Saturday, February 27, 2016

It's 20 minutes, too late, into the future (Dead Milkmen query letter, 1995)

Somewhere in a box in this room there ought to be a gray-hued sheet, in Ixtlan letterhead, trumpeting my employability in the entertainment field.  
It's signed by Oliver Stone. 
In reality, it's written by me and signed by Annie Tien, Oliver's chief assistant, dated summer 1996.  My guess is most letters and photographs embarking out of the Stone office those days were forged one way or another.  Circumstance.  Oliver was a busy guy.  The weed.  Regularly scheduled home visits from hot ass production assistants.  Et cetera. 
Months ago I found the letter of reference supposedly written by Naomi Despres, Ixtlan's chief creative executive (*), but I don't remember if she penned any of the fibs or just looked it over beforehand. She had her own version of an Annie, but not one so disposable as to potentially sully Naomi's good name.  Found, the letter stealthily submerged back into some dark recess of the office, or 'the swamp' as I've come to think it. 
So.  Can't find documentary proof of the internship, but rummaging did pay off in rejection letters for Dead Milkmen, the novel I wrote (some of) right out of college.  
I don't remember a damned thing about it.  If so inclined, courtesy of a first class stamped envelope I've held onto for 20 odd years, I've got about 3 chapters to poke through.  The query letter promised publishers:

The consumption of art and art consuming, the culturally abandoned swinging and striking out, ecotherapy, the death of the Postal Service, and exploding dairy workers. 
Dead Milkmen.  One-part William Gibson, one-part Andy Kaufman, most-part all points in between. 

Strangely, The Berkley Publishing Group and Alfred A. Knopf passed.  Somewhere there's got to be a resounding 'no' form letter from Bantam, too.  If you're a 22 year old asshole ripping off (and name dropping) William Gibson then by god of course you try to get on with his (then) publisher.  

Jenny continues to work on the cover art for The Lipless Gods.  That's some of it down there.  So, so good it fills me with certain dread that any poor schlub snookered into reading it will set it aside once overwhelmed by that lipstick on a pig analogy... 

* Digging around finally unearthed the letter. Naomi was Ixtlan's Vice President, not just a 'creative executive'. Concurrent to Ixtlan was Illusion, another of Oliver's cash cows.  The offices were fully amuck with Illusion creative executives -- maybe not Minions-like amuck but a field far more amuck than Ixtlan.

No comments:

Post a Comment