Dakota Jane (first western project)

Posted: September 15, 2012 in My photographs, My western gals, Retrofuture

With current ongoing interest in my western projects I thought it might be a good idea to finally write a few words about how it all started, and that means going back to late september 2009 and the two sessions I had with model Lina for the Dakota Jane project back then.

Dakota Jane was the realization of an idea that I had had for a while, that it would be great fun to not only write a western novel, but to get pictures for it as well. No harm in going for it, so I did. Lina is a rocker that I knew from an earlier collaboration (I needed a shot of a couple of chicks in Metal outfits posing with a Xena chakram back in 2008, which my friend photographer Michael Johansson took care of and she was one of them). When Dakota Jane came up it had to happen quickly because the summer season was rapidly coming to an end and poor weather is not a great thing when shooting outside. I think it all happened within a week.

On september 21 and 22 we had two sessions here in Östersund, with slight variations in gear. It was a very successful experiment, I got what I needed and inspiration for the novel followed. This went out in two parts in RETROFUTURE 1 and 2 (2009-2010) and Dakota Jane had the first cover and could be seen on the second.

 (Issue 1)

Sadly, soon after creating the second issue, I lost the original Dakota Jane material in a computor crash, so everything that had not been used was lost. That meant that Dakota Jane had come to an end in the magazine as well and I felt that rather than having another session with the same model in order to continue, it would be interesting to create another character for later use, which became the Montana Blue project in the summer of 2010.

The Dakota Jane story revolves around the big fire in Fargo in 1893, which is a historic event that really took place, but the rest is fictional. In my novel a gang was responsible for a number of events, including the fire, and Dakota Jane takes them on and hunts them down.

The novel was printed with lots of pictures and bonus material (a making of story and an interview with Lina) over roughly 23 pages in these issues. A pretty good start for a new type of project. You have to remember that the first issue of RETROFUTURE was business as usual for me, it was just a new title. With this novel, I pretty much reintroduced the western novel again in Sweden. The last pocket book had been published in 2000 in our media so Dakota Jane was kind of the return of something old and buried here. This is something that I am quite proud of.

This summer, I reprinted the Dakota Jane novel back to back with the Montana Blue novel in GUNSLINGER, but I had to use existing material. Compare this cover with the top image, which was a spread in RETROFUTURE 1 (I borrowed part of that image to be able to do it). However, it was nice to publish Dakota Jane in one single publication.

GUNSLINGER was handed out in 1000 copies (it was never on sale). RETROFUTURE  1 and 2 has gone out (locally) in about 2000 all in all. This means that Dakota Jane has been seen by thousands of people in my neck of the woods. Add Montana Blue to this and my reputation on the local scene as a pretty eccentric publisher must have grown considerably. And on top of that, the western stuff is not the only eccentric material in these publications.

The reason behind it is simple, one needs to have a bit of fun in life. And this has been o good way to ensure a bit of that in mine.

(My images)

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