JOHN ROMERO IS THE REIGNING BAD BOY of computer gaming, an image he cultivates with his flowing black hair, devilish smile, passion for fast cars (he’s a self-described “maniac” behind the wheel of his Ferrari Testarossa), and thirst for bloody fights to the death—on-screen, of course. At thirty, he’s also one of the few recognized stars in the business for designing Quake and Doom, complex three-dimensional games that take players into macabre worlds filled with fantastic monsters and lots of gore.
INCONGRUOUS IS THE ONLY WAY to describe the figure Debby Krenek cuts at the New York Daily News on this June afternoon. Blond, petite, and wholesome looking, the 41-year-old editor in chief is wearing a frilly black skirt, strappy shoes, and a red, gold, and purple blouse as she stands in the tabloid’s vast newsroom. By contrast, the deputies who surround her are grizzled, big-bellied men, bleary veterans of the city’s newspaper wars, and their clothes are standard office-drab.
In a summer of hot media scandals (the ousting of non-nonfiction writers Stephen Glass of The New Republic and Patricia Smith of the Boston Globe, the retraction of CNN and Time’s nerve gas story), the media’s repeated bungling of a politician’s name seems more like a misdemeanor than a felony—if that.
POLITICS ISN’T ABOUT LEFT VERSUS RIGHT. It’s about top versus bottom.”
“Sure, Wall Street’s whizzing. It’s whizzing on you and me.”
“NAFTA, do we hafta?”
“Saddam Hussein: Is he insane or just jerking our chain?”
In nearly thirty years as a small-town Texas newspaperman—the last twelve as the owner and publisher of the Zapata County News—Bob McVey has survived a lawsuit, a bullet shot through his living room window, and a couple of attempted boycotts, but nothing compares with the time he was pummeled by an elderly sheriff. One morning in 1987 McVey dropped by the sheriff’s office to ask about a Mexican commercial fisherman who had been arrested the night before on the American side of the Rio Grande.
“THIS IS MY REWARD for living a good life having rich friends,” Liz Smith says, settling in after a butler-cooked breakfast at the Bel-Air, California, abode of her best friend, director Joel Schumacher. Things do, indeed, look good: Lemons are ripening on a tree in the garden, the slate-lined pool is glistening, and the sky is a smoky Los Angeles blue.
WHEN CHRIS ROBERTS STARTED his own computer-game design company, Digital Anvil, earlier this year, the news flashed across few screens outside the computer industry. But techies everywhere paid attention. Within the software world Roberts is a legend of sorts, having developed the popular Wing Commander series for his longtime employer, Origin Systems.
THE DEATH NOTICE of James M. “Jaime” Woodson III, 76, known to friends and relatives as the most extraordinary writer Fort Worth has ever produced, sparked a flurry of literary correspondence not seen in these parts since Clifford Irving fooled the world about Howard Hughes. Dallasite Blackie Sherrod clipped Woodson’s obituary from the May 11 Fort Worth Star-Telegram and faxed it to Dan Jenkins in Florida. Jenkins faxed it to Bud Shrake in Austin. Shrake faxed it across town to me.
IF MULTIMEDIA were a competitive sport, Archimedia Interactive would have a shot at the gold. The Dallas company recently released 1996 U.S. Olympic Team ($29.95), the official CD-ROM of the summer games, which can be purchased in stores or on the World Wide Web (www.olympiccdrom.com).
Call it MTV—as in Molly Ivins. Fans of the brassy Fort Worth Star-Telegram columnist probably know that CBS has hired her for a slot on the weekly newsmagazine 60 Minutes, where she’ll pick over issues of the day with fellow flame-fanners P. J. O’Rourke and Stanley Crouch. Less well known, however, are her plans to conquer daily television.