Thursday, February 08, 2007

February 8, 2007
Feel better today. Slept good, although I did wake up with fever sweat. In spite of my gloomy, under-the-weath attitude Robert Ray and I managed to finally get some images in the 16-page prototype for The Top Secret Project yesterday afternoon. That felt very good. Massaged in six pages of images. As soon as I do this, a metamorphasis starts to take place. What had been planned for three pages, now looks better at two when I can view it in the layout. And all the prep sketches and roughs in the world can't do that, at least for me. Certain things edit themselves, and other avenues open up that I didn't realize were there.

We're still wrestling with how to handle flashbacks, or jumps in the story, but at least we're in the water. Ha. That's a fitting metaphor, because I often walk around our pool, putting my toe in the water and putting off getting in because it's too cold, then finally when I get in—I don't want to get out! Poor starter, bad finisher, great splasher!

When Kathy and I visited Charlie and Linda Waters in Vegas last November, I stole a Vegas magazine out of their guest house. It had a fashion shoot out on a dry lake somewhere north of Las Vegas, and the dramatic clouds and cracked lake bed were perfect reference for a set piece I wanted to do in the Top Secret Project. Finally, here's a study, pilfered from the pilfered magazine:

Now all it needs is five Indian riders, way off in the distance, traversing the lakebed from left to right and kicking up dust from the late afternoon light.

Our newsstand consultant, Harvey Wasserman, came out yesterday and wanted to know what we did last October to drive sales so dramatically on the newsstand (sales were up 15%). That was our Val Kilmer and Kurt Russel cover, which featured the 125th Anniversary of the O.K. Corral fight and we also had the bombshell about Kurt Russel claiming he directed the film instead of Cosmotos. Although I told Harvey we would be hard pressed to duplicate that serendipity again, he insisted we would be fools not to try and replicate it. We are considering two options: YouTube at The O.K. Corral (the new phenom of Tombstone and Western videos cut to different songs) and Wyatt Earp at the Movies (there's a new book by Michael Blake on all the Wyatt Earp movies). Hell, we may do both.

Harvey also weighed in on our Royal Wade Kimes cover (going out to subscribers next week) and said emphatically "it's not True West. It looks like a truck magazine." He shook his head and predicted doom and gloom on sales. We shall soon see. We knew it was a gamble when we did it and that it was out of our comfort zone for covers, but we really wanted to reach, and sometimes a reach, is, well, a reach. Ha.

If you want to see the video podcast of my interview with Terry Ike Clanton, here's that link:

Onion Headline de Jour
Doctor Unable To Hide His Excitement From Patient With Ultra-Rare Disease

"Everyone has talent. What is rare is the courage to follow the talent to the dark place where it leads."
—Erica Jong

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