Though he’s worked both as a CPA and an attorney, Yaphet Smith’s first love is film. The 37-year-old, who grew up in Austin, received widespread recognition in 2001 for his screenplay The Supermarvelous; his following script, about a Little League team in Harlem, was backed by Spike Lee and bought by Disney in 2004. Smith applied his cinematic sensibilities this month to the story of Katrina evacuees Eartherine and Ferdinand Odem (“Katrina, Texas”). “An illustrated format gives us a chance to look at the events and lives from Katrina through a new lens,” he says about the graphics. “It’s very vivid.” Smith’s latest script, a modern version of the novel Les Misérables, is also set in New Orleans.
In 1982, when Texas Monthly published its first cover story on Boone Pickens, executive editor Skip Hollandsworth was a reporter for the Dallas Times Herald. “I was riveted,” Hollandsworth recalls. “I kept thinking, ‘I’d love to interview someone like that.’ ” When he finally got his chance to profile the oil tycoon for this month’s cover story, Hollandsworth quickly learned that Pickens had lost none of his allure (“There Will Be Boone”). “I feel lucky to have interviewed him,” he says. “I worry that my generation isn’t going to produce larger-than-life Texas characters like him.”
Shawn Barber already has a long list of accomplishments, but now the acclaimed illustrator can add one more to his résumé: tattoo artist. Barber, who lives in San Francisco, got his first tattoo when he was a teenager, but two years ago he started working in a local shop part-time. No tattoos were involved in his first assignment for Texas Monthly: creating the image of Tony Romo. But can a guy from 49ers country be trusted? “I watch football, but I’m not a huge fan,” he says. “I’m more into extreme sports.” We might have guessed.