Jim Harris Talks About Illustrating…
Slim and Miss Prim
Some people think that Slim and Miss Prim is a love story.
And that is true.
But it is way more than that.
It is a much-needed lesson in how to escape from rustlers and kidnappers.
If you have any suspicions that you may find yourself one day holed up in the far reaches of the Mojave Desert with a band of unfriendly rustlers… by all means get this book and be prepared in advance for how to deal with the situation.
In the meantime… I will tell you some secret information about the illustrations in Slim and Miss Prim…
An Example of Parody
These are the bad guys on their horses. And at first impression it looks like there’s four bad guys and four horses.
But there’s not.
If you count the rustlers and count the horses, you’ll see what I mean.
This is actually a parody of a famous sculpture by Frederic Remington. Mr. Remington lived back in the 1800’s (and a little bit into the 1900’s) and traveled around exploring ranches and hiking around canyons and hanging around with cowboys in the Old West. His paintings were used as illustrations for magazine articles (some even written by Teddy Roosevelt) about cowboys and bear hunting and shoot-outs … and Mr. Remington became just as much a celebrity in his day as movie stars are today!
Here is the Remington sculpture that I parodied:
Off the Range (Coming Through the Rye), by Frederic Remington; Bronze with
green patina, 28 ¼” x 28”; Modeled 1902, Cast 1903; Courtesy of Corcoran
Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Museum Purchase, Accession Number 05.7
As you can see, Remington used exactly four horses and exactly four cowboys in his sculpture. I added the extra horse in my parody… just because I wanted to. The rules for illustrators say that’s okay… so I did it. Anyway, my cowboys are a bunch of rustlers. So maybe they stole the extra horse from Slim’s ranch!
Here’s another secret about the illustrations in Slim and Miss Prim:
First, a confession: I’m not the world’s greatest speller. I have tried reasonably hard all my life, but the long and short of it is, spelling is not my flaming beacon of success.
So… if you look carefully through Slim and Miss Prim… you might see a few mis-spellings in the artwork. The publisher undoubtedly thought I put them in on purpose, just to show how thick-witted the rustlers were, but I can’t promise that that’s completely true.
Take a look at these illustrations from Slim and Miss Prim.
Here’s the ranch headquarters… home of Miss Prim and her #1 cowboy, Slim.
Here are the rustlers showing Slim his new quarters at the rustler hideout…
Here’s Miss Prim in the stick-up at the café…
And here’s Lee, the rustler, taking a much-needed bath…
Did you find any mis-spellings? I know of three... but you might find more.
P.S. I was looking around on the Frederic Remington Art Museum website just now… and found this little bit of info:
Quote: “Remington's journals were known to contain spelling errors. Research was done to present a document that could be most easily understood by the students participating in this suggested activity.”
In other words, the museum had to fix up Mr. Remington’s spelling so kids could make heads or tails of it!!!
So there. I am not the only one who can’t spell!
Images and Text © 2009 Jim Harris. All Rights Reserved