The coolest newspaper on the coolest planet in the coolest …

What does the coolest alternative newsweekly choose as its theme for its 2013 Best Of issue?

Bill Murray, of course.

As I struggle to put together nine photo shoots for this year’s Best Of, it helps to remind myself of what the New Times editorial team has already accomplished. I’ve survived this particular storm before–for eight consecutive years, in fact–and this year will be no different.

Still … I’ve got nine Bill Murray-themed gateway images that I art directed for New Times’ 2013 Best Of issue. You want to see them, right?

Of course.

The photos are by former staff photographer Steve E. Miller:

Our outside cover, inspired by The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. From left to right, that’s former staff writer Nick Powell, former office manager Tadhg Morrison, and me. (Not nearly as pretty as Cate Blanchett, but damn if I was going to miss an opportunity to be in a photo shoot paying homage to my favorite movie in an issue paying homage to one of my favorite people.)


The interior cover, shot outside the San Luis Obispo City/ County Library. Left to right are news editor Colin Rigley, geek columnist Nick Walter, former news editor Matt Fountain, and Jerime Ford.


The gateway to our “Dining Out” section referenced Groundhog Day with news editor Colin Rigley.


For our “After Hours” section we convinced calendar editor Maeva Considine’s dad, Tom Considine, to star in this Lost in Translation-inspired shoot.


For our Burnin’ Money section news editor Matt Fountain and Michael Dexter, who happened to be hanging around the set and graciously agreed to participate, reenacted a scene from Little Shop of Horrors.


Our About Town section paid homage to Caddyshack and starred former staff writer Nick Powell.


For Arts Scene, we shot the final scene from Scrooged. Despite the dopey look on my face, I really love this photo because it’s got so many of my favorite people–people who throw on Christmas attire in April and show up at the SLO Little Theatre just for fun, just to help someone out, just to be part of something. I’m being unpardonably sentimental, I know, and maybe it’s because I don’t get to see all of these faces as often as I once did, but Spencer Vaishville, Nick Powell, Matt Foote, Matt Fountain, Maeva Considine, Aileen Manley, Ana Korgan, Patty Thayer, and Colin Rigley are good people.


Former News Editor Matt Fountain took a Stripes-inspired zipline tour for our “Get Out” section.


I love pretty much everything about this Ghostbusters-inspired photo at the local library for our Community Watch section. I love that Nick Walter’s scared face wasn’t really all that scared, and that Matt Fountain, Jerime Ford, and Colin Rigley all look freaking terrified. I loved the weird looks we got at the library while we were preparing for and doing the photoshoot. I love the inflatable proton packs.


What does any of this prove? You don’t get to choose your family–most of them anyway. You don’t get to choose your height or eye color (not naturally anyway). But you can choose to align yourself with creative people, find something your passionate about, and pursue until you’ve made an absolute fool of yourself. Better to be a happy fool than well rested and bored.



  1. Brilliant photos! I love the Ghostbusters ones in particular.

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