Many words were written over the course of 2006 about how magazines will eventually go the way of the dodo bird, about how young readers would sooner glean information from the side panels of pizza boxes than from a publication. Some of the news seemed to bear this conclusion out, like the shocking (to me, anyway) decision to shutter FHM, a mag that seemed to be on sure footing editorially and, um, publishingly. Factor in a dollop of brickheaded boosterism from the MPA ("Magazines: like Cheerios for your mind!!!") and one can see why pundits far and wide have started …
Any magazine that tells me how to get the cheapest airfares is already in the plus column. We can't assure air safety, but we can fly anxiety-ridden for less. Sometimes, you settle for what you get. And what you get with Travel + Leisure Family is a 64-page bimonthly that tries to give busy parents a quick-hit on family vacations, with a dollop of style and helpfulness.
When I first happened upon a copy of Men's Vogue a little ways back, a single question immediately sprang to mind: Why? Why, God, why? (Wait, that's two questions.) There seemed no compelling reason to birth another bloated, perfumey compilation of ads aimed at upper-crust men and their finely appointed sideburns, nor a reason for such a publication to appropriate the Vogue moniker.
Break out the white pants, harpoon and Dramamine, kids. We're going on a boat ride. Yay! Yarrr! Yay! For this weak column gimmick, your host will be the S.S. ShowBoats International, a magnificently contoured vessel that weighs only slightly less than a mako shark. Thicker than The Captain and sleeker than Tennille, ShowBoats International makes few waves. Though it rarely bothers to venture into choppy waters, it generally returns its passengers to shore with their wits and lunch intact. Don't worry: it rarely ventures out into the sea of such nautical cliches.
Grand, the official magazine of grandparents, apparently doubles as their official feel-good mascot. But it can get a bit too cloying. So the department Grand Central--with the headline "Let me show you a picture of my grandchild!"--could send the most devoted grandparent into sugar shock. On the plus side, Grand is willing to address the totality of the experience--from health to dating to grief counseling.
As per my hyper-acerbic mandate -- really, people, stop egging me on -- Arthritis Today is the type of magazine I'm supposed to shred. But here's the thing: I like Arthritis Today, despite a few issues I have with its overall execution. I admire the way it balances health and lifestyle information, as well as its straightforward, no-dawdlin' tone. I believe there should be publications just like it for sufferers of other chronic conditions and diseases.
A mag that celebrates the rich, frozen-faced white people of New York high society, Avenue presents gobs of party pix and, in just about every instance, gets the spelling of the boldfaced names right. Me, I have no particular scorn for the titans o' industry, fashionistas, socialites and titanic fashionista industrial socialites whose every after-dark movement the magazine tracks. I just wonder if the exploits chronicled therein are particularly interesting to anybody not featured in its pages.
This edition of mental_ floss boasts a giant hazel eyeball on its cover, next to lines like ''Grow your own organs'' and ''Fill Up Your Tank with Coconuts.'' I found something about the unexpected proximity of all those spheres (eyeballs and organs and coconuts!) really sweet and intriguing. Thus, upon discovering that this is the Special Edition, 5th Anniversary issue of MF, I wondered where I'd been all its life. Really, how come I hadn't heard of this?
I don't have the slightest idea what to make of NewBeauty, the self-proclaimed "world's most unique beauty magazine." In between straight-out-of-Dr.-Evil's-lair banter about "age-reversing lasers" and "liquid lifts," it prompts readers several times to sign up for its BeautyPass and TestTube offers/sampling programs. Too, it appears to have quite the cushy relationship with Nordstrom, which is plugged throughout the Fall/Winter issue.