Sunday, March 03, 2024

Looking Back Over 25 Years: When The Magic Worked at True West

 March 3, 2024

     The behind-the-scenes drama at True West magazine over the past 25 years may be interesting to business-minded folks—and individuals who like to read about me suffering—but the proof in the pudding is what stories and scholarship gave our readers the most bang for the buck? Here are a few of my nominations:

February-March 2001

   This is the all-time best newsstand seller of the past 25 years. Dan The Man's stop-sign-red cover design probably had something to do with it, but the inside stories totally rocked the subject matter and this is one of the most collectable of all the issues we have ever done, period.

February-March 2002

   We managed to round up the best scholars and artists on the Alamo, including Alan C. Huffines, Bill Groneman, William B. Chemerka, Paul Andrew Hutton and artists Gary Zaboly and Thom Ross. I'm very proud of this groundbreaking issue.

August-September 2002

   We hired the late great Ted Yeatman to be our guest editor for a special collector's edition of True West to cover the ill-fated James Gang raid on Northfield, Minnesota. Excellent coverage and wonderful maps by the Mapinator Gus Walker. So damn cool. The museum in Northfield ordered some ten extra boxes to sell at their annual Defeat of Jesse James Days celebration. Jack Koblas was a huge help on this project. Raves all around.

January 2003

   One of the strengths of True West on our watch has been the stellar photo collection of my original partner Bob McCubbin and in this issue he helped us combine his massive collection (scanned from the original photos!) and all the other photos he wished he had. If you love Old West photos as much as I do, this is a must have issue.

March 2004

   The Old West field has always had problems with fake and wanna-be photos. But ever since Bill Koch paid $2.3 million for the only known photo of Billy the Kid, the Old West history field has been flooded with them. This issue laid it out warts and all six years before Koch's famous purchase. I am very proud of this issue because it stepped on some toes that needed to be stepped on.

   These are just my picks for the first four years. We'll have some fun with the rest. And, of course, we had some turkeys along the way, especially in the beginning.

October 2000

      What the hell were we thinking?

"Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep."

—Scott Adams

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous3:14 PM

    2002 was definitely your best year. So many great issues!

    Mark TW Maniac 235


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