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Earl Durand Author to Visit Libraries and Homesteader Museum

Jerred Metz, author of The Last Eleven Days of Earl Durand (2005, High Plains Press), will speak at the Cody and Meeteetse Libraries and at the Powell Homesteader Museum in collaboration with the Powell Branch Library. The occasion for his talks is the publication of The Last Eleven Days of Earl Durand (Singing Bone Press, 2022) as a graphic novel.

Metz said, “In December of 2019 I met, by accident, one of the Icons of the Golden Age of comics, the artist Vic Carrabotta. He was 91 at the time. I gave him a copy of the original book. A week later we met again. He told me he read the book in one day and decided that if I would work with him on it as a graphic novel, it would represent his master work, the work he wanted to be remembered by. We met, often a couple of times a week, during the whole of the Covid lockdown. In 2022 the book was finished and published.”

The events of Durand’s March 1939 spree of crime and their tragic end is part of the history, lore, and legend of Park County. Metz will describe his working with Carrabotta, in a presentation illustrating the crucial events of those days. At each of the three locations he will present a particular theme, a way of looking at the original book and the graphic novel that lends insight into the events and Park County residents who were closely involved.

Metz said, “Much of what happened was uncanny, bizarre. As the editorial in the Denver Post that appeared the day after the events ended said, ‘The most imaginative creator of pulp fiction never, in his wildest dreams, produced as wild a story as Durand lived in his last eleven days. If it had been presented on the screen, no one would have believed it could be real.’ “

He added, “I interviewed the fifteen people who have chapters in the original book from 1978 through 1980 during six trips I made to Cody and Powell. I also visited to speak about the original book in 2005 when the book was published. I have hoped that I would have occasion to visit Park County again and am happy that this new version of the book will let me do that.”

The talks are free and open to the public. Both versions of the story will be available for sale and signing.

Metz’s library presentations will be:

  • Meeteetse Library on Saturday, May 13 at 1:00 p.m. – The Last Eleven Days of Earl Durand and “The Plain-Spoken Word”
  • Powell Homesteader Museum on Monday, May 15 at 7:00 p.m. – “Earl Durand: Good Neighbor and Wild Man”
  • Cody Library on Tuesday, May 16 at 7:00 p.m. – “Happenstance and History in The Last Eleven Days of Earl Durand”
ATTENTION: During the Park County Fair, Powell Library will be open July 22-23, closed July 24-27, and offering gateside services July 22-26.