Brand Fires on the Fridge; or An Out-West Pin-Up Souvenir

What to do when your long-awaited field trip to the West didn’t produce lanky cowboys dropping into your lap?

Buy one.

Take this tall glass of cool water I found at a Long Beach bookstore.

A twofer special from Monarch, from the collection of es

Monarch Books doesn’t reveal the illustrator of this western by King of Cowboy Lit . . . → Read More: Brand Fires on the Fridge; or An Out-West Pin-Up Souvenir

The Man from Laramie; or, The One-Two Punch of 1950s America

Ah, the beauty of pulpish western cover art, filled to the brim with all the perfect 1950s western cover clichés, combined and intertwined in a perfect union of cinematic, pulp western majesty.

Can life get any better?

You might recognize the title, perhaps? Anthony Mann’s films with James Stewart, such as The Man from Laramie (1955) are . . . → Read More: The Man from Laramie; or, The One-Two Punch of 1950s America

On the Procrastination Trail; or, From the Wild Western Collection

Beside my desk is a tall rack of westerns, part of my 350+ collection (a sign of an obsessed mind, yes). It’s perfect for procrastination purposes…

Trail of the Macaw, by Eugene Cunningham Popular Library, 1950 from the collection of es

…such as when I admired this beaut, from 1950. It has the . . . → Read More: On the Procrastination Trail; or, From the Wild Western Collection

Thirty Million Words Can’t Be Wrong; or, Max Brand and His Pulps

What better way to be miserable over the slow pace of revisions than celebrating a prolific author?

THE MAN I LOVE TO HATE

Frederick Faust, aka Max Brand

Max Brand (Frederick Schiller Faust) wrote close to 30,000,000 words in his lifetime, and was clocked at 12,000 . . . → Read More: Thirty Million Words Can’t Be Wrong; or, Max Brand and His Pulps

Labor Day’s Labor; or, Revising to Hell and Back

One man’s labor is another man’s play.

One man’s Labor Day is another reason to hole up and continue revising a novel.

If I were a paperback western at this moment in novel revisions, I would look like this beauty, which is like the western version of Shiva, the many armed destroyer.

Apache Crossing . . . → Read More: Labor Day’s Labor; or, Revising to Hell and Back

Happy Birthday to Real-Life Cowgirl Hero Annie Oakley

Back in the late 1800s, she was hawtness personified–Annie Oakley, sharpshooting superstar, a favorite of Buffalo Bill, Chief Sitting Bull, and European royalty. She was the idol of American youth.

No, she wasn’t  a cussin’, mannish, cross-dressing kind of gal. She was a typical late-1800s lady, decked out in heavy skirts and petticoats and awesomely cute . . . → Read More: Happy Birthday to Real-Life Cowgirl Hero Annie Oakley

Too Damn Hot; Heat Wave Rage

Thankfully the Northeast has cooled off, because it was getting a little “Hot Town” on us.

Hot Town by Frank Malachy

Cover illustration by Tom Ryan

Perma . . . → Read More: Too Damn Hot; Heat Wave Rage

Lonely Are the Brave; or, Hearting/Hating That Brave Cowboy Thing

Another movie for the Iranian president to see, or any other person who yearns to be a movie-type cowboy instead of a real one.

Lonely Are the Brave, filmed in 1962 with Kirk Douglas as the drifter rejecting the modern West, and the great Gena Rowlands and Walter Matthau as his costars.
It was based on The Brave . . . → Read More: Lonely Are the Brave; or, Hearting/Hating That Brave Cowboy Thing

Outlaws ‘R’ Us

Badlands, by Bennett Foster
cover illus. Norman Saunders
Bantam Books, late 40s, early 50s
from the collection of ES

“They Branded Him an Outlaw!” says it all. This dynamic man is the “little guy,” the proverbial clever tailor who can knock down an armed giant/gunman with a flip of his lariat. Go ahead and try it, any of . . . → Read More: Outlaws ‘R’ Us

Where to Find a Real Man

The first Western novel I read was The Virginian, by Owen Wister. I was in pursuit of an original experience, because being a child of the seventies–a decade of pop image, synthetics, and appropriation–what I believed about life was usually a mishmash of half-remembered and vicarious experiences through books, movies, and blacklight posters. I began to . . . → Read More: Where to Find a Real Man