Friday, April 30, 2004

29 Millionaire

The economy hasn't been this hot since 1984, so maybe it is time to do a conspicuous consumption journal from the 1980s. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal in October 2000 the term millionaire was suffering from brand dilution, so the owners of the Millionaire magazine changed the name to Opulence. Forbes Magazine also commented in 1999 about the inflation in the number of millionaires:
in the old days (around 1980), maybe you were rich if your net worth exceeded $1 million. Even if you had a modest bank account, you were really well off if you made more than $75,000 a year. After all, a $75,000 salary put you at four times the median annual income of the time, and assured that you could afford the accoutrements of success, such as a four-bedroom house, a new $18,000 car and a maid to come and clean once a week. "Looking back from the vantage point of the 1990s," remarks Robert Frank, "it is surprising how modest our aspirations were in the 1980s."
In 1987 the publisher Douglas Lambert wrote (and still says essentially the same thing on the web site):
"You've had an exhilarating climb to the top. But for you, the climb is never quite over--not as long as there is one more challenge, one more opportunity, one more adventure. You deserve all the good things in life." Then he goes on to tell you what that is--exclusive fashions, elegant hotels and restaurants, art collections, financial trends, and successful people for friends.
The web site says the most recent issue is Vol. 7 no.5, so something isn't right--the journal I have in my hand is over 14 years old. No one is home at the Opulence website, so perhaps the magazine has returned to its former, undervalued title.

October 1987, Vol. 1 No. 1
Status: unclear
ISSN: na
Subject: Lifestyle, consumerism
Publication schedule: 10 times a year
Millionaire Magazine, Inc.
105 S. Narcissus Ave.
West Palm Beach, Fla. 33401
$4.00; 12 issues $30.00
Publisher/Editor in Chief: Douglas Lambert
Editor: Pat Broderick

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What's a blog and what's in it for me?

That's what the owner of a B 2 B magazine wrote back when I asked for a copy of his first issue magazine. It was very specialized, but had a large business market. I am always surprised at what is out there and thought it would be an interesting addition to my collection. I wrote back:,
A blog is net speak for "web log," or a diary on the internet. is my host, and it is owned by Google (plain text like mine is free). If you click on the URL I gave you, you'll see very small ads at the top of the page. Google/Blogger supplies those based on the content of my articles. I have no control over that. Because blog entries are diaries, the most recent entry is always the first you see. Some are very elaborate with photos, columns, dancing bears. There are about 10 million blogs (I have four)--about the war, about poetry, about horses, about education, etc.--anything you can imagine. Some people think they are changing the face of information (not me). I'm guessing 9 million are written by teen-agers full of angst and hormones. Nothing in it for you, that I know of. However, your magazine will be in there with the heavy hitters like Oprah and Maxim. Most first issues never see a second, and I wish you a lot of luck! Since you have a very specific niche and market, I think you'll make it.
Mr. Crabby Editor said he didn't want to raise his profile by being in my blog and he didn't care about Maxim and Oprah and he was already in his second issue, thank you. Another editor of a B 2 B said, sure, no problem, and gave me a password to her website and a year's subscription.

Hmmpf. Mr. Crabby Editor must think a lot of people read this! Should I take that as a compliment?

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

How we age with our magazines

Two premiere issues in my collection are More and My Generation, both directed at the young senior demographic, people fighting hard to stay “young.” Here’s an interesting observation in the article 'Selling the ‘Boomer Babes': more, my generation, and the 'New' Middle Age” by Carolyn Kitch in Journal of Magazine and New Media Research, Spring 2003 at Ball State University.

“[T]he mission of magazines such as More and My generation is to celebrate not middle age itself but the reader’s ability to avoid looking or acting middle-aged. Such a goal is built on consumer products that presumably allow the reader to continue to drink from the fountain of youth. This powerful commercial proposition—fueled by a huge Baby Boom audience that, if we believe demographers and social critics, is supremely self-absorbed—is behind the phenomenon that is being credited as “progress” in the mass-media depiction of middle-aged women.

In depicting middle-aged women as vibrant and beautiful, both publications have attempted to correct a long-held stereotype and fill a representational void. Yet their focus on the prevention of aging—and on congratulating readers as being “smart” and “savvy” for wanting to stay young—falls squarely within familiar marketing techniques that combine fear and flattery. Such an appeal always has been central to the selling of younger-women’s magazines and the marketing of those younger audiences to advertisers. Now it has been replicated for older female audiences. At the same time, older women now have unrealistically perfect ideals of beauty that previously were available only within a younger age group. Such outcomes are arguably more cause for concern than celebration.”

28 Scrapbooking & Beyond

Jerry Cohen and partners started All American Crafts Publishing Inc. in 1981 in New York City with two main publications: Crochet Fantasy and Fashion Knitting/Knit 'N Style. Their most recent offering is Scrapbooking & Beyond, Premier Issue, June 2004. According to the company’s website, Mr. Cohen's wife, Madeline, is in charge of Public Relations, and their son, Darren, is Chief Executive Officer. With just over 30 employees, all the magazines are produced in-house.

Jane Guthrie, Editor, writes in the first issue
I must admit that most of my photo albums were created years ago and in a very traditional way; black pages and photo corners, with whatever journaling found on the back of the photos. Times have certainly changed. Over the past few years I have been collecting, well hoarding actually, the most glorious papers and trims that I could get my hands on. As the former editor of Craftworks (now Create & Decorate), magazine, I often found myself scouring the local craft stores for ideas and supplies. Now I find myself standing before paper racks for what seems like hours, shifting from one foot to the other and finally leaving the store with both arms filled with scrapbooking purchases.
Her passion for the craft must be shared by many; this was one of eleven scrapbooking magazines I found at Barnes and Noble today. Somewhere I read that there was a surge in craft magazines after 9/11--people seeking comfort, sanity and solace in handiwork and high touch skills as opposed to high tech.

Not being familiar with the craft myself, even browsing the ads was a pleasure and an education--adhesives, pewter stickers, patterned papers, clip art, vellum tape, special lamps, handmade books, literature sorters, backpacks for scrap bookers, embossing systems, light boxes, glue dots, and finally, soft safes in which to store your treasured book that will resist temperatures and flames up to 3000 degrees.

And the subscription agent is Kable News, located in Mt. Morris, IL, my hometown.

Scrap booking & beyond
Premier Issue, June 2004
Subject: Crafts, Scrapbooking
Publication schedule: assumed bi-monthly
All American Crafts, Inc.
243 Newton-Sparta Road
Newton, NJ 07860
$5.99, $22.97 for 6 issues
Publisher: Jerry Cohen
Editor: Jane Guthrie

Monday, April 26, 2004

27 Horizon; a magazine of the arts

As I flip the pages the dank smell of dampness reminds me I probably purchased this after our street flooded in the 1970s. We had no basement, so we were the only family that didn’t put belongings out at the curb. When the first issue of Horizon appeared on the horizon in September 1958, I was too busy enjoying myself at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana to pay attention to Keats or Brueghel or even Kerouac or Ginsberg, all of whom were featured in the first issue. Isn’t it amazing. Willem de Kooning’s and Jackson Pollock’s paintings look as strange today as they did then! “The painter was not painting an object but his own state of mind,” the author explains.
“Culture, the concern of this new magazine, is both achievement and dream, a work of the hands and a movement of the spirit, the special property of man since the great miracle of the Sixth Day. . . Culture is art and ideas, past and present, taken in sum as a guide to life. It is history too, the science which Dionysius tells us is ‘philosophy teaching by examples,’ with philosophy suspended between the I-believe of theology and the I-know of science. [I think that is reversed in 2004].” wrote the Editors of Volume I, number 1.
The bright red cover had a color insert of the first Englishwoman to brave the skies, Mrs. Letitia Ann Sage, floating over London in 1785, represented in the painting “The Three Favorite Aerial Travellers,” by J. F. Rigaud. The ballooning article from p. 114 to p. 128 is quite wonderful. And here is an article on overpopulation by Julian Huxley, “Man’s challenge: the use of the earth,” in which he decries deforestation, overpopulation, bad cultivation, over consumption of fossil fuels, the shrinking wilderness, and over production. Having just “celebrated” the 30th anniversary of Earth Day, that certainly has a familiar ring to it. This first issue contains a “Genesis” portfolio of great nature photographs complete with the first 31 verses of Genesis 1 and a page from Paradise Lost by John Milton, first edition, 1669. The retrospective about Broadway compares the 50s with the 20s and 30s and finds the 50s pallid and over sexualized.

Ohiolink indicates only one library in the system has cataloged this journal--and that was done incorrectly, stating the eleventh volume of September 1959, which means the cataloger misread Roman Numeral II as an 11. The holdings statement for City College of San Francisco noted: "Keep forever." That's sweet.

Horizon; a magazine of the arts
September 1958, Volume I, Number 1
ISSN: 0018-4977 (supplied)
Status: Ceased with v. 32, no. 2 (Mar./Apr. 1989)
Subject: Culture
Publication schedule, bi-monthly
American Horizon, Inc.
American Heritage Publishing Co., Inc.
551 Fifth Avenue
New York 17, NY
$3.95, $18.00 collector’s web site
Editor: Joseph J. Thorndike, Jr.
Managing Editor: William Harlan Hale
Publisher: James Parton

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Sunday, April 18, 2004

Magazine Covers--a Lost art?

"Take a look at your local newsstand and here's what you'll see: racks upon racks of magazines that look almost identical. Whether they focus on music, fashion, cigars, fitness, women, or men, most magazines typically feature a grinning celebrity on the cover peeking out from behind squadrons of coverlines. It wasn't always like this."

You've probably forgotten that magazine covers used to be art. Follow the clicks and links at this site. Lots of interesting cover art at this site. Many historical articles about magazines at the Journal of Magazine and New Media Research, Ball State University.

Friday, April 16, 2004

26 Plain Talk

I thought it would be a nice change of pace--checking into the history and influence of a journal from the 1920s, but so far, I haven't been able to find out much about Plain Talk, October 1927, Volume 1, Number 1. There doesn't seem to be a cataloged copy in OhioLink, but WorldCat says the Ohio Historical Society has it. Ulrich's Periodical Directory doesn't mention it. I have been able to locate several old copies at, the premiere issues going for $20-$30 (mine was found at a yard sale for $.25 and is in tough shape, missing the back cover). By 1930 it was in volume 7, no. 1, which makes for an odd enumeration scheme. In the mid-1940s, there was an anti-Communist journal by the same title, but probably not related. Some of that magazine's articles have been anthologized.

Plain Talk was edited by G.D. Eaton who wrote on p. 18:
What! Another magazine? . . .with a mission, dedicated within the limits of human fallibilities and prejudices, to Tolerance, and naturally to locking horns with Intolerance. To this end it will be inconsistent, foolish, incongruous, unreasonable, good-humored, bad humored and even hodge-podge, but never dull. . . We shall truckle to no advertisers, kiss no political toe, walk no fences, boost no friends, fear no enemies."
There is some joking about shooting the editor or publisher, and while tracking down this elusive magazine I did learn that Walter Ligget, who was murdered, had worked for Plain Talk. The coupon on p. 128 describes it as honest and fearless, interesting, informative and bright, and that one needn't be a highbrow nor a radical to read it.

Authors of articles in the first issue included Clarence Darrow (on Prohibition), Will Durant, A. Hyatt Verrill (archaeologist, explorer) on socialism, Mella Russell McCallum (on atheism), a Methodist writing about the possibility of a Catholic president, Don Sietz (on graft), Baron E. de Cartier, the Belgium ambassador, providing thoughts on the kindness and generosity of Americans, particularly toward Belgium. The November issue promised articles by Louis Bromfield, Morris Fishbein and articles on atheists, alimony and Chatauquans.

Plain Talk
October 1927, Volume 1, number 1
Status: ceased with Vol. 16, no. 7 (August 1938) per WorldCat
Publication schedule monthly
Subject: Politics
Plain Talk, Inc.
188 West Fourth St.
New York, NY
$.35; $4.00
President: B.A. Mackinnon
Editor: G.D. Eaton

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25 George

Last week I had breakfast in my home town with friends from high school. Sylvia, now retired from nursing, is a church musician and Lynne works in magazine fulfillment. Lynne is also a cancer survivor, but recently participated in the Heart Walk in her area, and wore my name on her shirt. Her big heart also gave me the Inaugural Issue of George, October/November 1995, which I attempted to buy in 1995, but which was sold out.

According to the Editor's Letter, John Kennedy Jr. and his partner Michael Berman had attended a 2-day seminar called "Starting Your Own Magazine" and learned "you can successfully launch a magazine in just about anything except for religion and politics." But still they wanted to make politics accessible by covering it in an entertaining and compelling way, by making it a lifestyle magazine and defining politics broadly, and definitely outside the "beltway."

When it closed shop with the February/March 2001 issue, it was because it never really found its market, and was in financial trouble even before the tragic death of its founder in July 1999. Advertising pages had plummeted, dropping from 419 pages for January to November in 1999 to 251 for the same period in 2000, according to Folio. George actually did better than most start-ups, which have a failure rate of 50% in their first year, and 70% of those failures didn't even make it to the second issues.

Considering the age of this first issue, it does contain a very timely article: "Mother Teresa" by Stephen Rodrick, about Teresa Heinz' passion to change the world with her deceased husband's $675 million. Although mention is made of her marriage to Senator John Kerry in 1995, I believe the article was written and ready to go before that, because he gets little mention. What makes this article so interesting (and is completely confirmed in today's Wall Street Journal) is that it doesn't lionize her the way the Democrats do, nor demonize her the way some Republican pundits do. She comes across as a woman thoroughly changed by the tragedy of her husband's death, determined to bring his dreams to fruition, then making them her own.

The People section really brings home that almost a decade has passed--Bill Clinton playing the saxophone, Sonny Bono and wife Mary, Ted Turner and Jane Fonda, Tom Brokaw and Garry Trudeau, and so forth. Would we care today about Newt Gingrich's lesbian half-sister--but she got a huge article in George--and didn't even seem to think she was being used.

October/November 1995, Inaugural Issue
Status: Ceased with first issue in 2001
Subject: Politics, Lifestyle
Publication schedule bimonthly
Hachette Filipacchi USA Inc.
1633 Broadway
New York, NY 10019
$2.95; $9.97 6 issues
Editor-in-chief: John F. Kennedy, Jr.
Executive publisher: Michael J. Berman
Editor: Eric Etheridge
Publisher: Elinore Carmody-Gibbons

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

24 People Weekly

People is celebrating its 30th anniversary this month, and I have the first issue dated March 4, 1974, 35 cents, with the gorgeous, delicate, shimmering Mia Farrow as Daisy of Gatsby, the movie. The first thing that strikes you is that it is completely black and white except for the cover and the advertising.

So why did the editors think they had something good going in 1974?
People is the first national weekly magazine to be started in 20 years. Our flourishing sister publication Sports Illustrated had the last big national launch in 1954.. . . will focus entirely on the active personalities of our time--in all fields. On the headliners, the stars, the important doers, the comers, and on plenty of ordinary men and women caught up in extraordinary situations. . . Editorially, we hope to come at everything fresh. To reappraise, to ask "Who is this person" and give an honest, up-to-date answer. . . Believe us, quote us, enjoy us.
And in 1974 that was the Loud Family, grandparent of today's reality TV. Life in Palm Beach with all the trophy wives. Patty Hearst parents at a news conference. An update on Marina Oswald. Strom Thurmond's hair transplant. The Exorcist. Gloria Vanderbilt and her 4th husband. Playboy bunnies and their union activism. The death of Jim Croce.

The April 12, 2004 commemorative issue with Jessica Simpson on the cover is expected to have 3.7 million buyers/subscribers, according to Media Industry Newsletter, with many TV tie-ins. The 30th birthday party will run through November.

People Weekly
March 4, 1974, Vol. 1 No. 1
ISSN: na
Publication schedule weekly
Subject: Lifestyle
Time Inc.
541 N. Fairbanks Court
Chicago, Ill. 60611
$.35; $15/year
Editor-in-Chief: Hedley Donovan
Chairman of the Board: Andrew Heiskell
Managing Editor: Richard B. Stolley

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Monday, April 05, 2004

23 Word & Image

Not only is Word & Image still being published (Volume 1, Number 1 was the January-March 1985 issue), but it hasn’t changed its cover design or the editor in twenty years according to the photo on the web site. The first editorial said
“The scope of this new journal is potentially vast, since it proposes to attend to any interesting encounter between verbal and visual languages. In practice, three of the four issues each year will be focused upon one specific topic. . . [such as forthcoming] reading of pictures as signs, advertising, poems on pictures, children’s art and writing, iconicity in literature, and emblems . . .but every fourth issue. . . to the wider reaches [it] hopes to explore.”
The theme of the first issue was Ut Pictura Poesis, "as is painting so is poetry" (Horace, Ars Poetica), spanning the 15th through the 20th centuries. This is not a journal like some in my collection you can flip through and bloggosize or blogdify. It requires a quiet place and mind.

The final selection is an article by Robert Druce based on a poem by Martin Booth (Orbis Pictus) based on a pedagogical work by Comenius published in 1658, Orbia Sensualium Pictus, perhaps the first picture book intended for children. Booth died earlier this year, and Druce was listed in the obituary as one of his mentors. Dr. Hunt, the first and present editor of Word & Image, held a chair in English literature 20 years ago, but is now Professor and Chair, Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning at the University of Pennsylvania.

It is my recollection that I purchased this issue at a Friends of the Libraries book sale at OSU. I’ve checked OSCAR, the OSUL catalog, and the Fine Arts Library does have a complete set as do several other academic libraries in Ohio.

Word & Image
January-March 1985, Volume 1, Number 1
ISSN: 0266-6286
Subject: Communication in art
Publication schedule quarterly
Taylor & Francis Ltd.
4 John Street,
London WC1N 2ET
$40 personal subscription; $80 institutional subscription
Senior Editor: John Dixon Hunt
Editor for this issue: Michael Leslie

Friday, April 02, 2004

22 Balance

I'll toss this in because it arrived yesterday. Balance, Spring 2004, is called the inaugural issue and premiere issue of TIAA-CREF's next generation--a new look, features and name for Participant. According to Herb Allison, the Chairman, President and CEO, it reflects the restructuring of the organization, new products and better delivery.

I've just received the CREF (that's stocks) 2003 Annual Report. Just in case you've been blaming the slump on the current administration, I point out the chart that shows the huge, almost 30%, drop in total returns in 1999 and 2000. Much more than 2001 and 2002. But 2003 looks like it was up over 50%, higher than any year in the 90s.

Balance; quarterly news and tools from TIAA-CREF
Spring 2004, Inaugural Issue, Premiere Issue
Subject: TIAA-CREF news and products
Publication schedule quarterly
Supercedes: Participant
Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association-College Retirement Equities Fund
730 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10017-3206
Free to members
Managing editor: Tori Rosen
Chairman, President, CEO: Herb Allison

21 Yolk

The Special Premiere Issue of Yolk (for the new generasian) appeared in 1994 as Volume 1, Number 1 with Margaret Cho on the cover and an interview about her new (then) ABC sitcom on the inside. What's with the title? I've never met an Asian that looks like the color of an egg yolk, but that's the derivation. Larry J. Tazuma rambles on about how he never liked the name "Larry" so he chose a name that, well, no one else seemed to like either.
". . . the yolk of an egg is yellow. . . some say [it] symbolizes the birth of something. . . [some say] it's a body building term. . . [others say] yolk represents the Asian American struggle to break free from our shells. . .our skin color is really the only thing that connects Asians with other Asians and Asian Americans. It goes beyond geographical lines. . ."
Philip W. Chung, editor, was at first skeptical when approached to participate, but then warmed up to the idea.
. . .Yolk has arrived despite obstacles that might have crushed lesser mortals. How we did this, even I do not know. We are a group of mostly twentysomething, mostly Asian American men and women with some publishing experience, no money and few resources, but with our determination, passion and hard work we have made it thus far."
The early issues covered issues important to younger AA's, as did this first one--AIDS, ethnicity (Korean/Latino), prejudice, sex and the inventor of Play-Doh (a Chinese American). Not a reading menu that would interest me, but then middle age librarians weren't the target. It appeared to have a healthy ad and design budget at the beginning.

However, Yolk laid an egg and had to be given a re-birth in 2001, according to its web site, as an entertainment, lifestyle and pop culture magazine (which I thought it was). Sexy, scantily-clad Asian women became the only cover subject--what a concept! After 15 issues it ceased in late 2003, a victim of the illusive advertising dollar. However, Informasia Media Group, Inc. has put all the issues on a website where they are available for reading.

1994, Vol. 1, No. 1, Special Premiere Issue
ISSN: 1077-6907
Subject: Asian lifestyle and pop culture
Publication schedule quarterly
Status: Ceased 2003 after 15 issues
InformAsian Media, Inc.
PO Box 862130
1984 North Main Street Studio 202
Los Angeles, CA 90031
$3.95;$18.00 for 6 issues
Chief Operations Manager: Tommy Tan
Editor: Philip W. Chung
Managing Editor and Marketing director: Larry J. Tazuma

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Thursday, April 01, 2004

20 Egg

I remember a year when the children were small, we hid one egg so well for our Easter egg hunt in the house, that we never found it until it started to smell! So it may have been for this magazine, Egg, Premiere Issue, March 1990. Although you would have a difficult time hiding or misplacing this journal--it is very large, about 11 x 11 with a sexy pair of legs on the cover. According to Hal Rubenstein's note to the reader on page 8, there had been some buzz in the bizz--was it about cooking, was it for the intellectually gifted, was it about biology, computer languages, women or Fabergé.
Egg is about fun. That's it. Fun. . . Doing whatever it is that interests you because it makes you happy. [long list of celebs you might enjoy meeting] Our goal is to get you to share our enthusiasms, steal our curiosity, use the book as a guide to what you may not have the time to find out for yourself.
Then Malcolm S. Forbes, the Chairman and Editor-in-Chief (who died two weeks before it was published) chimes in on p. 15. He tells a long, rambling story about trying to find nightlife in New York on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday by trial and error and who the people are in the making/shaking cities around the country having a good time.
So, that's why Egg. If you're into the fun of being alive. . . discovery. Singers. Swingers. Platters, Players. Clubs. Balls. Films. TV. Fashion. Art. Galleries. Stage. Stagers. Resaturants. Chefs. Food. Drink. Design. Designers. Architecture. Buyers. Sellers. Makers. Those about to be.
In a March 1 Folio article about the strange, brief life of Egg, Rachel Lehmann-Haupt writes
Egg launched in 1990 running 496 ad pages for the year, 20 percent over its target, according to Sharon Phair, its ad director. The first cover featured TV personality Mary Hart, and was headlined “On Golden Calves: Whose legs are worth $2 million?” a tongue-in-cheek interview about why America was obsessed with Hart's legs. The magazine was square, about the size of a record album and art directed by a newcomer, Douglas Riccardi, who had worked as a graphic designer for Tibor Kalman's M and Co. . In 1998, the editors of the now defunct POV magazine resurrected Egg after buying the name from Forbes Inc. for a dollar. The editors published four issues.
One of the celebrities you meet (low editorial budget, big ad budget) in the first issue is Sy Sperling. Never heard of him? He's the guy on the late night infomercials for Hair Club for Men. Surely you haven't forgotten, "He's not just the president of Hair Club for Men. He's a client!" Also a comedian. In the interview, he discusses staying humble after becoming a celebrity because of the ads: "I never lose touch with my roots. . ."

Egg re-premiered in April 1998 as a bi-annual, still focused on nightlife, but without the LA/NY focus. It kept the logo, but lost the square share.

I also have in my collection the premiere issue of Yolk.

March 1990, Premiere Issue
ISSN: 1046-5278
Subject: Nightlife, Lifestyle
Publication schedule, monthly, bimonthly June/July, December/January
Status: ceased after 11 issues
Egg Magazine, a division of Forbes Inc.
7 West 18th Street
New York, NY 10011
$2.50;$10 for 10 issues
Chairman and Editor-in-Chief: Malcolm S. Forbes
Editor: Hal Rubenstein