Saturday, 7 May 2016

The Essential Wrapped In Plastic

by John Thorne

(from The Essential Wrapped In Plastic, 2016)
In 2005, Craig Miller and I published our final issue of Wrapped In Plastic magazine. For over thirteen years and seventy-five issues, we studied and wrote about the television series, Twin Peaks, and its prequel film, Fire Walk With Me. Producing Wrapped In Plastic was a rewarding and memorable chapter in our lives; over the years we interviewed Twin Peaks co-creators, David Lynch and Mark Frost, as well as dozens of other people associated with the show -- from actors and writers, to musicians and cinematographers. We wrote about all aspects of the series: the history of its production, its cultural impact, and its rich thematic content. We made some great discoveries along the way and brought a keen critical eye to a television series that was -- and is -- unlike any other...

...This book exists because of Craig Miller. Wrapped In Plastic exists because of Craig Miller. He was the driving force behind the publication: He did the layout, handle the orders and mailing, administered the printing and distribution. He was the foundation of the magazine.

Craig approached me in 1991 about producing a Twin Peaks magazine. (He was adamant that it would be a magazine and not a "fanzine".) He had known about my fervor for Twin Peaks, and wanted me to join him in making a publication (I soon proposed the name, Wrapped In Plastic, and it stuck). That was the beginning of a strong, productive and special friendship.

Craig and I shared the editing tasks for each issue and we conducted interviews together. We both wrote extensively for the magazine, often trading off "the big essays" every-other-issue or so. I happened to be the author of much of the material regarding Twin Peaks and Fire Walk With Me; Craig often wrote about David Lynch's other films, and subjects about which he was passionate (Mark Frost, Stanley Kubrick, Peter Weir, The X-Files). We edited each other's work, polishing the writing and adding our own bits. Craig always kept us on schedule, firmly but gently reminding me of deadlines. He was the perfect co-editor, smart, committed, and thorough. The look, feel, and longevity of the magazine were due to Craig's tireless effort. Because of Craig's diligence, a new issue of Wrapped In Plastic was published every two months for over ten years.

Craig loved television, film, comics and science fiction. I shared his passion. He and I would talk endlessly of these things we treasured. Phone calls between us would last hours as we discussed a scene in Twin Peaks, or analysed an issue of Cerebus, or examined the themes of Blade Runner, or poured over the writings of David Foster Wallace. I'd end these conversations feeling exhausted -- and invigorated.

Craig passed away on November 7, 2012. His was a devastating loss -- for family, friends, and for the Twin Peaks community. Craig's vast knowledge and insight were gone. In describing the death of her father, the musician Laurie Anderson said, "It was like a library had burned down." That was what Craig's death was like. That huge mind -- that endless curiosity -- was no more. The world became a smaller place. 

But Craig's work lives on -- in the pages of Wrapped In Plastic, Spectrum Magazine and Following Cerebus. And his work lives on the pathways to Twin Peaks. I can never thank him enough...

Between 2004 and 2011, Craig Miller and John Thorne co-published 12 issues of Following Cerebus. You can read Dave Sim's tribute to Craig Miller here.

1 comment:

Dave Sim said...

I never saw an episode of TWIN PEAKS -- and still haven't -- but I think it's a testimony to Craig and John's labour of love that any time an issue of WRAPPED IN PLASTIC came in, I read it from cover to cover and enjoyed the heck out of it.