For his first contribution to Texas Monthly , Bruce McCorkindale played to his interests: He created the comic book–style illustrations for a divorce attorney’s tales about his cases (“ Splitsville!”). “My main strength is telling stories,” McCorkindale says. “I love doing likenesses of celebrities, and I’m a big fan of the MAD magazine style.” Though the Nebraska native—he runs a commercial art business, Action Impulse Studios, in Omaha—is more famous for titles with names like The Templar Chronicles: Heretic, his work is in high demand from a wide range of clients. “I’ve done Flash animations for Pfizer, Genentech, and RiverSource,” he says, “and I’ve even designed Happy Meal sacks for McDonald’s.”
Not much happens at Texas Monthly that managing editor Patricia Busa McConnico doesn’t know about. She pores over every expense report; keeps the editorial staff on schedule (and isn’t afraid to let them know when they aren’t); and strives to make deadline run as smoothly as possible. Still, a few things slip past her. “A few years ago I was one of the last staffers to know that our copy chief and then–art director were dating,” she says with a laugh. The Harlingen native was hired in 1995 as an editorial assistant, and for the past eight years, she’s also been responsible for editing online stories; in fact, McConnico played a key role in the relaunch of texasmonthly.com. All in a day’s work.
Yes, Marc Burckhardt was born in Germany, but he moved to Waco when he was only one. His father headed up the foreign language department at Baylor University; his mother taught German there. Burckhardt himself studied art history at Baylor, and that’s where he met Rand Paul, the son of Republican congressman Ron Paul. That was a personal connection to his illustration of the gadfly presidential candidate (“ The Elephant in the Room ,”). “I wanted the image to reflect a feeling of claustrophobia,” says Burckhardt, who now lives in Austin. “Ron Paul is an uncomfortable presence for the Republicans because he calls them out on the issues.”