• W
    Right upfront in her letter in W's June issue, editor Julie L. Belcove admits that some of the magazine's recent photo layouts have been called "spectacular--and spectacularly self-indulgent.'' Spectacularly self-indulgent is inadequate, but begins to describe this month's 58-page portfolio by photographer Steven Klein of Madonna, the 47-year-old Material Girl, in "an abstract dance with six stallions.''
  • Glamour
    Belying its idjit rep (at least among those who, like me, have little interest in "throw[ing] a fun, low-stress shower"), Glamour has evolved into the worthiest of commute and/or beach companions for thinking gal and daintily fingernailed dimwit alike. This column o' mine can't work if people in magazineland approach tired genres with restraint and intellect; I resent Glamour horribly for giving me so little to work with.
  • Metropolis
    I don't like artsy people and they don't like me. I mock their darkly hued wardrobes, neatly trimmed fingernails and Morrissey fandom; they tut-tut my well-worn Levis, calloused remote-control thumb and predilection for fried foods.
  • Ms.
    Launched as a one-shot insert in New York magazine in 1971, Ms. revolutionized journalism. Male commentators called it bitchy; women called it essential. Thirty-plus years later, it remains a key feminist advocate.
  • Life & Style Weekly
    After squaring up with my crack team of therapists, bookies and hair-removal consultants the other morn, I had little besides lint and a single quarter in my pocket when I ventured to the newsstand on the corner. As I examined the wares at hand, I realized that my choices were but two: a delectable strand of taffy or the marked-down May 29 issue of Life & Style Weekly. This wasn't a decision to be taken lightly. The taffy would make me fatter; perusing Life & Style would make me dumber.
  • Cookie
    In theory, Cookie is a darn-tootin' super idea for a publication. Take the kid-rearing tracts of years past, subtract the housewife stereotypes, add pinches of personality and pizzazz, and voilĂ : a mommy mag for the new millennium. In execution, however, the mag plays much more like a cleverly veiled Lucky than anything boasting the tagline "all the best for your family" should.
  • Guns & Ammo
    This magazine is serious. Dead serious. The subject is guns--which, like sex and politics, can set off a firestorm of protest. Whichever side of the aisle you support, one thing is not in dispute: guns are big business. So it's not surprising that niche competition is fierce, including Guns, Guns & Weapons, Rifle Shooter and Combat Arms. They're like the Us and In Touch of the gun world.
  • Robb Report
    As a freelance writer, I earn gobs and gobs of money. I throw out my sheets (the thread counts of which surge well into seven digits) after sleeping on them once. So when the May issue of Robb Report teased a story about test-driving a new Porsche in the Dubai desert--which is how I spent my college spring breaks, except for the one devoted to poaching elephant ivory--I ordered my handlers to procure me a copy posthaste.
  • All You
    As a Northeastern city dweller, I'm supposed to regard Wal-Mart as some kind of union-smushing, handgun-crazed hobgoblin. And as a critic/intellectual snob/wingnut, I'm supposed to regard any publication catering to its shoppers as lowbrow, vapid and utterly unworthy of my consideration. Yet All You, the Time Inc. title sold exclusively at Wal-Mart, strikes me as one of the extremely few magazines that ably tailors its content to the precise needs of its audience.
  • Star
    Here is the most important thing you need to know about Star: It is not a magazine; it is a picture book that chronicles celebrity distress. How else did Sean Penn's "man boobs" or Missy Elliott's fashion horrors pop up?
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