The Community Speaks: A Tribute to John Thorne

With Twin Peaks: The Return now concluded, fans all over the world are sharing their own personal theories as to what it all means. The conversations are all over social media, message boards and on web sites like the one you’re reading now. These large scale conversations weren’t possible the way they are today after the Season 2 finale back in 1991 when “How’s Annie” and Bob staring back at our beloved Agent Cooper in a mirror left fans clamoring for more. In the pre-social media age, Wrapped in Plastic magazine kept the conversation alive. John Thorne and the late Craig Miller started a magazine that for 13 years kept Twin Peaks fans engaged and dreaming of that world we all longed to go back to. Today, a large community of fans exists due in part to Wrapped in Plastic not letting the memory of Twin Peaks fade away.  Today we pay homage to John Thorne for all that he’s done for the Twin Peaks fan community for more than 25 years now. When we put word out that we were collecting quotes paying tribute to John, we received responses from both those who have worked on the show and from those who have studied the show just like John has. That alone is a testament to John’s value in our community. On behalf of the site, thank you Mr. Thorne for being our trailblazer and keeping the dream alive.

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“During its first run, and in the long years until the new series, John Thorne – along with many others in the Twin Peaks community but more than anyone else I can think of – served as the keeper of the flame.” – Mark Frost, co-creator and Executive Producer of Twin Peaks and Twin Peaks: The Return

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“There’s nothing better for a writer than to find kindred souls who appreciate the work that you do. In some ways they then become part of that work. It’s like Boswell and Samuel Johnson – how’s that for an old reference? It’s that notion of having someone who really gets what you do and then celebrates it. It makes them part of the family and he has been for a very long time and still is. It’s hard to image what we did early on without his watchful eye” – Harley Peyton, Writer/ Producer, Twin Peaks

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“More than anything, John is a great friend to me. When we get on the phone it is hard to get off. He is a kindred spirit. In a way I look him to him as a big brother, the coolest big brother possible. He’s just such a smart and insightful guy and I’ve never heard one vindictive word out of him ever. He’s the nicest person with the kindest heart. I’m proud to know him” Brad Dukes, author of “Reflections: An Oral History of Twin Peaks”

 

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“Everyone knows how John’s passion kept the show alive in the hearts and minds of fans for so many years, and how much we all owe him for that. I’ve met John on several occasions and am fortunate enough to consider him a friend. He is extremely generous with his knowledge, and always eager to help other Twin Peaks “students” out with insights and encouragements. I don’t think I know anyone as passionate about the show as John, or as eager to engage in meaningful dialogue and speculation about the many mysteries of Twin Peaks. I think John’s most valuable contribution to the Twin Peaks community has been his deconstruction of the mythology of the show in a way that is intelligent, thoughtful, provocative, and — most importantly — accessible to fans as well as scholars.” – David Bushman, author of “Twin Peaks FAQ”

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“John Thorne and Craig Miller carried the torch for Twin Peaks through the otherwise dark ages from 1992 to 2005. Without Wrapped in Plastic to keep interest alive, sustain community, and provide resources for disparate fans, it’s quite possible that there never would have been a Twin Peaks revival – certainly not to the extent of what eventually emerged when the series finally came out on DVD and hit Netflix.

I didn’t discover the series until 2008, so I owe John more indirectly for that legacy. What I owe him directly for is the spirit of inquiry he brought to Twin Peaks analysis. In particular, when I discovered his essay “The Transformation of Laura Palmer” in 2014, the piece itself transformed my own thinking about the film. For the first time, in addition to appreciating Twin Peaks as an audiovisual experience I began to investigate how it functioned as a cohesive narrative.

Without this discovery, and the further understanding that John’s own research and theorizing provided, my own Journey Through Twin Peaks videos could never have been born. And I’m sure this is true for many others who write about and discuss Twin Peaks – John was unafraid to seek answers, without reducing the mystery, and we can all thank him for that.” – Joel Bocko, Journey Through Twin Peaks

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“The illustrious Henry Jenkins has described TV fans as poachers and detectives, and he has said that fans often tend the fire once a film or TV series has stopped being widely popular, thus helping to keep the interest alive. All of these descriptions fit John Thorne who created one of the most widely recognized fanzines, Wrapped in Plastic, exploring and debating almost every aspect of Twin Peaks. Had there been no John Thorne, it is difficult to imagine an actual “Return” of Twin Peaks, and, fittingly, Thorne was used as one of the experts in Showtime’s documentary about the Twin Peaks phenomenon. Thorne transcends the boundary between fan and scholar, and for me; personally, he transcends the boundary between mentor and friend, having edited a few of my pieces for Blue Rose Magazine and having agreed to co-edit the English version of my David Lynch book The Art of Paradox (2017/2018). The Twin Peaks community is greatly indebted to John Thorne for his life-long contribution, both in terms of writing about the series and in terms welcoming new thoughts and fans to the environment. What is a Blue Rose without its Thorne(s)? “- Andreas Halskov, author

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“Way back in the 90’s Twin Peaks was as tough to find as Jerry Horne in the woods. When I first saw WIP (Wrapped in Plastic magazine) in a Border’s Book store, I thought it must have been a mistake. I thought I was the only person that still cared about Twin Peaks. It wasn’t the first time John would prove me wrong. I spent the next 15 years or so trying to complete my collection. In 2012, I finally got my hands on the illusive Mulholland Drive issue. At that time, I wouldn’t have believed it if anyone had told me that in 3 years I would meet John and that 2 years later we would be working together on The Blue Rose Magazine.

The first time I ever met John I asked him to bring WIP back. The second time, I asked again. I believe it was 427th time that he finally relented and The Blue Rose was born. I am honored every day that I get to work along someone who is as humble, smart, loyal and dedicated to not just Twin Peaks, but being a good writer. In the last 8 months, I have learned more about shaping a sentence than I did in my 4 years of college. If these sentences I have written aren’t as good as my writing in The Blue Rose, it is because John didn’t have the chance to edit them. I have learned how to dissect a scene and connect it to something tangible; to make sure you are giving critical analysis and not just your opinion. In a day and age when everyone just spouts off what they think as if that makes it a fact, I am thrilled to be reading someone who takes a moment to stop and be sure it is based on fact.

In Issue #4 we will be paying respect to the 25th anniversary of WIP and by proxy, John Thorne. We don’t do this because John is the Managing Editor, we do this because it is Twin Peaks news. WIP has become intertwined in the actual world of Twin Peaks. His work of documenting what Lynch/Frost did will always be family to one another. John hates when I call him the Godfather of Twin Peaks, so I will again repeat it. John, along with the late Craig Miller, kept Twin Peaks alive in a time without Tweets and Facebook pages. They never kept anyone out of Twin Peaks, they invited people in. “Twin Peaks“, the idea, is not owned by any one person. It is out there for the world to interpret. That idea of openness and community mattered to me when I had a full head of hair. And now, when I have a lot less hair up there, I am lucky to be able to not only call John a mentor and a partner, but a good friend. He is too humble to say it, so I will say it for him. John is the Godfather of Twin Peaks.” – Scott Ryan, author / podcaster 

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“I’ve told the story many times both privately and publicly. The inspiration to start this site came from reading John Thorne’s book,  The Essential Wrapped In Plastic . I was sitting down on a Sunday afternoon and as I got further and further into the book, I remembered how much I loved dissecting and studying Twin Peaks. It was something I did for years in the 90’s and early 2000’s but as time went on, I began to do less of.  I knew I was excited to read John’s book when I first heard about it. What I didn’t know was that John would have the exact same impact on me that David Lynch and Mark Frost do: These men all dared me to dream. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and I believe that to be true. This site, which myself and the other writers are all deeply invested in and very much in love with, was born from John’s passion to explore the world of Twin Peaks”  – Andrew Grevas, 25YearsLaterSite.com

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3 Replies to “The Community Speaks: A Tribute to John Thorne”

  1. I wrote this on Facebook but it really belongs here:
    This is a humbling post. Thanks for the very kind words from everyone. I appreciate all the sentiments but I must remind everyone of the contribution made by Craig Miller. Without Craig there would have been no Wrapped In Plastic. All the kind words said here about me apply to Craig as well. (That’s his cover art to WIP 5 above, btw.) Honestly, I’m just a fan of Twin Peaks who really wanted to write about the show. Craig and I tapped into a strong and fervent fan-base who wanted to read about the show. Our inspiration, of course, came from the immensely talented Mark Frost, David Lynch, Harley Peyton, Robert Engels, and the cast and crew of Twin Peaks. They created a work of timeless art and I’m glad I got the chance to talk about it, for awhile, in Wrapped In Plastic.

    Like

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