Thursday, April 17, 2003

April 17, 2003
Oops! I spoke too soon. This morning I pulled the current cover and the supporting article inside. A good part of it was due to the distress of my friends and part of it was due to poll results from last weekend’s End of Trail festival in Norco, California.

Al Frisch had a booth at the festival. We had sent him our three proposed covers (see last week's entry with cover art of the three) and he placed them on his table and had people vote on them. Which one would they pick up at the newsstand? Here are the results:

• Wyatt Photo cover (Is This Wyatt Earp?): 6 votes
• New cover painting of Wyatt in foreground and Doc behind him: 72 votes
• My old painting of Wyatt & Doc approaching the O.K. Corral with guns pulled: 89 votes.

This casual focus group told me two things: people are not as interested in the veracity of the Wyatt photo as we thought. And, they are still excited about the traditional illustration of Wyatt and Doc at the most famous moment of their lives. And, sometimes we get too hip for the room. We get all worked up about it and we think the world is waiting and going to go nuts over this, when in fact, they could care less. As the Hearst woman said, “Magazine publishing ain’t rocket science. It’s actually harder.”

So we are scrambling today, with Daniel working up a new cover at the last minute (we go to press next week). R.G. and Meghan are juggling inside pages and rewriting copy to make it all fit.

Don’t tell anyone, but this is actually fun.

“I am one of those people who just can't help getting a kick out of life -- even when it's a kick in the teeth.”
—Madam Polly Adler, she wrote "A House Is Not a Home,"

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