Andy Friedman, Eileen Smith, and Platon.
If Andy Friedman ever gave up his day job as an artist or quit performing at night with his band, he would have a promising career as a comic. When asked how long he has lived in Brooklyn, the 32-year-old Long Island native deadpanned, “Since 1895.” And when quizzed about how long it takes him to finish an illustration, he replied, “I don’t want to make it sound too easy or people will stop paying me. Can we just say ten hours?” But his talent is no laughing matter. After landing a job in the mail room of the New Yorker in 1998, he now has more assignments than he can handle. Happily for us, he found time to draw the series for “35 People Who Will Shape Our Future”.
When Eileen Smith became the editor of Texas Monthly’s Web site last September, readers of her political blog, inthepinktexas.com, ribbed her: How could she work for the mainstream media? She responded with a post that listed some of her funniest “critiques” of senior executive editor Paul Burka. “It was always in good humor,” the Washington, D.C., native says. “He doesn’t even mind that I took his parking space.” She still writes In the Pink Texas, but she’s also in charge of Texas Monthly’s presence on the Internet. And in keeping with the theme of this issue, she has written a column on the future of news. But don’t look for it in these tired pages; you’ll find it only at texasmonthly.com.
Though Texas Monthly boasts more than ten full-time writers on its masthead, readers are often surprised to learn that the magazine has zero—that’s right, zero—staff photographers. Fortunately, we’ve been able to work with some of the most talented stars in the business. Take Platon, for instance. Over the past five years, the New York–based photographer has shot covers for Texas Monthly with George H.W. Bush, Karl Rove, Mack Brown, and Vince Young. This month he trained his camera on cyclist-turned–cancer crusader Lance Armstrong. “I wanted the photo to be strong and unapologetic,” Platon says. “So often you think of his body, but this focuses on his mind. He looks like a beacon in the darkness.”