• Entertainment Weekly
    I check in on Entertainment Weekly every now and again because I enjoy high-ish musings on lowdown culture. Indeed, although there are about a gazillion media around these days -- magazines, Web sites, TV and cable shows, tabloids -- all trodding the same already dirty, dirty celebrity ground, EW has a somewhat elevated take.
  • The Advocate
    I wasn't sure whether to be bummed or happy when I saw the stats earlier this year that the two best-known magazines for gay readers, The Advocate and Out, had suffered big drops in both advertising and readership. But since I tend to be a glass-half-full type, I also wondered if, just maybe, those former readers have been sufficiently assimilated into the mainstream that they no longer need a gay-specific publication. That thought vaporized, however, when I reviewed the current 40th anniversary issue of The Advocate. I happened to glance at the subscription card, which read: "To ensure privacy, issues ...
  • Sports Illustrated
    My favorite magazine sucks. Actually, that's not fair. Sports Illustrated does not suck, relatively speaking. Much like the worst Springsteen song trumps the best Bryan Adams one, Sports Illustrated still whups ESPN The Magazine and the rest of the offline competition. Yet in recent months, SI has plummeted in just about every way that matters, hemorrhaging its best writers, getting all poofy and goofy with its design, and haphazardly rejiggering its content mix to lure younger readers. It's as if the mag is daring sports-saturated dummyheads like me, who grew up with SI and haven't missed an issue since the ...
  • Popular Mechanics
    I grew up in a home with two approaches to mechanics. The first was my mother, who could fix anything. The second was my father, whose philosophy is summed up in two words: "call someone." Alas, I take after him. And while I could never be the target reader for Popular Mechanics, a look-see can't hurt. This is one nifty pub. </
  • LifeExtension Magazine; Wellness
    Nobody has ever accused my core group of moron pals of being health- or nutrition-conscious. So when a former crew member was waylaid by a heart attack, I was determined to ensure that none of my friends would meet a similar fate. Thus my trip to the newsstand in search of information that would help. I snared two magazines: LifeExtension Magazine is the propaganda arm of the Life Extension Foundation, which sells products like Mitochondrial Energy Optimizer. Wellness Magazine is an indie woman's title produced on the cheap, content to regurgitate stories that have been told innumerable times by better ...
  • First
    Holy lord, the people behind First have some 'splainin' to do. I'm down with magazines like All You and Quick & Simple, First's obvious competitors. But where those other titles attempt to educate and entertain in an almost pathologically gentle manner, First goes the alarmist route. Tonally, most of the issue resembles the teases for late local newscasts during November sweeps ("Three packed movie theaters fire-bombed this evening! We'll let you know which ones... after 'Men In Trees'!).
  • Battle Of The Specialty Bridal Books: InStyle Vs. New York
    It's been quite a while since my wedding. But if I were a bride-to-be now, I'd be bored silly with the gigantic travel brochures/dress catalogs that make up the typical bridal mag. Two do stand out from the crowd with distinctive points of view, though: the celebrity-centric Weddings InStyle and the regional Weddings New York, each an extension of a well-known magazine brand. How do they compare?
  • Asian Woman
    Think of Asian Woman as a combination of OK, Glamour and Redbook, with a shot of O, The Oprah Magazine's woman-heal-thyself gospel thrown in for good measure. It's glossier than a Neiman Marcus catalog and weighs more than several of the models depicted therein. It tries to be everything to every woman reader, offering recipes, parenting tips, celeb gossip, travelogues, CD reviews and pages upon pages of best-buy fashion. Amazingly, the mag almost pulls it off, especially when it sets aside the flighty consumerism and addresses concerns particular to Asian women.
  • Saturday Night
    Saturday Night serves its intended purpose, which is to give college-age readers something to peruse while flitting aimlessly about campus, their noggins numb from the previous night's pyrotechnics. The mag demands no intellectual heavy lifting; its content is as deep as a shot glass and as airy as a community-college coed. Still, I wonder if Saturday Night should work on its balance just a bit. Even for a mag packed with piffle - one of those pop-culture-grid Q&As with a bunch of TV B-listers, an "Around the World in 60 Seconds" compilation of semi-timely news mini-commentaries -- Saturday Night shoots ...
  • American Cowboy
    American Cowboy, based in Boulder, Colo., is a lifestyle pub that celebrates cowboy culture and history -- past and present. It's a set piece -- and the department titles -- "Frontiers," "Trailblazers," Stirring the Embers" -- neatly fit into its larger goal -- portraying the spirit of the West to Western enthusiasts. In short, anyone who ever saw "Bonanza" or who secretly longs to stride the mesa in hand-stitched leather boots. Of course, I don't see myself riding a horse, a skyscraper on legs, but the scenery can't be beat. And for armchair cowboys, this is required reading.
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