Pretty self-explanatory. I would never pay good money for these, but If I see them on the sidewalk, I'll snatch them up to see what's going on. Despite the presence of good writers and photographers - I have a lot of disdain for these magazines. Perhaps I'll rip-out a few pages to go into my image box, but these magazines do not fit into my Print Fetish, so soon they will return to the street.

Art News
Art Forum
Entertainment Weekly
New York Magazine
Vanity Fair
W (actually, I WILL occasionally pay for a copy of W - except that my neighbor throws it out when it's still on the stands, so why bother buying it?)

Other lists to come: Magazines I Read At The Bookstore But Don't Buy and Magazines I Steal From Ms. Keough

Comments (4)

man, i wish my neighbors threw out W! it took much willpower not to take your copy of Another Man on vacay with me. you'll be happy to know that it's safe on my shelf.

The funny thing is, you wouldn't really ever have to pay "good money" for any of those magazines. Most aren't more than $4.99. They are the most affordable, highest circulated, best photo edited, well written, most historical, highly acclaimed set of magazines in the world. I can think of even even longer list of "indie" magazines that I wouldn't spend actual "good money" on and by that I mean $9.99, $15.99, $19.99.. $27.99 and even beyond. It's a catch 22 with these sorts of titles in a way. Without them there really wouldn't be any independent magazines, truly. First, a lot of independent magazines are a direct reaction to "the glossies" and those glossies gave magazines importance in the firstplace. Also, these magazines pay money to contributors for their efforts, while independent magazines can't afford to. So they allow great photographers, writers, stylists and artists to work with small magazines because they are also getting paid by magazines under Hearst and Condé Nast. The same thing goes with fashion. High Fashion pays, indie never does, it's a full circle industry. So I applaud those titles. They give low-end "zines" something to asspire to. Not to say that they should become just like the big magazines but, it shows you that magazines do have an importance in the marketplace, still to this day. People are still reading magazines and that's a great thing. Whether they are overpriced indie magazines that truly all look the same (Lula, Exit, 10, Purple, Tank...)or your look-a-like list of majors, magazines are important and the people behind them do secretly want to become one of the the most affordable, highest circulated, best photo edited, well written, most historical, highly acclaimed magazines in the world.

That's really bizarre of you to say that. I can understand your argument about these magazines as a source of income - but I'm not sure by what gage your are calling them the "best edited and art directed." It is true that many writers and photographers do work for these so they can make money - and do work for "independent" magazines for creative fulfillment. I don't see how that makes them the "best." In fact, it gives you a clue about their quality. It is apparent to anyone who looks through the bulk of magazines that Vogue for instance, is reading magazines like I-D (and Purple and Self Service and the other Vogues) so they can find new talent and keep up-to date. There ARE big time American magazines I like - The New Yorker and W (which I insinuated - though the only really great thing about it is it's impeccable photo editing), The New York Times Magazine, And of course I ADORE British, French and Italian Vogue. I think European magazines - big or small, are much better at balancing quality, popular culture, art and commerce.

I really, really respect that there are magazines that are independent - but you've misread me... all I care about is if it's good (on your list of indies, I only care for Lula - which does not look like any of the ones on your list BTW). What makes a good magazine, in my opinion, is not the individual work contained within - but the editorial whole. What is important is the concept and the adherence to that concept. You can be the biggest seller, or independent, but to be good you have to stay true to your concept. Many of the magazines on my trash list had moments of greatness - but they now only exist to perpetuate themselves. Their original concepts became secondary, and have since become muddled and lost. For the sake of the individual bits of content of value - I still at least look at them (Vogue is beyond all of this - they are just poorly edited, fashion LATE, of questionable design and sloppy typography. Purely on the level of quality control, Vogue really astounds me).

A loaf of nutritionless white bread is about ¢99, a loaf of whole grain bread about $3.50 - no matter how broke I am, I'll buy the good bread, or no bread at all. That white bread isn't filling the bellies of poor people at all, no matter how cheap it is or how many people it employs in it's factories. It's crap.

hi. I really enjoy reading your blog! while you are making lists...what about making one of mags that you would make a hybrid of if you could. Like if you could mix the photo editing of W with the copy of "X", that would make a superb mag.

I was thinking about this when thumbing through the lastest issue of City. They usually come up with really interesting stuff for the photo spreads, but the rest of it is almost always so poor...i just wished the photos had a better chance among such boring content!

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)


follow us

blogs we love

small press