head down, slinking along with a shifty gate. He could not be trusted with livestock or women."

—James Young


Thursday, January 06, 2022

Let's Hear It for Great Bowls of Fire And Beans In Chili!

 January 6, 2022

   Thanks to Sherry Monahan, we have a very cool feature in the Feb-Mar. issue of True West on the Chili Queens of San Antonio. And, by chili we mean chile and by queens we mean the women who cook those chiles. 

   So, for the past several days I have been noodling and sketching what those Queens might look like.

Daily Whip Out: "A Bowl of Red"


   In the first couple roughs, I had her wearing a green chile crown, but I ultimately decided that was a Razz gag too far.

Daily Whip Out:

"Hot Plate With Green Chili Crown"


Daily Whip Out: "Hot Plate II"

A.K.A. "Zulu Bandita"


   And I also experimented with other Western themed deliveries.


Daily Whip Out Rough: "Horseback Delivery"


   By the way, on the last episode of season four of "Yellowstone" they showcased a bunkhouse argument about beans in chili, with the newly converted Texan version of a cowboy, Jimmy (Jefferson White), ripping the Montana boys a new one over beans in chili not being chili. I technically agree with the Texans on this one, because, well, they invented the damn dish, but I must admit a soft spot for the midwestern concoction of beans in chili (that's probably the Iowa in me talking). To me, it's just another version of something I love, like those cranky Southern Rockers putting down Neil Young for being a dick about putting them down, but, at the same time, loving both of them for being so outspoken and proud, just the same.

Jimmy Gives The Montana Boys What For

On The Subject of Beans In Chili


   As the Dusty Chaps used to sing: "Chile today, hot tamale." At the end of the day, I love it all and I agree with Nora.


"I am the kind of person who really will drive hours for a bowl of chili."

—Nora Ephron



Wednesday, January 05, 2022

Tap Duncan Lookin' Good

 January 5, 2022

    A very rare shot of Tap Duncan shipping cattle at the Hackberry Stockyards.

That's Tap, on the fence, at right, third from right, with the tally book and great hat. Image colorized by Carol Portman. Great job Carol. I have viewed this photo for many years but the color brings it alive.


  Here's a sneak peek at the next cover by Dan The Man. Just the coolest. And man, do we have the coverage.



  We also have an inside look at what was cut from the iconic film, by this guy.

Michael Biehn as Johnny Ringo


And, he has some very insightful things to say about Kevin Jarre's original script for "Tombstone."


"I'm your huckleberry. That's just my game."

—Doc Holliday



Tuesday, January 04, 2022

Spending Quality Time With The Butthole Surfers

 January 4, 2022

   I was looking through my Franklin Daytimer archives for an episode of stress related hyper-active thyroid and I ran across this little tidbit:

September 29, 1996
   Took Thomas Charles (age 13, and his friends) Bill Glenn, Alex, and Raf to the Edgefest show at Compton Terrace (named for Bill Glenn's uncle!). Got there at about three and because of my radio connections (the Edge was the sister station of Young Buck where I was on the morning show) I had full backstage access and we were allowed on the stage and saw "The Voodoo Blowskulls" and "The Butthole Surfers" The lead singer got hit in the face with a slurpee thrown from the crowd and they left the stage after two-and-a-half songs. The Stage Manager and Shelly (Program Director at the Edge) had a pow wow right in front of me regarding payment of the band. S.M. pushed for payment saying, "Their lead singer just got hit in the face with a bottle. Do you want to take them on in court or pay them?"

The Butthole Surfers In Full Butthole Mode


   We were standing over there behind the drummer at stage right. Next up was "The Funk Junkies." Really angry stuff. Many bottles and shoes hitting the stage.


   Ah, for the old days when a Slurpee to the face actually meant something.


   This just in: Bill Glenn (remember, the kid whose uncle is Bill Compton, the man Compton Terrace was named for) sent me this: "I still have a shirt from this show. We were on stage while the band The Phunk Junkeez we’re playing (my favorite band at the time.)  They we’re throwing t-shirts into the crowd and I caught one while we were on stage. To this day it’s still too big for me, but I can’t bring myself to let it go."


The free Phunk Junkeez T-Shirt
which Bill Glenn has kept all these years


"I was riding my cruiser down in West Hollywood
And a girl came driving by and she was looking mighty good. Well, I was eating quaaludes like butthole surfers should. She left me there, right there where I stood."

—The Butthole Surfers, lyrics to self-titled song, one of the few stanzas I dare even quote

Monday, January 03, 2022

The Chili Queens of San Antonio & Driving The Lane In 1928

 January 3, 2022

   I am fascinated by how certain simple ideas evolve into something spectacular, far beyond the original intention.

   For example, here's the guy who invented basketball. Apparently he did it to amuse students on snow days when they couldn't play outside. Put a round ball into a basket, literally. Seems a long ways from today's concept, doesn't it?

James Naismith

   James Naismith, the man who invented basketball illustrates the idea with his wife in 1928. I think you can see she owns that lane.

   Here's a classic film story that involves Kingman, The Hotel Beale and my shirttail kin. As the story goes, Buster Keaton was traveling through Kingman in 1924-25 and he stayed at the Beale Hotel and when he went into the bar for a drink he happened to meet a local cattleman who always stayed at the Beale when he came into Kingman on business. That cowman was Tap Duncan (my aunt Sadie Pearl married his granson). The cowboy and the comedian hit if off and Tap's Diamond Bar ranch came up and the next thing you know Buster leaves, goes back to Hollyood and returns to Mohave County with a film crew and they film a movie Buster wrote, called "Go West" around the Diamond Bar, which is north of Red Lake, but you knew that. Anyway, Buster's co-star, Brown Eyes, below, got second billing, because as one wag put it, "she did all her own stunts."


   Filmed in Mohave County around the Diamond Bar with a big shootout ending at the stockyards in Hackberry.
   Yes, they had stockyards in Hackberry.

Chili Queens In The Sky
Stuart Rosebrook asked me if I'd do an illustration to open a feature on the Chili Queens of San Antonio. This morning I whipped out three pages of sketches and here is the one I think I'll refine.

Daily Whip Out: "Chili Queens Sketch #1"

   Still running strong on all my cinema connections for Mickey Free. Playing all the angles.

"I have never been quite clear what Going Hollywood meant exactly, except that as a unique selling proposition, it's a lot sexier than Going University of Iowa Writers' Workshop."
—John Gregory Dunne



Sunday, January 02, 2022

Taking Mckey Free Seriously

 January 2, 2022

   Let's talk about Settler Colonialism and other hilarious developments in our always contentious history world.

   But first, let's talk about taking Mickey Seriously.

DailyWhip Out: "Seriously Mickey"


   "Thoughts on Mickey Free: Marketability is dependent upon the knowledge base of the consumer. While an interesting character, Mickey Free isn't Billy the Kid. Could this story be sold better written as a movie script, or the idea it could be a movie? If so, then it needs a title that "puts asses in seats". Could MF be used in a subtitle?What if this story was like a graphic novel(GN) mash-up of Tombstone and No Country for Old Men - the moodiness of NCFOM and the characterizations of Tombstone? Another graphic novel you may want to check out is Wilderness by Tim Truman- its the story of another obscure historical character Simon Girty. Or, in my opinion, one of the best graphic novels Indian Summer by Milo Manara & Hugo Pratt or their GN El Gaucho (a close second). These stories are haunting and epic. Your artistic style is unique- and suited to be graphically cinematic. Find a color palette that matches the mood and style- reach to your favorite movies and find a model. Check out the Duelists (Ridley Scott's first film)- violent, moody, beautiful cinematography, with real life humanness and traces of natural humor-not slapstick. MF needs to take itself seriously. Anyway, these are just the rambling thoughts of a fan. You may be our last hope for a great western graphic novel and this could be your magnum opus.

—Bradly Ross


   It should be noted right here that Notes have been taken. Thank you Bradly. I have Indian Summer in my library and it is quite graphic and sexual (Manara's claim to fame, see "The Click")  My ultimate goal with Mick is to be sitting in a darkened movie theater—sans mask—and see Mickey on his big, bad jack, riding across the silver screen. Of course, I will probably bitch about who they cast and how the hats are wrong, but in the dream, at least, I am happy as a clam for everyone.

   And, speaking of great hats.

Isabel May's fantastic chapeau in 1883


  Whoever is doing the hats on 1883, I congratulate you. All of us who love hats, salute you. And I'll fight anyone who disagrees.


Put Up Your Dukes, Pilgrim!



    So my first goal is to do a rousing tale, well told. The guy to emulate in this department is the dude who is currently writing the best Western in a long, long time.

Sam Elliott stars in 1883

   And Taylor Sheridan is the guy who gave us this story and this guy. I'll see you down the trail.

"There's a lot of landscape that I never would have described if I hadn't been homesick. If I hadn't wanted to remember."
—Joan Didion, (1934-2021)