Wanted to Wada-fy the characters a bit, stay true to their outfits but try to give them some more personality physically. It’s always fun translating anime faces into something a bit more realistic. Let me know what you think!
Like many people, Jim Austin - a college-educated, 45-year-old businessman - hadn’t heard about the black presence in the Old West.
The discovery inspired him and his wife Gloria to set up the National Multicultural Western Heritage Museum in Fort Worth, Texas. It pays tribute to some of the forgotten black cowboys - men like Bill Pickett, a champion rodeo rider who invented bulldogging, a technique where he would jump from a horse on to a steer and take the animal down by biting on its lip.
“The kids who are learning history in our schools are not being told the truth about they way the West was,” says Austin.
“I bet you nine out of 10 people in this country think that cowboys were all white - as I did.”
In the real Old West, as opposed to the film depiction, black cowboys were a common sight.
“Black cowboys often had the job of breaking horses that hadn’t been ridden much,” says Mike Searles, a retired professor of history at Augusta State University. His students knew him as Cowboy Mike because he gave lectures dressed in spurs, chaps and a ten-gallon hat.
“Black cowboys were also chuck wagon cooks, and they were known for being songsters - helping the cattle stay calm,” he says.
Searles says his research, which included poring over interviews with ex-slaves in the 1930s, suggested black cowboys benefited from what he calls “range equality”.
“As a cowboy you had to have a degree of independence,” he says. “You could not have an overseer, they had to go on horseback and they may be gone for days.”