Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Then we take ISSUE!

I fulfilled a dream once - to be an Editor of my very own magazine that didn't involve engines. Tony Fox (Art Director) and Donald Evans (Boss of Specialty Publications at Petersen Publishing) saw something in me and allowed me the project of Issue magazine. Issue was a magazine about magazines. How perfect an assignment for a goofus who'd been crafting little magazines forever.
Tony Fox at work.

I'm the one sitting, Virginia Moore,
Charles DeBevoise, Patty Padilla
I'd also edited Engines and the Baseball magazines after-hours and didn't screw that up too badly. I got paid a hundred or so extra for doing these things, trying to work my way out of the ghetto.

My motto - just because you're born in the ghetto, doesn't mean you have to stay there. For every person who tried to keep me down, there was always someone lifting me up. I'd like to thank the lady who got me in the door at Petersen. She was determined to assign me a job and get me out of the insurance business where my creative spirit was drowning. It took the third interview at Motorcyclist magazine. If it wasn't for her, I would probably have wanted to commit suicide, but it's a lot easier to get a new job that to accomplish all that much drama.
Most Petersen publications are manly - Cars. Engines. Hunting. Baseball. Back in the day, I did dig dirt bikes and ATVs, and days riding in the desert, but it may have been the free food. Petersen sponsored outfits as well, something in faux-leather jumpsuits.
The other cool thing about ISSUE - they gave out the Maggie Award (awards for the best in magazines). We got dressed up for their Award Show and who doesn't want to say at least once in their life: "The Winner Goes To!"
The Maggie Award is in the right-hand corner.
Tony Fox imagined and produced most of Issue's covers once we brainstormed story ideas. Being a low budget, I wrote most of the pieces and begged for the rest.
I interviewed big-time publishers. Just a punk kid, I remember being so nervous talking to  Peter Diamandis. Turns out he was nice, worked his way to the top the hard way. It being one of my first full-length articles, I worried if he'd like it. But, his secretary called to say I'd captured his true spirit where others hadn't. Sigh of relief.
Petersen was producing Issue as a kindness to the Western Publications Association and Maggie Awards. Every issue was always our last. Four years later, there was our last issue.

Ah well, that's enough reminiscing for now. Time to read the latest Somerset Studio magazine with my cat. If those ladies at that publishing house need any Tennis Art Journal articles, let me know and we'll continue to the dream.

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