But I Could Be Wrong….

But I could be wrong….

So starts the opening page of Donald Westlake’s website. Click on the Enter button and he’s talking about the next three books he expects to come out as a bundle. It was written in September 2008.

Donald passed away on December 31 at 75, leaving a huge, gaping hole in the world of noir, crime drama and mysteries.

(yes, I revamped this blog post to bring this into the lead rather than the other thing.)

As you might know, I’m a big fan of the noir genre. I love the old noir movies and also old crime fiction from the ’30s, ’40s and ’50s. And I just love Westlakes writing.


Here’s his obit from the LA Times

This guy could flat-out write crime fiction. I’d often peruse his books to get inspiration for my noir photos. His words spat out like bullets from a gat, tense, terse and to the point. He developed characters and scenes. He set the pace, laid out the plot line and then battered through it like thug tuning up another in a dark alley. His words were fists and the printed pages absorbed the blows while the reader tried to stay out of their way.

And I don’t know how many times I’ve watched Mel Gibson in Payback, which was developed from his story The Hunter. And while visually I love how that movie looks and was shot, Westlake’s dialogue is great.

Westlake’s main character is a guy named Parker. (in Payback, it’s changed to Porter.) I once read that Westlake said his main regret was calling him Parker because it led to lines like “Parker parked the car…” and things like that. hehehe.

But in homage to that, the unseen antagonist in my noir photography is named Parker. My protagonist says things like You don’t do what you did to Parker and get to enjoy the second cup of coffee. Or even the first.

Westlake has a new book coming out in the spring. Can’t wait to snatch it up. In the meantime, here’s another noir piece I shot and titled Relentless. My caption is below.

RIP, Don.


You thought this would be easy, Parker?

I never said it would be easy, Lucky.

It ain’t easy.

No it’s not, Lucky. You’re the one gut shot and you ain’t smilin’ much now….

Would you be? What do I have to lose?

Nothing. Nothing at all….well, except that blood staining the concrete.

This stuff dies painless with me…You got a bottle?

Got a pint of Beam in the glove box. Want some?

Spare it, will you, Parker? I’m short-time.

Maybe. Maybe not. I’ve seen lesser men survive greater wounds.

Been gone a long time, Parker.

Felt like a long time. But I knew you’d be back….

Yeah…this time…

The humidity of the day hung like a wet cloak, smothering all that came near. Storms crashed outside….

(it’s true…it was hot as hell when I shot this and a huge rain storm was banging down on the garage….)


And then today, I get this email, from JPG Magazine.

Today is a particularly sad day for all of us at JPG and 8020 Media.

We’ve spent the last few months trying to make the business behind JPG sustain itself, and we’ve reached the end of the line. We all deeply believe in everything JPG represents, but we just weren’t able to raise the money needed to keep JPG alive in these extraordinary economic times. We sought out buyers, spoke with numerous potential investors, and pitched several last-ditch creative efforts, all without success. As a result, jpgmag.com will shut down on Monday, January 5, 2009.

The one thing we’ve been the most proud of: your amazing talent. We feel honored and humbled to have been able to share jpgmag.com with such a dynamic, warm, and wonderful community of nearly 200,000 photographers. The photography on the website and in the magazine was adored by many, leaving no doubt that this community created work of the highest caliber. The kindness, generosity, and support shared among members made it a community in the truest sense of the word, and one that we have loved being a part of for these past two years.

We wish we could have found a way to leave the site running for the benefit of the amazing folks who have made JPG what it is, and we have spent sleepless nights trying to figure something out, all to no avail. Some things you may want to do before the site closes:

– Download the PDFs of back issues, outtakes, and photo challenge selections. We’ll always have the memories! http://www.jpgmag.com/downloads/archives.html
– Make note of your favorite photographers. You may want to flip through your favorites list and jot down names and URLs of some of the people you’d like to stay in touch with. You may even want to cut and paste your contacts page into a personal record.
– Catch up with your fellow members. Our roots are in this humble flickr forum and we recommend going back to find fellow members, discuss the situation, or participate in another great photo community. http://www.flickr.com/groups/jpgmag/
– Keep in touch. This has always been much more than just a job to each of us, and we’ll miss you guys! We’ll be checking the account jpgletters@gmail.com in our free time going forward. We can’t promise to reply to every email (since we’ll be busy tuning up our resumes) but we’d love to hear from you.
– Stay posted. Although the magazine is ceasing publication, we’ll be updating you on what’s happening with your subscription early next week.

We’re soggy-eyed messes, but it is what it is. At that, JPGers, we bid you goodbye, and good luck in 2009 and the future.

Laura Brunow Miner
Editor in Chief

JPG is a cool publication that uses reader-generated photography. It was one of my 2009 goals to get published in JPG. I was hoping it was going to happen in ’08 when they ran a noir issue, but alas, they didn’t select this photo:


Ah well, what can you do. Sometimes the editors like what you present, sometimes they don’t. Anyway, I wanted to keep pushing. And then I get this email today. It’s shame. Hey, it’s no doubt the magazine business is a tough field to sow, especially now. But they did a nice job with their publication and it’s an honor for a photographer to get their work in there.

Here’s hoping they can pull out of it.

But I could be wrong….

© Mark V. Krajnak 2009 | JerseyStyle Photography | All rights Reserved
Unless otherwise noted, images captured with a Canon 20D, SanDisk digital film, finished with PS2 and Nik Software

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