January 1, 2022
New growth, a new year and another ridiculous sunrise over Ratcliff Ridge. Some things remain stubbornly the same and that's just one of the reasons I love it here.
I sent this to Ed Mell with tbe note: "Isn't God ripping you off here?"
Went out for a walk and caught this poser, posing on the way back.
Uno's Home On the Desert
Full disclosure: I told him to sit and he gave me this profile look all on his own.
Asked just before her death, what was on her bucket list, Betty White replied: "Robert Redford."
Still noodling titles for the GN.
Daily Whip Outs:
"Free Mickey Free Logo Sketches"
Meanwhile, The Top Secret Writer recommends the title, "Mickey Free!" To which my Aussie friend, James Mills, chimes in, "I agree with Hutton. Mickey Free is too marketable a name to cut it in half."
We finally broke down and paid for Paramount+ last night so we could see the second installment of "1883" and we were not disappointed. Such a good show. A cameo by Billy Bob Thorton as James Courtright for some kick-ass-shoot-em-up killing. I totally dig it. Great characters, brilliant writing and honest as hell. Just the best. I think you are going to find this cat on the cover of True West down the road a piece.
Speaking of authentic writing, I was looking for period language for the Mickey Free project yesterday and put on a cassette tape Paul Northrop gifted me of Will Chisum being interviewed about the Lincoln County War, I think in the 1940s or 50s. Will, is a nephew of John Chisum and was 14 at the time of the McSween fight. He calls Alex McSween "Mack" and Will is full of so many back-in-the-day verbal ticks, like, "Don't you know," which phonetically comes out as "Don-cha-know," as in, "he was the head of that outfit, don-cha-know." One tidbit was hard to make out, but it sounds like he says, "I was so mad, I could fight a circle saw," but perhaps I heard it wrong. Another good slang example is, "Along about '84 we come along in July (pronounced Jue-lie)" and at another point he says, "he opened up that spread down there in 19-and-15 (as in the year 1915)." Of course he throws around the N-word pretty freely and he's mainly talking about Frank Chisum, the freed slave John Chisum took in and I featured prominently in my BtKIII book. One more Will-ism: "This ol' boy had to go to town. . .and they was liable (pronounced li-bel) to fight any time. . ."
Then, in the spirit of oldtimers talkin', we have this. . .
"We rode down to the river, which was yellow and swollen from the spring rains, and swam the ponies across, I holding onto the tail of ours and spinning like a lure on a fish line."
—Jack Crabb, the crusty, old narrator of "Little Big Man," by Thomas Berger
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? For that matter ala Kinney Griffith, Manhunter is a good title and doesn't require the consumer to know the historical context of the story.ReplyDelete
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? And as an additional thought would My Darling Clementine be as good a movie if it followed history? I like the John Ford idea of "Don't let history get in the way of telling a good story". Granted maybe he could have balanced it out just a little.
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.