June 16, 2005
Really got into deadline mode today. Wrestled five spreads to the ground, writing cutlines and sidebars on the fly, and passed them off to Gus, who put them in place, tweaked them and got them over to Robert Ray for final design and output. Really cranking.
Went home for lunch and finished three pieces of art, including a portrait of Bob Paul, Bob "Dutch" Martin, and The Gambler (based on an alleged photo of Wyatt Earp in front of the Tombstone Fire Station). I brought those, plus a couple portraits I had previously finished of Louisa Earp, Morgan Earp, Doc Holliday and Frank Stilwell into the office and Robert Ray and Abby shot digital photos of them in our new photo studio which they have set up in the old store area (As of last week we closed the store. We just weren’t getting the traffic).
Britney called from Sky Harbor this morning. She said that she spotted True West in Terminal Four on the newsstand. She said she saw it right away—and it was in a good location. This made my day.
Earlier this week, Bob Brink shared with us "Maurer’s Ten Cardinal Rules" for surviving in the magazine business. Maurer and Bob worked together for many years at Hearst. With gems like "Art directors love to award each other Golden Tee-Squares. Magazines are not designed to hang on the wall," I knew this was something we needed to read. And, "The reader always comes first. The reader is your boss. The reader is a demanding boss. Never forget who you work for. It’s a good way to get fired," we certainly got a lot of value out of the list. But the one that really got me is "Learn the trigger words." Research has shown that some words just work on the cover no matter what. And "they work in Chicago. They work in Bangkok. They work in Moscow, Athens and Madrid." Here are the words that work on covers every single time:
So I challenged our creative writers and contributors to come up with True West cover lines for 2006, and here are a few choice ones I’ve gotten back:
• How to have secret fast sex with fat doctors now and remain thin and easy.
• Doc Holiday's Easy, Winning Diet Secret: Fast Sex with Fat Chicks
and a Large Box of Wheat Thins!
—The Unknown Contributor
• A Friend With Weed Is A Friend Indeed
—Mike Melrose (evidently trying to get a title off of "Drugs In The Old West" but utilizing none of the words on the list)
• Fast Times at Tombstone High
—Mike Melrose, who else?
• Six Easy Pieces: Guns You Never Heard Of Nor Want To (think of weird combinations-what did Miss kitty carry? And where? Could you doctor that up?)
• Plying the Frontier Sex Trade: What really separated the women from the girls (Larry Brown-where are you when we need you?)
• On the fast track to Paradise – Opium and drug dens in the Gold camps (hey-they had to do something before television)
• Finding Fat City-The best poker saloons from Deadwood to Dodge City (then and now) (Is this pandering?)
• How Range Cowboys Stayed Thin: (or did they?) a True Maniacs guide to carbs, before it even mattered.
• True Confessions of a Fallen Woman—Mattie Silks Sets the Record Straight
• Bear Grease and Buffalo Fat : A Day at the Bent’s Fort Spa
• Sex and the City: True West’s Top Picks for A Night Out on the (Frontier) Town
• Easy on the Sweet Talk—Cowboy Courtship 1800’s style.(Trades, deals and pregnancy-was their any other way?)
• The Fat Man and the Thin Woman, plus a two headed cow -----traveling sideshows and the con men who ran them
—Corrine Brown (who also wants dessert!)
• True West Confessions: How I Made My Fat Wife Thin! (By Dr. Johnny
—Mark Boardman (Nasty boy! shame on you!)
How and Why, through Fast, Easy, Sex they are Now Thin
—Mad Coyote Joe
That's not all. But that's all for today. You too can contribute if you'd like. Hey, free lunch if we use one.
"The world is proof that God is a committee."
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