There’s been a lot of people scooping up newspapers lately — after the victory by Barack Obama, there were lines of people outside the downtown offices of the Los Angeles Times for days looking to buy copies of the historic edition as well as metal printer’s plates. (You can still get both, by the way, which are now available online for a limited time.)
Today, people will again be buying the paper as a keepsake or potential collectible because of the huge black posters advertising the film "Twilight," which is nothing less than a pop-culture sensation and it hasn’t even hit theaters yet. Looking at the posters that landed on my doorstep this morning, I was pretty amazed, wondering how many vats of black ink must have been used to print up this darkly stylized, special advertising insert. If you don’t live in Southern California, don’t worry, you will be able to get one of these soon on EBay….
Of course, today’s edition of the newspaper arrived with a grim, real-world urgency that makes vampire movies seem pretty insignificant (sorry Twi-fans, no offense meant). Firefighters and other emergency personnel in Southern California are risking their lives right now fighting the fires raging across the region, and the photographers and reporters of The Times are in the danger zone trying to keep the public informed about this unfolding disaster. I was part of the newspaper’s front-line team covering the wind-whipped 1993 fire in Laguna that destroyed 441 houses and scorched close to 17,000 acres. It was something I’ll never forget. If you buy the paper for the poster, linger a bit on the pages of fire coverage and you’ll get an idea of how important that kind of coverage can be for a community. The Times has video of what’s going on, as well, which you can find here.
— Geoff Boucher