Paul posted earlier today on Facebook:"Souvenir of Dallas is no longer going to be featured in D Magazine. I just want to say thanks to Tim Rogers and the rest of the fine folks at D for giving it a home for the last few years and letting us do some crazy stuff. And thanks to David Hopkins for writing such awesome scripts. Not sure if it will live on or in what form, but I'll keep you posted."
Our editor Tim Rogers then followed with: "It's a shame, really. David ruined the whole thing. I just couldn't work with that jerk. But you're peaches, Paul. xxxooo"
And then, I said: "If anyone would like to read all the Souvenir of Dallas comics, you can click here and scroll down. Tim: *Takes a bow* That's impressive, because I've seen some of the people you work with. Paul: I will remember every single time we were on assignment, wondering aloud: "I can't believe we're getting paid to do this..." Thanks for being such a great collaborator. To everyone who supported us and picked up a copy of D, Paul and I really appreciate it. The editors took good care of us. And with magazines, everything has its season. Three years was a nice run. We have no regrets. Paul and I will be working on something else very soon. We'll keep you updated."
It was a crazy gig. Three years ago, after meeting with Tim and Trey Garrison, I got the offer to develop a one-page comic for D Magazine. I asked Paul if he would be willing to come on board as the artist, and I couldn't ask for a better person to handle this project. (These scripts were not easy. Seriously. The deadlines, the panel descriptions, and the references all required a talented professional. Paul was awesome.)
Our first assignment was to cover the opening of Dean Fearing's new restaurant, and I'm proud to say we reported the hell out of it. Interviews, notes, reference photos, more notes. And alas, barely any of it was needed for the actual comic. In fact, most of Souvenir was like that. We went on assignment with journalistic fervor. We gathered more information than we would ever need. Not that we minded too much. Our research got us into the Dallas Mavericks' locker room. I took my daughter to Great Wolf Lodge, and Paul joined us for dinner. I stalked the mayor of Dallas for an entire weekend, from a Shakespeare In The Park gala to a Celebrity Waiter gala to an Earth Day gala... mayors attend many galas. We went to interesting clubs and met interesting people. I spent a morning with Julie Dreher, talking about chickens.
The chicken one and the Main Street Garden were my proudest moments from a reporting standpoint. In contrast, the Deep Ellum restaurant assignment was absolute hell. The night before my deadline, I roamed the streets desperately trying to get an interview with just one more restaurant manager. "Stadium Death Star" was the easiest one to write, and Paul loved drawing himself as Han Solo. My favorite panel is from "State Fair Apocalypse" -- the last panel with a monster battle involving Big Tex, the bronze Dallas Zoo giraffe, and the red neon Pegasus from the Magnolia Building (who returns in our "Pritzker" comic). I have the original art framed in my office. The "Lost In Victory Park" comic was our least favorite. I just don't know if the LOST references translated well.
While I'm sharing, there's a never finished Souvenir of Dallas that was supposed to be in the December issue. It was about these new segway-type vehicles the Dallas Police Department purchased. I scripted it. Paul penciled most of it (one scene included Paul and me trying to free an elephant from the zoo). And then, it was cut at the last minute due to a lack of space in our section.
Not every comic book writer gets an opportunity like this one. We had a massive audience, and we were able to explore and experiment with our craft. I consider myself lucky.