My first regular series as Murilee Martin, way back in early ’07, was Road Rage Roundup, and it started off pretty well.
My graphic-designer friend Jeannette Copperwaite needed a new starter in her Tercel, and I needed a catchy animated logo for my new series. A trip to the junkyard and 20 minutes of work and I’d earned my custom logo. I told her to make it look like “a cross between a 1968 low-end Vegas casino sign and a Dead Kennedys album cover.” As you can see, Ms. Copperwaite has some real talent. RRR was pretty easy: I’d look up road-rage stories, excerpt the most head-clutchingly horrible two or three in each week’s episode, and the readers could all feel like sane/well-adjusted drivers because they’d never run an old lady in a Mazda 323 into a ditch over some perceived affront.
The whole exercise was more or less just an excuse for me to shamelessly rip off my journalistic role model Kevin Hoover’s Arcata Eye police-report style. The problem was that doing the research made me loathe all humanity, even more than the normal amount. How about killing a motorcyclist for passing you? Or a mayoral candidate loogying in a fellow driver’s face? So, I killed RRR after a couple of months. But damn, isn’t Jeannette’s logo great?