Can a small trade publication take off its glasses and revamp into the relative glamour of a mainstream women's mag, competing with the big girls on the newsstand? That's the question for HealthSpring Communications, which transformed the journal of the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and National Nurses into the quarterly consumer book Every Woman.
Admit it--if you walked by a newsstand, you'd pick it up. So would Carrie Nation. Even Lynne Cheney might give it a glance. That's what catchy titles are all about--so outrageous, you can't turn away. True, much of the pro-drinking prose results in a literary hangover, but who could resist the cover line "Inebriated in Iran"? So throw a few cubes into your highball--if it was good enough for Nick Charles, it's good enough for you--and down Modern Drunkard.
Shock's defining motif is photos that allegedly "will blow your eyes out of their sockets." Here's the thing, though: While some of the depictions might offend people of delicate sensibilities, most will not. And nothing between the covers of the October issue will make the likely audience of 20-something males, numbed by years of BIZARRE and OBSCENE crap on the Internet, so much as bat an eyelid.
Happily, I enjoy a life outside work so bustling that I have no need for a publication that advises me on weekend activities. When the laptop screen goes down and the Saturday sun comes up, you might find me napping, watching sports on TV, or napping while watching sports on TV. Alas, not everybody has the energy to maintain this manic pace. And so it is that publications like weekend worm their way into our mailboxes to pick up the slack.
Unlike its fashion sisterhood at Conde Nast, (the latest Vogue actually weighs in at 4 pounds) the September issue of House & Garden is entirely portable, no door stopper. Still, it's thicker than usual, and boasts a purple and gold cover promoting ''Exotic Luxury and Global Style.''
Here's the thing: the revamped WWE Magazineactually works. I can't remember how it read in its former incarnation, but I doubt it approached the new product's topnotch production values and creative topical mix. Like the pastime of wrestling itself, the mag concentrates as much on personality as on athleticism. In doing so, it breathes life into a stale genre
Why isn't there a year-round publication devoted exclusively to fantasy sports? You'd think, given the gobs of time and cash invested by millions of drooling halftards (raising hand proudly) in any number of fantasy-related endeavors, that few other publishing concepts would be an easier sell.
If you want to prove something works, spawn it. And if the mothership is Nickelodeon, sit back and enjoy the ride. First came the network--and lovers of Sponge Bob are forever grateful. Then the kids' magazines--Nickelodeon and Nick. Jr. And building on brand power, Nick Jr Family Magazine.
My romp through the summer issue of Art & Antiques is destined to be yet another in the ongoing series of smart-guy-affects-lowbrow-facade-for-the-sake-of-"humor" stories that have appeared in this space. Let me commence, then, with a hearty "duhhhh" and a curt declaration that the newly redesigned Art & Antiques sure is purty.
The cover of the August issue of Babytalk is "controversial," because it "depicts" a "child" "suckling" upon a "breast," albeit one that appears to be areola-free. I'll leave the debate over the cover's propriety to the puritans. Me, I take more issue with the fact that Babytalk lacks zip from both a design and content perspective.