Sunday, June 5, 2011

Autobiography Pt. 27

Up to the Spring of 1989, I’d been preparing my books by cutting copy and stats, and pasting it all down on boards to be shot by the printer. One of the major obstacles in the creation of book and magazines prior to that time was the cost of typesetting. A single page of type could cost $150, and there were added charges for things like checklist formatting. The thing that changed my world was my little Mac SE computer. Tiny, primative, short on megabites, but my new best friend.
     I did all of the layouts for the second BETTY PAGES on it, and taught myself how to run the systems, including Quark. Whenever I had a problem, I’d ask my ex-wife Nancy (also a graphic designer) or my pal Chris Gore. Chris also had an SE and I would use that when I was in Detroit for final changes, or major construction. Chris was a struggling editor who had produced several issues of FILM THREAT, a ‘zine which took a wise-ass look at Hollywood and Underground movie-making. I printed three issues for him and helped him over a few humps on his road to success. Chris, in turn, has been a huge help to me over the years, and we remain good friends to this day.
    THE BETTY PAGES #2 was also where I came into contact with Bunny Yeager, sort of.  At the time, I was living in Manhattan at Lexington Ave. and 26th Street. By crazy chance, Porn Queen Annie Spinkle lived in the next building, and Erotic photographer Eric Kroll had a studio right round the corner on 27th St.. Eric contacted me late in the production of the second issue and took an ad for Bunny Yeager’s photo-prints, as he was representing her at the time. An interesting relationship developed between the two of us. Eric is also a photograph archivist, and spent a great deal of time tracking down material and adding it to his collections. Since I was desperate for real photos of Betty (outside of her MSN work), it was delightful to meet someone else who collected them, and lived in the neighborhood to boot.
    Eric and I cut a deal to run several shots of Betty in TBP #3, including a rare color shot for the cover, but Kroll told me flat-out that I couldn’t speak to Bunny directly. All of the research for the Yeager piece, and those that followed, were done via Eric. He was always a very good source, but always difficult to deal with.
    Still, Eric also marked that particular moment in time, and the picture would not be complete without him.

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