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Desert Companion

Graphic History: Illustrated Tales of Nevada's Past

Graphic HistoryGraphic jam

 

Sometimes, the past is best served as a big bowl of doodles, so welcome to our second Illustrated History edition, featuring Dario Herrera, various obscure figures of the past, an intimate recollection of the valley’s movie theaters, a doomed mammoth and five wild historical moments that took place in Las Vegas hotel rooms (talking to you, O.J.!).

Father Paul Meinecke

By Michael Ogilvie

Clarence Ray

By Michael Ogilvie

Support comes from

Anna Roberts Parks

By Michael Ogilvie

Anna Roberts Parks

Quejo

By Michael Ogilvie

Quejo

 
Life in a Dark Space

By Sean C. Jones

Life in Dark Space

 
Last Tango in Tule Springs

by Craig Schaffer

Last Tango in Tule Springs

 
Scandal Surprise

by Andrew Kiraly.  Illustrations by Gary Mar

Scandal Surprise

 

History in Hotel Room No. 1 by Joseph WatsonHistory in a Hotel Room No. 1

by Joseph Watson

January 17, 1942: Clark Gable, crazed with worry, paces his room at the new El Rancho hotel. He was flown to Las Vegas upon learning that a plane carrying his wife, Carole Lombard, had crashed the night before on nearby Mount Potosi. Gable spends a long and frantic weekend at the hotel, waiting on word from search and rescue parties.

 

SaharaHistory in a Hotel Room No. 2 

by Matty Newton

Aug. 20, 1964: The Beatles stay at the Sahara hotel following two performances at the Convention Center. In the early hours, a distraught mother shows up at the Sahara hotel, claiming The Beatles kidnapped her twin daughters. Larry Kane, a radio reporter covering their tour, offers to help, and opens John Lennon’s door to find two underage girls in Lennon’s room. But it was much more innocent than it might have appeared. “He was asleep, and they were sitting on the edge of the other bed watching television and eating popcorn,” Kane told the Review-Journal. Kane speculated the girls came to the room to get Lennon’s autograph, after which Lennon passed out. “He’s just the kind of guy who would have invited two kids into his room to watch TV,” Kane said.

 

Howard HughesHistory in a Hotel Room No. 3

by Conor Langton

1966-1970: Billionaire recluse Howard Hughes, wracked by pain and addicted to morphine, turns his suite at the Desert Inn into a hermit’s den. He rarely dresses, let alone bathes. Obsessed with germs, he seals his doors with tape, lets his hair and fingernails grow, urinates in jars and wears tissue boxes on his feet. He spends much of his time watching movies. But from this dim, filthy room, he also buys casinos, businesses and vacant land across the valley. It signals the end of the mob age and paves the way for a new era of corporate investment in Las Vegas.

 

OJ SimpsonHistory in a Hotel Room No. 4

by J.D. King

September 13, 2007: Former pro football player O.J. Simpson leads a group of armed men who break into room 1203 at the Palace Station to retrieve sports memorabilia Simpson claims was stolen from him. Simpson is charged and found guilty of kidnapping, robbery, assault with a deadly weapon and seven other counts. He’s serving his sentence in Lovelock, Nevada, and is eligible for parole in October 2017.

 

The WhoHistory in a Hotel Room No. 5

by Rick Senlock

June 27, 2002: After a night at the bar with bandmates, Who bassist John Entwistle retires to his room at the Hard Rock Hotel to party with a stripper named Sianna. After doing some cocaine and, presumably, other strenuous activities, Entwistle falls asleep, never to wake up. The coroner determines Entwistle died of a cocaine-induced heart attack. (Roger Daltrey later joked that Entwistle would have wanted his all-too-classic death scene turned into an exhibit befitting the Hard Rock’s theme.)

If you’ve enjoyed this read, wait until you get your hands on a bunch of these reads from contemporary voices mining the good stuff from Las Vegas — all laid out in a gorgeous design experience. Subscribe. It comes to your house. For real!

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