Charles S. Anderson

You may not know Charles S. Anderson’s name, but you certainly know his work. He’s created striking images and logos for Turner Classic Movies, Target, French Paper, and Best Buy. And though the designer, who is based in Minneapolis, rarely creates artwork for magazines, he jumped at associate art director T.J. Tucker’s invitation to contribute to this month’s cover story, “Southern Comfort”. Why did this project whet his appetite? “It was an intriguing idea because of the low-brow Texas food, the chicken-fried steak,” Anderson says. But don’t worry; he’s not dissing one of the state’s most venerable staples. “Unfortunately, you can’t get anything like that up here to save your life,” he says.

Skip Hollandsworth

When the story broke earlier this year that Peggy Jo Tallas—whom the FBI had dubbed Cowboy Bob—had returned to robbing banks at the age of sixty, we left it to executive editor Skip Hollandsworth to land exclusive interviews with her family and friends (see “The Last Ride of Cowboy Bob”). “Peggy Jo’s sister-in-law read a story I had written for Texas Monthly about a group of female prison inmates in the forties who had formed a country string band,” he says [“O Sister, Where Art Thou?” May 2003]. “She persuaded everyone else that I would write a sympathetic story about Peggy Jo’s life, which is exactly what I tried to do.”

Brook Larmer

Brook Larmer never dreamed that working as a journalist in Asia would inspire him to write a book about basketball. But when the California native was on assignment for Newsweek in 1999, he watched a seven-foot-four teenager named Yao Ming play in the Chinese city of Ningbo. This month Larmer’s book, Operation Yao Ming (Penguin), hits stores, and an excerpt that explains how the Houston Rockets star learned to dunk starts on “Yao Got Game”. “What I find so remarkable about him,” says Larmer (who, for the record, is five feet eleven and can touch the rim), “is that even though he shoulders enormous burdens both in China and America, he almost never lets things get to him.”