Urrea: The Comic Book


Want to read something cool? My old pal, that bandido Bobby Byrd, published my book of stories called Six Kinds of Sky. It has had a funny life all its own, that book. After all, the story, "Bid Farewell to Her Many Horses" has had a great run on NPR on their Selected Shorts show. And it has been included in a Best Stories of the American West hardcover anthology. And Vikki Wagner (of Hummingbird movie fame) and my dear former boss-lady at the Theater Arts Guild, Judy Bell, are talking about buying it for a movie. Among the six stories in that book there's this one I have always been really fond of, "Mr. Mendoza's Paintbrush." I used to do it at readings for years, and it always brought the house down. Perhaps I should take a cue from Shawn Phillips on his current tour and go back to opd hits the fans love. (See last posting, below.)

Well, Papa Byrd has gotten this mad idea that my story would make a great graphic novel. It hit me with a shock: absolutely right! If you don't know the story, I won't spoil it. But somebody does walk into the sky. You've got to see that kind of thing for yourself. And, my piratical side awoke--with all these movies flying around me lately, a hipster director could see the visual possibilities right away in this format.

So hot young artist Crisopher Cardinale is signed up, and he went down to Sinaloa to see what the town I write about looks like. Sketching and painting and drawing the various wonders of the kind of place you find below the Tropic of Cancer where trees drop mangos and iguanas are four feet long and the spiders in your bnedroom can be as big as plates. And people walk into the sky. My family pitched in when he got there.

Byrd wrote about it on his blog. Take a look--it's a good story. Click HERE.

Me--I'm reeling. Got good edits from my animal-trainers in NYC, and some ass-stomping from my agents in CA. Trying to figure out what I'll do to make Beautiful North the inevitable and potent amazement it almost is. I'll be done with it in a month or so, and to hell with quibbles. I have to get to Hummingbird II.



Bobby Byrd (not verified)

Luis, thanks for the buzz. Six Kinds of Sky is like Elvis and La Llorona. It can’t die. I hear rumors of those stories wherever I go. Especially Mr. Mendoza’s Paintbrush. A friend told me I can buy a paintbrush like Mendoza’s over in Juarez. I need it desperately. My grandchildren are nearing that age. Meanwhile, a side note. I wish I could take credit for publishing Six Kinds of Sky, but as you know Cinco Puntos is a collaborative effort. Nothing happens here without going through the eyes and ears and editorial finesse of Mama Byrd, aka novelist Lee Merrill Byrd. And now son John Byrd is working the required 60 hour week doing a ton of stuff. Thank God. It’s a sweet life.
Cynthia Leitich Smith did a great interview of Lee here: http://cynthialeitichsmith.blogspot.com/2006/11/author-publisher-intervi...
And for more information about Christopher Cardinale and his art: http://www.christophercardinale.com/
That’s it for now from La Frontera,
Bobby, aka Poppa Byrd

Grace (not verified)

I just checked out the blog, and the cover is up for the book. Love it. Actually, I do know the story, and I know there is no part for Ron Perlman, but hey, how about Ruben Blades?

Grace (not verified)

Guillermo Del Torres can direct. He did Hellboy (which I must confess I have a weakness for)as well as Pan's Labyrinth. Is there a part in the movie for Ron Perlman?

Hope the edits go well.

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Book club members have been some of my most enthusiastic and careful readers. I’m thrilled to share my work with you, answer your questions and tell you some of the stories behind the stories. This is our spot, just for us. Here, we can chat:  If I’m nearby, I’ll come and visit your club. Otherwise, we can Skype, talk over the phone or email. Sometimes, I’ll send surprises or hold contests.

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