Thursday, November 18, 2004

Border Patrol

A parody Web site developed by Toronto-based This Magazine encouraging disgruntled Democrats to move to Canada is being taken more seriously than its developers intended.

Marry an American encourages young Canucks to tie the knot with their southern neighbors in order to help them escape the Bush regime. Visitors to the site -- initially mostly Canadians before the actual election -- are encouraged to take a pledge, view profiles, and get hooked up. There's even a charming "Aboot" section.

Once the election was completed and Bush was reinstalled for four more years, more Americans began to swarm the site. One commented that they got the joke -- but wished it was real.

Making Book

Sports Illustrated is a consistently high-quality read, and I'm not even a real sports fan. And even though I'm sure its recently issued anniversary book is a worthy read, I am thrilled silly -- silly! -- about a different book scheduled for a May 2005 release.

Bill Scheft's The Best of the Show: A Classic Collection of Wit and Wisdom will collect 100 of his best columns from Sports Illustrated, indicating why the former David Letterman writer is one of the funniest people in sports -- and publishing. I can't wait. He's a major reason to read SI, and his book may be even better.

By Redesign

Starting with the January issue, Technology Review, "MIT's magazine of innovation," will undergo some major changes. Now that Jason Pontin sits at the top of the masthead, Tech Review's staff will reorganize the editorial content, introduce some bigger-name writers, and redesign the mag's look and feel. Some of the changes are already afoot. Long-running columnist Michael Schrage is out the door, as is Joe Chung. Gladly, Simson Garfinkel seems to be staying around. Looking forward to the next issue! I just renewed.

In related news: A hearty Boo! Hiss! Pfftlb! to Tech Review for their shoddily done Statement of Ownership, Management, and Circulation. "Printed" on page 10 of the December issue, it appears to be a bad scan -- the text is basically illegible, as are most of the important numbers. I can barely read the thing. Near as I can tell, the average press run pushes past 360,000 and the book sells maybe 49,000 on the newsstand. Come on, Tech Review, you can do better than this.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Regional Advantage

Oh, why didn't Time Out Chicago launch while I lived in that fine city? It's sure to give the Chicago Reader and New City a run for their money.

[Thanks, Noah!]

Launch Pad II

Doc Searls reports that the publisher of Linux Journal is preparing to publish a new magazine aimed at newcomers to Linux: TUX. Get it? Tux? Penguin suit? Oh, Tux is the name of the Linux penguin logo. Still, harf! Expect a starting circ of 60,000.

Breaking Guitar's Neck

Livejournalist Radpantz says that Guitar World magazine shouldn't publish features about people who can't play the guitar. Seems fair.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Growth Sport

Is XXL magazine the fastest-growing magazine in America? Get thee to a newsstand and see what all the fuss is about.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Life, Back from the Dead

While I'm still not sure whether the new version of Life magazine -- or its new distribution method -- will have a positive impact on publishing, it is interesting to gauge how far formerly hot titles can fall. Though the magazine's storied history and attention to photography are impressive, I can't but wonder what happened.

Luckily, people have captured some of Life's past life. Life in 1962 offers text, images, ads from -- and commentary on -- a single issue. The Smithsonian Institution Press has even published a book about the magazine.

CIO-verfilled Niche?

TechTarget is launching a new magazine targeting CIOs next spring. CIO Decisions, with a controlled circulation of 60,000, will contend with CIO and CIO Insight. The sneaky Petes even registered the domain name How many magazines does a chief information officer need?

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Quiz Nous

What magazine are you?

What magazine am I?

I am Popular Science: The only thing more exciting then the present is the future. I am always the first to hear about whats going on in the realms of human achievement.
What magazine am I?

Quotes of Note

"Lots of work goes into Cosmo Girl. Hundreds of talented and bright people put their efforts into getting just the right model and just the right tone of teenage girl happiness. Sure it may not be on the same level as people working in toxic fume filled mines, but they're at least doing something." -- Suburb Squirrel

Nervy, Pervy XXVIII

How embarrassing. You're writing an article about men who like to wear diapers, and you out one of your sources. LiveJournalist ActiveSilence used to write about pornography while he was in college, and a recent blog entry indicates that it's always a good idea to verify first names as well as last when cold-calling a potential interviewee.

The Source of Our Discontent

Michiban may not like Vice, but it appears that Eminem may dislike The Source even more. The hip-hop periodical has been fined for publishing Eminem lyrics -- twice -- challenged for distributing unreleased Eminem recordings in which he makes derogatory remarks about African Americans, and come under fire for other copyright- and ethics-related issues involving the white rapper.

The Daily News reports that Eminem slags The Source in no fewer than three songs on his new record, Encore. One of those songs? "Big Weenie."

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Heavy Mental

A LiveJournalist by the handle of GothicChinaDoll is thrilled silly that Metal Edge magazine published a snapshot they sent in in the January issue. Personally, I think Metal Maniacs would be more of a coup, but congratulations, nonetheless. Horns up!

What other magazines publish photographs of readers? I know Mad publishes photos of readers mugging with celebrities. What other titles do this?

Cover Story IX

Erik D, proprietor of They're Coming for You Barbara! recently stumbled across the Lost Comics of Olduvai, a treasure trove of cheesy, vintage comic book covers. Reproducing nine covers, including one from a comic titled Amish Armada, Erik offers some snarky commentary about the highlights -- and lowlights -- of the comics publishing industry. It appears that Erik's drawing on a larger online archive -- he plans to comment on additional titles in the future. Does anyone know the original source for these?

Sustainable Ability

I may have initially thought that Jen was a real magazine, but the Sustainable Style Foundation earns extra credit for designing a Web magazine true to print design principles.

The result, Sass magazine, sports a cover complete with cover lines and a faux UPC, and the Web TOC mirrors that of a print pub, offering cover stories, departments, and other features. While the page design stays true to that of paper-based periodicals, the on-site navigation isn't as easy as that offered by services such as Zinio, NewsStand, and Texterity. Regardless, it's nice to see more hybrid approaches!

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Clothes Whore XI

Wait. There's a magazine for teenage Mormon girls? Jen focuses on modest clothes, modest fashion, clean music, and clean entertainment for young women of the Latter Day Saint persuasion -- or LDS, as they proudly proclaim sitewide. The site offers a downloadable letter you can use to persuade clothing stores to sell more modest wares. Wasn't YM's tagline once "young and modern"? Jen targets the young and modest, but not so modest that they shy from calling themselves "LDS girlies."

[Thanks, Feministing!]

Update: It's not a print magazine proper, but one of those "online magazines." Apologies for the confusion. Now, someone go launch a print mag for LDS girlies!

Magazine Me LIV

Not only do cable channels have their own magazines now -- case in point, Sci Fi magazine, which is equal parts program guide and general interest sf mag -- but television shows are following suit.

LAist reports that subscribers to an OC fan site will also receive a subscription to a print magazine that debuts Monday. Word is that the mag will "revolve around the Orange County lifestyle and its residents." I wonder if existing regional titles like Coast magazine feel threatened.

Oh, wait. Coast covers the real SoCal. OC Insider will cover the lifestyle portrayed on TV.

Event-O-Dex CII

Reason magazine is holding a launch party to celebrate the publication of Choice: The Best of Reason on Friday, Nov. 12, in New York City. From 7-9 p.m. at the Greenwich Village Barnes & Noble, Joe Garden -- a staff writer for The Onion -- will moderate a panel discussion.

Panelists include Nick Gillespie, editor-in-chief of Reason; Brian Doherty, senior editor of Reason and author of This Is Burning Man; and Joe Bob Briggs, contributor to Choice and author of Profoundly Disturbing: Shocking Movies That Changed History!

Feedback Where You Find It

Dead Spaces' Michiban really doesn't like Vice magazine. Personally, I've never found it interesting enough to care about, much less get irritated by. But you've just got to love periodical:pimple comparisons.

Newspaper Chase XII

In his blog Small Initiatives, Jay Small comments on Design magazine's list of influential moments in news design. Granted, given that the mag is the house organ for the Society for News Design, it makes sense that much of the list concentrates on newspapers, but wherefore the news magazines? Or newspaper's Sunday magazines? Small's commentary is solid: The real issue is a limiting definition of news, regardless of whether they include online design.

Conference Floored

Subscribers of Folio magazine, which is undergoing somewhat of a confusing evolution as it incorporates M10 Leadership Review -- which means nothing to me -- recently received a free exhibit hall pass to the upcoming Folio Show in New York City.

The exhibit hall is open for a total of 13 and a half hours over the course of the Nov. 15-17 event.

Launch Pad

The New York Post reports that Conde Nast's new shopping mag Domino is tumbling head over heels to an April launch -- rather than a planned fall launch. Aiming for 10 issues a year, Domino will start with a rate base of 400,000 -- and a team of 20-plus editors headed by Deborah Needleman is hard at work on the first issue. By year end, an editorial team of 30 is expected.

At the Masthead

National Geographic has named its new editor-in-chief, and it's... a former photographer for the magazine.

Chris Johns will succeed William Allen after a 10-year run at the magazine's top editorial position. Having worked with the yellow-bordered mainstay for almost 20 years, Johns made the move from photographer to associate editor just three years ago.

"I don't regret a day of the field time," he says. Um, no you didn't. 'Cause then you hung out with lions and won awards, and now you sit at a desk, eh? Congratulations! (Seriously, congratulations; it just seems so much more exciting to be a photographer for the mag.)

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Credit Line Item

How long has U.S. News & World Report been running photograph and illustration credit lines that specify whether something was done "for USN&WR"? The Nov. 8 edition is riddled with credit lines such as "Jeffrey MacMillan for USN&WR," as well as "Ashley Cooper -- PicImpact/Corbis."

Now, it's common practice to credit stock images appropriately, but isn't it assumed that -- unless otherwise indicated -- something was shot expressly for the title in question? Some photos are even credited as "contact for USN&WR." How is that different than a normal photograph? Anyone know?

Magalog Role

Last month, Avon launched its first men's-only catalog: M. Debuting two new lines of products aimed at the emerging metrosexual -- including exfoliating cleansers and antiwrinkle eye creams -- the catalog sports an initial press run of 7 million. Now, that's a launch!

Making a Statement of Ownership

It's that time of year again, when magazines are required to publish their statement of ownership.

I love these little indicators of a magazine's health and vitality -- not only can you track top-level staff changes year to year, but you can gauge whether a magazine is on the wax or wane. Unfortunately, I don't consistently collect the statements -- or keep them all in one place -- so the comparative aspect is diminished. Regardless, even as standalones, they're worth looking for... and reading.

Take that of Yankee magazine. Published in the November issue, the statement indicates that an issue's average press run is 564,369. 474,685 people subscribe. 25,388 copies are sold on the newsstand. I don't know why, but I find numbers like that fascinating.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Among the Literati LVIII

Shades of Dotson Rader's byline, I was surprised to see a poem by Katha Pollitt in the Sept. 27 edition of the New Yorker. Is this the same Katha Pollitt who writes for the Nation? It is! Who knew? Not me.

Cover Story VIII

Time magazine offers an online gallery of its covers dating back to 1923. The week I was born features a post-modern paper sculpture of George Schultz. More than 4,000 covers are available -- and for sale.

Elector Set

Vote. Seriously.