Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Westward Women, Part II, Work In Progress

 May 11, 2022

   Worked most of the day on yesterday's premise for the prologue to the Real Women of the Wild West book. I decided to check in on some of my map heroes for inspiration.

A George Avey Classic Arizona map

   And, I also asked myself what one of my fave illustrators would do with this assignment?

Barry Blitt Is So Damn Good

I personally like the illustration approach, but Dan thinks the cartoons cut against the grain of the title—REAL Women, and that all of my REAL tintypes of anonymous photos of Western women would work better.

   So I found a big piece of plywood and leaned it up against a chair in the studio and eyeballed on a quasi-shape of the U.S. and slapped some of my original photos on it, and also some old photos I got from our morgue and it came out like this.

First pass at Westward Women

One Problem

   Our book starts in about 1820 and, of course, the U.S. did not look like it does today.

A map of the United States in 1820

   And, I kind of like it that there's a big, fat, empty space out there in the West, but Dan thinks it won't work if you can't recognize the current shape. Hmmmm. Not sure I agree with that, but I do know it has to read at first glance. What do you think?

"There are those who follow maps, and those who make them."

—Alberto Villoldo


  1. I'm seein' the Louisiana Purchase I think.......

  2. Anonymous10:23 AM

    Bob, If you are doing 1820 the map should be realistic. Perhaps lightly outline the subsequent states for readers to get their bearings.


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