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Tag: Rob Smith Jr


Book: ‘Flintlock: Kill or Die’ by William W. Johnstone – April 29th, 2016

by on Apr.29, 2016, under Books

Kill or Die (Flintlock, #3)Kill or Die by William W. Johnstone
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Number 3 in the series of ‘Flintlock’ and either the writer changed or somebody got in a big hurry to hit a deadline. One things for sure – The writer does not know swamps!

The over all story is good, but far simpler in telling than the previous two. Not helping is my reading great authors since reading the two. Folks like Walter Lippmann, Mark Greaney and John D. MacDonald.

I am so glad I read John D.’s ‘Condominium’ before reading this book. Odds of someone doing that is extremely low. The odd thing is that ‘Kill or Die’ is basically ‘Condominium’. Just that all of the characters have guns. There is the community living in the swamp, a ruthless developer out to wipe out the cypress swamp and the oncoming hurricane. The story was eerily similar.

The writing of the cypress swamp really bugged me. Obviously the writer has never stepped foot in one. I don’t know much about west of the Mississippi and all of the rocks and dirt in the west. Not my thing. But, here in Florida, I know swamps and like them a lot.

It’s supposedly late Summer in a Southern swamp. All of the characters acted comfortable. Even the most die hard Southerner sweats like crazy in late August. But most especially someone like Flintlock, used to the dry western air, would be having a hell of a time adjusting to the thick humidity.

Also, where are the bugs??? Now, most healthy swamps actually have few bugs. But this is described as home to many people. Thus, the swamp should be filled with all kinds of bugs. Few appear throughout the swamp scenes.

The BIGGEST omission, and a huge strike in my book, are the cypress knees. No one is just going to go trotting out into a swamp they don’t know and not, either, navigate around the knees or trip over them. NOT ONCE are knees mentioned. That’s impossible, for a cypress can not survive without the attached knees jutting out for air.

This is the least clever of the three Flintlocks. Rather a standard story with some excellent enhancing elements like the balloon, the odd mid-eastern valet and the description of Evangeline. The odd mysticism continues in this book, but not with the magical flair of the first two. The characters are very well done and typical of a Johnstone Clan book. The settings are lacking this time around, especially with the noted above. The ending appears to be multiple chapters tacked on, I guess, to increase page count. This is the shortest of the Flintlock series by 100 pages.

Proof to me that this is surely a different writer is that Flintlock is not described as in the other two books. The tattoo is only described on his neck and not running from the side of his face to his chest. Also, Flintlock is not described by his shorter stature or mustache. Also, O’Hara’s character has greatly altered to being more of a side kick than the drifter described in the first two.

This third book continues the trend of having a horrible cover. Still not Flintlock on the cover. Also, the background in know way looks like a Louisiana swamp.

Can’t believe I’ve caught up with a Johnstone Clan title! First series I’ve read all that are available.

Bottom l;ine: i recommend this book. 6 out of ten points.

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#Cartoon ing with NCS Cartoonists Pals for Children! – April 28th, 2016

by on Apr.28, 2016, under Cartooning

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A bunch of old cartoonist pals, and a bunch of other cartoonists, got together today to draw for children at Florida Hospital Orlando. Here’s Noreen & George Pieper, me, Dana Summers and Mark Simon.

Thanks to Mark Simon and Heather Worley (Thank you, Heather, for this photo!) for putting this together as part of the Florida Chapter of the National Cartoonists Society. Also, thanks, Mark, for getting the chapter restarted again!

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Live at Torreya State Park along the trail during the War Between the States! – April 13th, 2016

by on Apr.11, 2016, under Florida History!, Florida Outdoors!

From Chattahoochee, I quickly made my way to Torreya State Park, near Bristol, to get travel and hiking information and to add a second live video using the new Facebook option. Here, I take the north trail from the Gregory House where the six cannon encampment had been for the confederacy during the Civil War.

You can plan a trip to Torreya State Park here: https://www.floridastateparks.org/park/Torreya

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My projects in the process: Heron – April 6th, 2016

by on Apr.07, 2016, under Cartooning

2016-0406-HeronSketch

Something else my Swampy’s Florida does is provide artwork for Florida based businesses. This is a sketch for a large project I’m working on. I look forward to showing more of this project very soon.

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Book: ‘The Unimportance Of Being Oscar’ by Oscar Levant.

by on Apr.06, 2016, under Books

The Unimportance Of Being OscarThe Unimportance Of Being Oscar by Oscar Levant
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A huge lot of fun is this volume of Oscar Levant’s memories of his life.

Whether the many stories and one liners are true or not is whether you can believe a person who has been in and out of mental institutions and ensconced in pharmaceuticals can have reliable memories to pick through. Nevertheless, the stories are very good and extremely readable.

The most important thing to know if one wishes to read this book are, at least, 75% of the people mentioned throughout. Otherwise a reader will have no appreciation or understanding of the context, humor and importance of what is included. The time frame is from the 1920s to the 1960s.

The book is also hardly organized at all. Of what I know of Levant, this well reflected his thought process. There is an invaluable index.

A personal note: I’ve been looking for this book for decades. The day I came across it, I started reading – as I drove away from the place I found it! After the death of my father a bit over a month ago, I know the Snuffy Smith phrase, “Time’s a’wastin’!” is to live by.

Bottom line: I highly recommend this book. 10 out of 10 points.

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More artwork done! – April 2nd, 2016

by on Apr.02, 2016, under Caricatures, Cartooning

2016-0402-ArtworkLots done in 3 hours at this coffee shop! Finished 1 painting, almost finished another, started another #Florida one plus sketches for a client….and STILL way behind!

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My newest #Florida painting – ‘Playing along the Oklawaha at Fort McCoy’ – April 1st, 2016

by on Apr.01, 2016, under Florida Outdoors!, Illusration

2016-0401-OklawahaSaupp

Here’s my newest painting. The setting is the Oklawaha River from a photograph I took.
Eventually to be available as a print.
 
Here’s where some prints are available to purchase now:
http://store.theknowledgeexchange.com/collections/swampys-prints

http://store.theknowledgeexchange.com/collections/swampys-prints

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Getting artwork done during Easter! – March 28th, 2016

by on Mar.28, 2016, under Cartooning

2016-0328-DDArtStop

Finished one painting, to be completely revealed later, and a great start on two more in just a few hours! Finished watercolor preparation and started painting a group illustration that features caricatures of a family involved in a football game. Another was penciling, preping and adding watercolor to a caricature of a child with their pet dog and video games and psychiatry! The third has to remain a mystery illustration including a caricature of a friend

Now on to home!

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Hiking Circle B Bar in Lakeland – March 27th, 2016

by on Mar.27, 2016, under Florida Outdoors!

Did some hiking earlier in Circle B Bar Reserve. Much more now and to come over at Swampy’s Florida.

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Many thanks to my pals of many years, Russell and Alice Sue Noell for their hospitality this weekend. Great vittles and socializing! Another dear pal, Debbie Schafer, called while I was there exclaiming, “You’re socializing!!??!” It is an unusual occurrence.

Right now dashing off some artwork before I get home!

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