APRIL 20, 1998: ICON: The phrase "thoughtstyle magazine" and Michael Stipe's ever more-unhealthy cover image notwithstanding, the first anniversary issue of Icon (April 1998) is full of good things to read. It's the brainchild of one David Getson, a 1994 college graduate who went directly into publishing, with the idea he and his fledgling staff would have their first mag out in a few months. Three years later, the premier issue of Icon was on its way to the printer's.
...Though Getson writes in the issue's introductory notes that those lean, learning-curve years "probably took a couple of years off our lives." Cheer up, Dave. If it took three years and you only lost two in the process, seems like you're still one year up on the rest of us. And you sure have a nifty package of photography and text to show for it.
Skip to the index on page 18 to see the full and amazing amalgamation of characters herein. But highlights we found include Icon's "Year in Portraits" photo spread of people who, "for better or worse, have become symbols of accomplishment in their chosen field." Profiles run the gamut from Sinn Fein spokesman Gerry Adams, to Wynton Marsalis and pornographer Max Hardcore. Other topics tackled include the evolution of symbolism behind Aunt Jemima and Iron Maiden's Eddie; the link between chemical warfare and beer; interviews with divergent risk-takers Evel Knievel and filmmaker John Sayles; and "The Working Life," a well-crafted bit of old-school journalism by award-winning photographer and author Eugene Richards. (See "Tomorrow Today" below for details.)
Arizona even makes it into these celebrated pages--in the "Thoughtstyles" section--with a fun-loving profile of sociopath Jesse Greenwald, a resident of our own state pen; and 30-year-old survival skills guru Cody Lundin, the sole-proprietor and employee of the Prescott-based Aboriginal Living Skills School. (Among Lundin's more colorful credentials is a license to collect and process fresh roadkill for his own consumption.)
We'd hoped to praise the virtues of Icon magazine in more informed detail, but every time we leave our desk for a few minutes, it disappears. That probably says it all.
Icon is 160 pages, almost every one of them readable, and only costs $3.95. Wow. Check it out at local bookstores.
PET PEEVE: Last week, the following news story reared its virtually ugly head on the Reuters webpage, http://www.reuters.com, (an up-to-the-minute, multi-faceted news service). Ah, yes. Another life-affirming sign that after 4,000 years of civilization, we've finally gotten our priorities in order:
French Driver Saves Virtual Tamagotchi Pet, Kills Cyclist
MARSEILLES, France (Reuters). A French driver killed a cyclist and injured another after she took her eye off the road trying to save her Tamagotchi virtual pet, police said Wednesday.
The 27-year-old woman became distracted when the electronic pet, which was attached to her car key ring, started to send out distress signals.
She asked a companion in her car to attend to the Tamagotchi, but in the confusion she failed to notice a group of cyclists on the road ahead and slammed into the back of them. One died instantly, and another was taken to hospital.
Police said the woman was arrested after Sunday's accident near the southern city of Marseilles. A magistrate was investigating whether charges should be brought.
Tamagotchi virtual pets, egg-shaped devices invented in Japan, have become a worldwide fad. They send out electronic bleeps when they need "feeding" or "cleaning." If they are not looked after they "die."
What say you, readers: Anybody for a change of venue for next year's Tour de France?
TOMORROW TODAY: When senior editor Jim Nintzel started lobbying to get Tom Tomorrow's "This Modern World" into the pages of The Weekly's coveted Currents section back in the early '90s, San Francisco-based artist Dan Perkins was but a blip on the satirical cartoon horizon. But thanks to one guy's finely honed persuasive powers (i.e., relentless cajoling of the paper's then-editors), "This Modern World" has appeared week after week ever since. So, if you haven't seen it, put down the uncensored ads for a minute and get with the program.
On May 13, Mrs. Robert F. Kennedy will present Perkins with the 30th Annual Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, one of 13 such awards to honor "outstanding reporting on the problems of the disadvantaged." Also on the guest list at the Freedom Forum World Center in Arlington, Virginia, will be Brooklyn-based photojournalist and author Eugene Richards, who will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award.
"Robert Kennedy championed timeless principles--among them love of country, compassion, the conviction to challenge the status quo and the courage to fight for change," says the Memorial's chairman, Edwin Guthman. "The work (of these journalists) inspires action in the halls of Congress and in communities across the country."
...and "This Modern World" does so with polka dots and a punked-out penguin named Sparky. Cool.
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