I'm up for a challenge and down on time this morning. So I've decided to see if I can find 10 interesting things about the August issue of Zink, the next in a long line of very, very, very edgy publications aimed at extremely cool young people with nice skin.

1. Zink's tagline is "the element of style." See, that's witty because "zinc," a homonym of Zink, is an actual element. Get it? Witty!
Verdict: Not interesting

2. Zink boasts a sorta modular design, with many of its items confined to square spaces. It's an efficient use of real estate, though it must be hell on the writers to tailor their stories accordingly. Zink also goes all thin and modernist on us with its fonts and layouts and such. Dig the "Runaway Design" overlays of text atop a quartet of images, not to mention the fish-tank setting for the jumble of makeup and skincare products.
Verdict: Interesting

3. Zink runs 51 consecutive mostly word-free pages of photo spreads in the middle of its August issue. The best of the five ( "Cinema Verité," "You Belong to the City") are merely dull and pretentious, while the worst ( "In Flux") make their subjects look like alien life forms. I call on you, mistresses and maestros of magazinedom, to ban perfectly ironed foreheads from your pages. Do it for the children.
Verdict: Scary

4. Zink devotes full pages of its front-of-book "Ignition" section to a $7,500, limited-edition cell phone, novelty tchotchkes, and a Web site that will send "an anatomically correct pink rubber, life-size A-hole" to those who deserve it. Say, anybody need my address?
Verdict: Not interesting, and a tremendous waste of space to boot

5. Zink occasionally runs first-person pieces ("a sincere request for a manners revival") and passes along its share of relationship advice (Martha D.'s Q&A thingie and "Hi, my name is Josephine, and I bully my boyfriend"). The mag proclaims itself a beacon of coolness, yet only gives these sharp and clever gals 300 words or so to play with. Somehow, I doubt the Zink higher-ups recognize the disconnect in this thinking.
Verdict: Very interesting and entertaining

6. Zink, as part of its "fall entertainment forecast," singles out 11 films, flicks, bands and TV shows. One of them is CW sitcom "Aliens in America," in which a Midwestern family hosts a foreign exchange student... who is a Muslim! From Pakistan! Where Bin Laden is hiding!
Verdict: So very tired

7. Zink makes lots of craaaaaayzee assumptions about its readership. In its media kit, the mag speaks thusly of its Gen-X audience: "This group is all about being sexy; mind, body and soul. They adore fash¬ion idols and supermodels...They possess fierce and intelligent sarcasm, imagination and creativity. They adore fortune, fame, spirituality, social consciousness, technology, nostalgia, sensuality and gender neutral perspectives. P.S. Cool never declares itself!" Well, then. Just out of curiosity, what don't we adore? Yachting? Poor people?
Verdict: Not interesting -- nor, according to most sociologists, particularly accurate. If you're going to invent a wet-dream demographic, at least be creative about it. White-collar leprechauns, Metro-satanists, etc. Work with me here.

8. Zink runs the following sentence in its review of a record that quite possibly has the worst cover I've ever seen: " 'Sticky Honey' is good messy fun, a party anthem for sure, but by the time you get to the beautifully-nuanced, vocally schizophrenic 'Death of a Whore,' she'll have you in the palm of her hand."
Verdict: Writer down! We have a writer down!

9. Zink begins its piece on an Australian band with the following I AM WRITING! salvo: "To call New York City a catalyst for creativity is an understatement as gigantic as the city itself. No matter the discipline -- music, film, art, literature or theater -- New York acts as a magnetic sieve, first pulling the artists in, then sifting them until gold separates from silt." Yeah, but are there guitars?
Verdict: Meh

10. Zink treats us to a way-late review of flicks that debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival, bits on Xbox 360 Elite and "a hassle-free speaker solution for all your devices," a look at a designer's flagship London store, and a visit to a new NYC bar. I bet you can't guess where in the city it happens to be located. Hint: not uptown.
Verdict: Double meh

Overall verdict: Not interesting. I'm going to make an omelet now.

Published by: IT Global Media
Frequency: Ten issues per year
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