Thursday, April 20, 2023

Around The Horn And Behind The Tail Fin!

 April 20, 2023

   How much fun is tracking down history? Here's a good example.

   In 1991, I landed in Lincoln, New Mexico to take reference photos for my first illustrated book on Billy the Kid. With a Billy look-alike in tow, I basically went around the small village and took photos on the actual spots where history happened.

   For example, here is my model, William H. Cox, assuming the position of William H. Bonney on April 28, 1881 in the Lincoln Courthouse.

   This was photo reference for the "Hello, Bob" sequence and was taken on the actual spot, in the actual window well. The window was nailed shut at this time. And, of course, we didn't have a shotgun but Cox had a '94 Winchester and I wanted to get the positioning right, especially with his hands, and would later change out the weapon for Olinger's shotgun in the final illustration.

   Reference photo taken the other way on the actual spot where Billy the Kid shot Bob Olinger.

The final sequence which ran in "The Illustrated Life & Times of Billy the Kid," second edition, and in the third and final edition. So two days. ago I wanted to see what that scene looks like from the other direction and knowing that the Kid was probably wearing a sugarloaf sombrero and not a slouch hat, like in his only known photo, I had my curator, Amy Dunn snap this photo for reference. Yes, that is one long shotgun barrel, but then so was Olinger's.

Hello, Bob shotgun reference

   One of ideals we are developing on the sequel to the "66 Kid," is what I call the Bob Petley Color Palette. Petley Postcards were a staple in my dad's gas station back in the day and a large segment of them had a washed out aqua-fushia patina, like this:

   So, I asked Dan The Man to come up with this look for a scene in the new book and this is what he came up with on the fly.

A '56 Chevrolet Bel Air with a gas cap
hidden behind the tail fin!

      Sweet! Gonna be a slick, slick book, I tell you.

"Life is a quest whether or not you want one."

—Old Vaquero Saying


  1. Anonymous11:19 PM


  2. Anonymous3:20 PM

    Hello Bob!
    I am extremely pleased to see you finally wearing that RJ Preston sombrero! I wear one almost every day and it brings me much joy to see you sporting yours. You know, it was through you that I became acquainted with RJ and since then both he and his wife have become good friends. (He has a Rocky Branch Regulator badge, you know). You rock that lid mi Amigo! You should step out in it more often.
    Michael Lowe
    (Known to some in the territories as Arthur Boudleaux Moore)


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