Helen Knode. At the Weekly from 1985 to 1991 as film and theater critic, film editor, features writer and columnist. Recently published first novel, The Ticket Out, a crime story about women in Hollywood, and she’s hacking away at the sequel. Married to novelist James Ellroy.
Laureen Lazarovici. Spent five and a half years at the Weekly, mostly as a City Hall reporter. At the end of 1994, she became a California Journal staff writer and then went on to an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellowship in Washington, D.C. She covered Capitol Hill for a year and a half for Education Daily and is currently assistant editor at the AFL-CIO publications department. Robert Lloyd. More evidence that even though you don’t need to have a band to work at the Weekly, it doesn’t hurt. Lloyd’s band played at the Weekly’s fifth-anniversary party, and, with a different band, he played at the paper’s recent 25th-anniversary bash too. Started at the Weekly as a typographer just before the paper’s first anniversary. Later served as music editor, TV writer and all-purpose columnist. Remembered also for The Critical List columns. Now a TV writer for the Los Angeles Times.Rian Malan. Worked at the Weekly from about 1979 through 1981, serving as contributing editor, music editor and news editor. Cover stories included one on the anti-draft movement in L.A., a piece on Runyon Canyon, and an article titled "The Night They Rounded Up the Hustlers on Santa Monica Boulevard," co-written with Vyto Pluira. Malan is best-known for his book My Traitor’s Heart: A South African Exile Returns To Face His Country, His Tribe, and His Conscience (1991). The book is regularly cited as one of the finest prose meditations from a native, white South African on his personal and his country’s struggles with apartheid. In 2001, Malan wrote a lengthy, provocative feature for Rolling Stone on the AIDS crisis in Africa. In it, he challenged the death rates claimed by AIDS activists.
Ruben Martinez. Started freelancing in 1986; hired on as staff writer a year later and served as news editor from 1991 to 1993. A first-generation American of parents from Mexico and El Salvador, he describes himself as a poet and activist prior to landing at the Weekly. "I caught the tale end of the first generation of the Weekly," said Martinez. "There were still condoms and syringes in the bathroom. We used to have a lot of beer the night we put the paper to the bed on Wednesday . . . I was a college dropout, so the Weeklywas like my university." His pieces ranged wide, but he especially recalls his exposé on L.A.’s Catholic Church with Ron Curran and Mike Davis. Post-Weekly, he hosted Life and Timeson KCET-TV, then moved to Mexico City to write and research. Also did a stint as a Loeb Fellow at the Harvard Design School. His books include Crossing Over: A Mexican Family on the Migrant Trail (2001). He currently teaches creative writing at the University of Houston. His fourth book, The New Americans, due out in March, is a series of essays about globalization and migration.
James "Big Boy" Medlin. A Texan, Medlin got the name Big Boy because he was small compared to his enormous 6-foot-6 brothers. Of course, he isn’t exactly tiny at 6-foot-1 and 200-some pounds. He used the name journalistically because the byline worked with his gonzo-style column Why Not? "I was mostly writing about where I was drinking," said Medlin. "It was a first-person, ’70s, out-of-it feel of expanded, heightened reality — through whatever you were ingesting at the time." A wounded Vietnam vet who drove a shuttle bus before trying writing, Medlin was in the group of Texas writers (including Michael Ventura and Ginger Varney) brought in by Jay Levin to write for Larry Flynt’s fledgling Free Press, which then had aspirations of being the West Coast Rolling Stone. "In my first column I went to the Super Bowl in New Orleans. It was probably the only story written about the Super Bowl [in which] the winner was not mentioned. I barely made it to the game." When Flynt got shot, they we were all of a sudden out of work." But then Levin gathered investors to start the Weekly. Medlin left after a few years, then returned for a while in the early ’90s. He made various stabs at the movie industry, scoring big as co-screenwriter of Roadie (1980), which he wrote with Ventura. (The Travis Redfish character played by Meat Loaf in the movie was Medlin’s fictional alter ego from his Why Not? column.) Seventeen years ago, he got in on the start of Movietime, which became E! Entertainment. He’s now editorial director. "Whatever you worked on was immediately on air," he said. "I was the line producer during the O.J. Simpson trial. I had to watch every minute of that trial. I drank a lot of coffee that year. What really got me excited is the true Hollywood stories and mysteries and scandals." Marie Moneysmith. Wrote the Weekly’s first cover story on female standup comics. As a freelance writer, she specializes in alternative health, and also writes advertising copy for movies. Did six years of freelancing for Peoplemagazine in Los Angeles.