• Interview
    Recently, at a screening of the Andy Warhol documentary that ran last week on PBS, Bob Colacello, Andy's sidekick (and editor of Interview magazine back in the day) was asked ''Who is the Edie Sedgwick of our time?'' ''Paris Hilton! Andy would have loved her,'' he told a reporter from New York magazine. As it turns out, Andy was so preternaturally ahead of his time in his visceral understanding of celebrity culture that even his prediction, (''in the future, everyone will be world famous for 15 minutes'') has had its 15 minutes.
  • Travel Girl
    Travel Girl treats the word "girl" liberally. Cher, Diane von Furstenberg and Paula Zahn have all graced its cover. And whatever their individual achievements, no one could confuse them with adolescents. Which brings us to Travel Girl's larger point: Girl is relative. To its publisher, Renee Werbin, it taps "the young at heart." And, while it may sound a bit corny, it works.
  • Petersen's Hunting
    As has been stated roughly 3746364536374 times before in this space, I'm a fan of enthusiast titles. In this not-nice magazine climate -- think the Bataan Death March, but with more suggestions for the "perfect weekend" -- enthusiast mags alone inspire the loyalty that used to be enjoyed by both generalist and niche titles.Petersen's Hunting gets this. If you like to hang out in the woods and neutralize Little Rabbit Foo Foo before he scoops up all the field mice and bops them on the head, you will like this magazine very, very much. If you're less ammunitionally inclined, you …
  • Cracked
    Cracked now finds itself reinvented as "the comedy magazine," which strikes me as a slight perversion of the original brand. Pop-culture-related humor isn't exactly hard to come by nowadays, so the new Cracked totters on the cusp of irrelevance from the get-go. In theory, anyway. In execution, most of the September/October issue made me laugh, early and often.
  • Envy Man
    Judging by the cover, this isn't a spiritual discussion of the seven deadly sins, though Envy Man's cover boy does have a touch of Hitler Youth about him. If, however, one considers envy a sin--not included in my Hebrew school curriculum--and applies it to the blond bombshell, we arrive at two conclusions. First, the envy is wholly physical. The hair! The abs! The chiseled indifference! Second, it will inspire other sins, including, if you're the target reader for Envy Man, lust.
  • Sunset
    Sunset is perfectly pleasant. Just like every other regional-lifestyle title, it boasts sunny vistas and recipes for chipotle glaze and lots of pictures of white people fondling vegetables. But that's the problem. In the quest to create a comforting, welcoming environment for readers and advertisers -- not necessarily in that order -- publishers of lifestyle mags have drained their titles of personality.
  • Guitar World
    I rock. Really, I do. I've got the tattoos, the liver cirrhosis and the war stories ("this one time, at the Ramada Inn in Portsmouth...") to prove it. I regularly gnaw on bat carcasses, just for sport. Plus I can actually play a little geee-tar, which is why Guitar World has been an on-and-off companion since Guitar went under.
  • Bitch
    Bitch. It is, hands-down, the best title--ever--for a magazine. And its tagline, "feminist response to pop culture," seals the deal. A sassy quarterly with a thoughtful edge, Bitch takes issue with the issues. It has the audacity--what some in the Fourth Estate would call an obligation--to challenge the status quo.
  • Tango
    Jason Sehorn and Angie Harmon seem an odd choice for the cover of Tango, a magazine that promises "smart talk about love." As a longtime Giants fan, I can vouch that Sehorn's football IQ doesn't ascend into double digits; Harmon doesn't seem to have much to say beyond "I love my husband" and "I love God." And yet Tango presents the pair as the epitome of modern romance -- white, heterosexual modern romance, the only kind the mag acknowledges actually exists.
  • Every Day With Rachael Ray
    My mistrust of impossibly cheery human beings notwithstanding, Every Day With Rachael Ray is an expertly constructed magazine and one with a perfectly defined central premise. Moms across the demographic spectrum will find plenty of useful food-centric tips here, on everything from school lunches to entertaining to travel.
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