Wednesday, October 28, 2009

October 28, 2009
Very cool out and windy today. Wore a jacket for the first time in a long time.

100 Covers: From Jesse James to Jay Leno
After 9•11 we slowly got back on our feet, but it took a couple issues. We continued our very successful Collector's Editions starting with the Alamo:

Notice the flag draped in the top corner. This was a continuation of the mourning for those who died in the World Trade Center attack. We followed up with another flag-draped cover, featuring scouts and, once again, The Duke:

In the spring of 2002 we caught a lucky break, and thanks to DeAnne Giago, a beautiful Native American woman who worked for us, we landed Jennifer Tilly for the cover, which we shot in the Birdcage Theater in Tombstone. Jennifer posed as Kaloma, the infamous naughty postcard image that has been attributed to Josie Earp:

After the issue hit the newsstands, Jennifer appeared on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno and much to our delight he asked her about the photo shoot because she was convinced the Birdcage was haunted. She grabbed the magazine out of Jay's hands and held it up to the camera and gave us a two minute ad in prime time. You could have knocked us all over with a feather. Incredibly, newsstand sales did not spike. We're not sure why, because we had sex, we had celebrity and we had a national audience (Jay quipped he had never heard of True West before this) but it didn't translate into more sales. Perhaps the Tonight Show plug had a staggered effect as these things often do. The issue is very popular as a back issue and sells briskly whenever we offer it.

After Jennifer we went with the Texas Rangers:

Followed by another Collector's Edition featuring Jesse James:

This issue is still sold in the Northfield Museum in Northfield, Minnesota where the gang tried to rob the bank. After Jesse we went back to the Billy well one more time:

And ended the year with our last Collector's Edition on Butch & Sundance:

One of the guest editors was very difficult to work with (it wasn't this last one) and it soured us on doing these. We shifted gears again in 2003 and featured more photos. It was also our fiftieth anniversary (1953-2003) and we wanted to may hay with that milestone.

"In your decisions, your relationships, your plans and ambitions, keep in mind that the value you receive from anything is in direct proportion to the value you put into it."
- Ralph Marston

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