I am a western fiction writer/author, and I spend a great deal of time just researching the western genre, and what I read about our genre is more on the dying side than on the rise. I would like to ensure that our genre has not died; in fact, I believe that it is making its new rising.
I read today, a blog posted last November about the western genre dying titled The Slow Death of the Western Genre (in honor of BigBlackHatMan) which you can read from the link provided. The article began to say that there were very few western genre films in the 90’s, and the western genre began to die off in the 80’s, unless it was a crossover. Disgruntled with knowing it was not very true I did some searching of my own, and in my search, I found several movies, which the blog author failed to mention, as well as the people that commented on the post as well.
I began with the big screen and yes, it starts where our blogger left off at Back to the Future III, which was a crossover western, yet many western films were not mentioned. Movies like Dances with Wolves, Quigley Down Under, Young Guns II, The Last of the Mohicans, Unforgiven, Tombstone, Rio Diablo, Frank and Jesse, Legends of the Fall, Wyatt Earp, Desperado, Wild Bill, Riders of Purple Sage, Gunfighter, Purgatory, as well as Silverado starring actor/author, and a new found pal Ken Farmer, and this list goes on and on. Did we forget about Emilio Estevez, and his boyish looks as Billy the Kid, and certainly forgot about Kurt Russell in Tombstone, and Kevin Costner in Wyatt Earp.
This is why it disgruntled me so much that so many Western films have come into the late 20th and 21st century as well and not even thought of by the author while writing this blog. Written in 2011, I was amazed that neither he nor any of the comments mentioned 3:10 to Yuma, or Jeff Bridges in an awesome performance in the remake of John Wayne’s True Grit. Counting from 2000 to 2012, I have counted nearly a dozen westerns that were solely of the old west, which proves, the Old West is not in the grave just yet, with a new film just released March 3oth, 2012 The Legend of Hell’s Gate: An American Conspiracy.
As a western writer, and author I wanted to include Western Fiction books, I see countless books published in the western genre all of the time, from titles like Yuma Gold by Steven Law, and The Devil in a Bottle by Carol Buchanan, as well as so many others, I could spend days just listing them . Even coming into a digital age not long ago, I can count dozens of western books available on Kindle, the IBook store, and Nooks, which brings a completely new breed of some great western genre authors.
Also noted in the blog above was the fact that the reason not many were interested in the genre anymore was the age of space, and fantasy, and yes possibly the age of space, science fiction, and fantasy has taken us by storm. Maybe if Jeff Bridges Sparkled in True Grit, we might just get the media to agree we as a genre are still on the rise.
Our history is built from the Old West, and without it, there would be no Boomtowns, which led to a railroad and later Hollywood, so why not keep it alive, has the media forgotten, that media itself originated by means of The Pony Express, which has a rich history in itself in the Old West. I think they should look our way more often than they do, and notice that we are a rising genre as like any other genre. It seems we are only in the mainstream media when it is to review us as a dying entity, yet more and more westerns have come, and are coming.
Here on Shotgun Bo Rivers Blog, the Old West will never die; at least while I am alive and kickin, here at Bo’s place there will always be a spot for a good western genre story, book, or movie.