In Cold Blood

29 Apr

I’ve always said writing is the most important part of cartooning, so that means I have to write.  To write, one has to read as well.  Well, unless you get those books-on-tape or something of that matter or your born with an Uber Brain…  but you get my drift.

So, I try and learn from the best.

I’ve held off on reading Truman Capote’s “In Cold Blood” for years.  I’ve known of the book for a very long time.

Finally – I’m reading it (and almost done).  Don’t ask me what has taken so long.  No clue.  Usually I’m just too busy to read.  I gave up a lot of television, so now I can.

Anyway…

It’s a non-fiction/novel (as Truman calls it) about a vicious murder of the Clutter family that took place on November 15, 1959 out in Holcomb, Kansas.

Why is this book of such of such interest to me?

Well, for one, it’s been known as great work.  (That is pretty obvious.  If you’ve heard of Truman Capote than you’ve heard of this book, or movie.  There was also a movie about Capote called “Capote”.)

Two – it’s very familiar with my family’s roots.

You see, a lot of Fakes’ lived out in western Kansas where this happened.  In fact, many of them still do.

You must understand one thing about western Kansas – there’s NOTHING out there.  Well, in terms of what many would consider “something”, there’s not much of that.  That’s why this story is so compelling.

This plot is quite chilling for such a dismal area.  And hence, that’s why the book was written.

Anyhow, the story of the killers and the murder is pretty interesting to read knowing where the area is.  It’s easy for me to visualize (because I’ve visited western Kansas many times, and I lived in the state for four years) and quite remarkable.  The killers even drove down highway 50.  The same highway where most of my roots traveled daily.  They went right past the small towns (a mile or so) away from where dad and other relatives lived.  (Not that this day and age that killers driving past your home would be anything spectacular – happens all the time.  However, for 1959, in such a remote area, it was something pretty big.)

So, in keeping these blogs short – to the point where it’s a “rambling”, I’ll leave it at that.

Highly recommend reading the book though.  It is very well put together and worded.  Funny?  No.  No humor in this one.  But, instead of recommending something in my related field (you know – MAD – or something of that nature), I figured I’d point you in Truman’s direction.  I’m not a reader of murderers or anything of that particular theme-driven area, typically.  But, I’m sure why you can see this book was of such interest considering family, Kansas and so forth.

My dad always mentioned that the movie (made in 1967 starring Robert Blake and Scott Wilson) was filmed pretty much on location (again, highway 50).  So, if you ever watch the movie instead of reading the book, it’s pretty realistic (saw the movie a long time ago, and it to is very thorough and good).

If you’re in for some jittery reading, “In Cold Blood”  is my “Pick of the Month” (even though I really don’t have these monthly).

You’ll lock your doors afterward.

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2 Responses to “In Cold Blood”

  1. Bo Lumpkin April 30, 2010 at 12:15 pm #

    I think you and I might be the only two people around who put more emphasis on the writing than the art (of course I have to because I am artistically challenged). I gave up most TV too. I usually read somewhere between 500 and 1000 pages per week and you would be surprised at the humor you can find in almost any kind of literature. You just have to look for it.

    • Nate Fakes April 30, 2010 at 1:57 pm #

      Back in the hey-days of cartooning, it used to be the other way around (art first, then writing), then it was 50/50 (which is what I aim for) and now it’s all writing. So since it’s all writing now, that’s what I try to capture more than anything else. Granted, I always try to produce good art just to be happy with myself. 🙂

      Literature does have good humor when discovered. Sometimes in the strangest places!

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