Archive for the ‘A Mr. Magazine™ Musing’ Category


The Collectability Factor of the Magazine Cover – Try & Claim That With Digital…

September 9, 2019

Want to see my picture on the cover

(Stone)Wanna’ buy five copies for my mother (yes)

(Stone)Wanna’ see my smilin’ face

On the cover of the Rollin’ Stone

…Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show

 A Mr. Magazine™ Musing…

Attention getting, brand making, sometimes controversial, but above all – inspiring; magazine covers are the gateway into a publication’s inner sanctum: its contents. And as the good Dr. Hook sang in Cover of the Rolling Stone, seeing one’s face on the front of a magazine can be Utopia for a celebrity’s career, even if it’s a controversial cover. After all, if it ignites a firestorm of conversation about the person or the object on that front door, what could be better? Actual ink on paper legitimizes in a way that digital just can’t. With the open-door policy of digital, you can find just about anyone or anything online, but I can promise you that my third cousin, twice-removed, will not be on the cover of People magazine…unless of course, he sweeps Miley Cyrus away from her latest “till death do us part.” And that ain’t happening.

And the second line of the song’s chorus: Wanna’ buy five copies for my mother – well, that’s something else to consider. There is nothing more intoxicating than the collectability factor of an ink on paper magazine and its cover. Granted, you can find just about any and all magazine covers and their contents online, but Mr. Magazine™ is positive that a generation from now, you won’t find them still waiting on you to revisit. Collectability is a leg-up for print that cyberspace just can’t compete with.

Take the current issue of Women’s Health, for example. Julianne Hough is the cover star of the Women’s Health Naked Strength issue and appears on five different covers of the magazine’s September issue. The actress, singer, and America’s Got Talent judge, saw this as a transformational year for her and decided to commemorate it with the magazine photo shoot. It’s monumental for her and her fans, and monumental for Women’s Health, since there are five different covers for those fans and fans of the magazine to collect. It’s a win-win situation for all.

Men’s Health decided its Fall 2019 Guide to Style needed to showcase Tom Brady in two different covers, front and back, with different cover lines for subscribers and for the newsstands. The quarterback for the New England Patriots has never had more collectability value than on these great covers.

Publishers have realized that there’s more to the front door of the book these days than merely creating a dynamic one-only magazine cover. Just like the collectability of the posters of yesteryear within titles like Tiger Beat and Teen Beat; magazine covers can become that addictive to collect, because people love to attain all of an item, especially if they know there’s more than one out there to get.


The September issue of Good Housekeeping is celebrating the 110th anniversary of its Seal of Approval, with four different covers. And for GH fans, this will be epic, collecting and sharing each of these covers among its communities.

The Source, the original hip hop website and magazine, published a two-cover Special Edition recently called “The Future” issue, and in The Source’s case, both covers are numbered with either 1 of 2 or 2 of 2, so there’s no mistaking for fans how many collectables are out there.

Magazine covers have always been the selling point of a publication to its audience, but today with digital able to provide fingertip content, the covers are even more valuable. They give your ink on paper publication something digital can’t: they give it in-your-face, tactile collectability. And that’s very valuable.

Until next time…see you at the newsstands

Mr. Magazine™ will be there collecting covers…


Charles Lindbergh – No Fan Of The American Press – Sound Familiar? A Mr. Magazine™ Blast From The Past, Circa May, 1954

September 5, 2019

Mr. Magazine™ stepped into his vintage vault recently and found a most interesting article in the May, 1954 issue of Focus magazine. This pocket-sized treasure could occasionally pack a powerful punch. In this issue there is a story very reflective of a present-day leader whose opinion of American journalists and news media may only be surpassed by the charismatic gentleman who’s the subject of this article.

The Title of the article: The Men Who Hate Lindbergh tells the story of Charles A. Lindbergh’s immersive hatred of the American press. From the subterfuge by a Chicago Tribune reporter in 1925 that ultimately began the very rocky relationship between the famous aviator and the world of news journalism, to the media coverage of the kidnapping-murder of the Lindbergh’s baby boy, the press and Charles Lindbergh did not share a mutual bond of respect or admiration; quite the opposite, in fact.

And Mr. Magazine™ found it quite ironic that in today’s media world, the animosity between journalists and our current leader of the free world is very reminiscent of the days of Mr. Lindbergh and his opinion of the press. Although, most journalists today would tell you they have never known a more twisted view  toward news content than the one President Trump has, but Mr. Magazine™ would beg to differ. While media people working today might say Trump is the orneriest of public figures in history when it comes to his relationship with the press, I would ask them to read this article about another legacy public figure who might put the president to shame.

One more note of comparison, both men, also share another similarity:  They were both named by TIME magazine as the Man of the Year, changed in 1999 to Person of the Year. Charles Lindbergh was the first person to be named by TIME magazine for such an honor in 1927,  and President Donald Trump was named for such an honor in 2016, 89 years after Lindbergh.

It just goes to show you that magazines have never been afraid to touch controversy, whether it’s a famous pilot who was the first man to cross the Atlantic, or the first president who doesn’t seem to have any verbal filters at all. Both men are controversial, and both men have seen their fair share of magazine articles written about them. And whether you like them or loathe them, you can definitely find them between the pages of a magazine somewhere, either a magazine from yesterday or one on newsstands today.

So, take a look and have a read and let me know who you think disliked the American press more, Lindbergh or the president. Mr. Magazine™ looks forward to hearing from you.

Until the next time…

The Men Who Hate Lindbergh

Flier Wages Bitter War With Men Who Claim They “Made” Him

Known as one of the world’s most laconic men, a balding, greying, 52-year-old hero recently broke silence, told all. In a long (562 pages), painstakingly-written (it took him 14 years) best-seller (The Spirit of St. Louis), Brig. Gen. Charles Augustus Lindbergh tells for the first time the complete story of what went on in his mind when he became the first man ever to pilot a plane across the Atlantic Ocean. Startling current which runs throughout his narration: the inside story of the savage, no-holds-barred skirmishes carried on between Lindbergh and the working press.

It’s an old feud. One veteran newspaperman, Robert J. Casey, recalls a wet day in February, 1925, as the time Charles A. Lindbergh declared war on the American press. Floyd Collins had been trapped in a Kentucky cave under 6 tons of stone, and the struggle to save his life had become an international drama. To cater to the demand for up-to-the-minute pictures of the dying Collins, the Chicago Herald-Examiner arranged to have its photos flown to Chicago from the scene of the accident. Their special pilot: a slender, blond, mail-run flier named “Slim” Lindbergh.

When Lindbergh arrived at the cave to pick up the photographic plates, he was spotted by a reporter on the Herald-Examiner’s arch-rival, the Chicago Tribune. Seeing a chance to sabotage the opposition, the Trib reporter thrust a box of unexposed plates into the young flier’s hands. “Get this stuff back to Chicago as quick as you can,” he snapped. Lindbergh sped away on his fool’s errand, flying blank photographic plates all the way back to Chicago.

But years before he spun his first prop, Charlie Lindbergh had been taught that journalists were “liars.” When his socialist father (Congressman Charles A. Lindbergh, Sr., who ran for Governor of Minnesota in 1918) was stoned in the streets by “patriots” who objected to his assertion that WWI was a vast “Wall Street scheme,” the father told his son not to blame the public. “The people do not know the facts,” the older man had said. “They are blinded by propaganda and the mouthings of the kept press.”

 Young Lindbergh never quite overcame the idea that all newspapers tinkered with the truth. In his book, Lindbergh tells of the part played by the press in his historic flight across the Atlantic: “I wanted publicity on this flight… Newspapers are important. I wanted their help. I wanted headlines. And I knew that headlines bring crowds… The excesses are what bother me – the silly stories, the constant photographing, the composite pictures, the cheap values that such things bring. Why can’t newspapers accept facts as they are? Why smother the flavor of life in a spice of fiction?”

Actions of a Hearst newspaper photographer in December, 1935, turned Lindbergh’s dislike of the U.S. press into hatred. Tortured by the personal tragedy of the kidnap-murder of his small son, Charles, Jr. – for which Bruno Richard Hauptmann was electrocuted – Lindbergh was horrified when the photographer forced his car to the side of the road in an attempt to “steal” a picture of his other son, Jon, then 2 years old. Cold with fury, Lindbergh moved his family out of the U.S.

In the years that followed, the “Lone Eagle” bolstered his unpopularity by throwing the weight of his famous name on the side of isolationist “America-Firsters,” many of whom believed in Adolf Hitler’s preachings. Lindbergh traveled to Germany, accepted the Service Cross of the Order of the German Eagle “in the name of the Fuhrer” from Hermann Goering. When, on his return to the U.S., he began to expound Nazi doctrine (“There are 3 groups trying to get America into war – the British, the Jews and the Administration”), even the most reserved newspapers attacked him. Editorialized the New York Herald Tribune: “Lindbergh has departed from the American way.”

Lindy: “Accuracy, I’ve Learned, Is Second to Circulation”

That Lindbergh’s feelings have not changed was demonstrated only a few months ago. When the Institute of Aeronautical Sciences honored him at N.Y.’s Hotel Astor for his “pioneering achievements in flight and air navigation,” Lindbergh agreed to appear only on the condition that no pictures be taken, no interviews given out. Half a dozen “waiters” at the banquet were in reality detectives assigned to keep the press out. Outside the hotel, half-frozen reporters and photographers turned the air blue with their views on the 20th century’s most famous airman.

“Did you hear,” he asked a photographer, “about the time Lindy knocked down an NKVD man in Russia? When he learned who the guy was, he looked him up and apologized. He had the perfect excuse – he had mistaken the Commie for a newspaper reporter.”


Guns DIY & DIY Guns: What’s In A Name In The Wonderful World Of Magazines?

August 30, 2019

A Mr. Magazine™ Musing…

Growing up, I always believed that magazines were magical, from the contents inside the pages to the “secret” locations where they were created. To my childlike wonder, these sweet spots where all things magically magazine were maintained, was like the Land of Oz. It had its heroes; it had its villains; and it had its spies (what did you think those Flying Monkeys were doing for the Wicked Witch anyway?).

That being said, when two magazines from two entirely different “Wizards” comes around with very similar covers, contents, or names, my thoughts are always traveling down that path of least resistance: my childhood imaginations of how magazines worked.

Take, for example, when back in the last century, Family Circle shows up on the newsstands with a beautiful cover showcasing a delicious-looking pasta dish and then days later, Woman’s Day is sitting there next to it with basically the same cover. Or there is no major news story or catastrophe going on in the free world and TIME magazine and Newsweek are sporting the same cover story.

Well, bearing that in mind, Mr. Magazine™ would like to present to you two premiere issues of two new titles that will definitely cause you to do two double takes(regardless of the subject matter of both magazines): FMG Publications’ DIY Guns  and F+W’s Guns DIY. And no, those are not typos.

DIY Guns is for the gun enthusiast who likes to tinker with their own firearms. From the American Handgunner brand, this title covers handguns heavily, but also touches on some long-gun endeavors that will surely keep the rifle, shotgun-lover busy as well.

Guns DIY stresses in its first editor’s letter: America’s DIY Firearm Heritage Lives! Customization and modification are the two mainstays of this new title and offers readers the opportunity to make these firearm transformations at home.

So, basically, two different “Wizards” have created two different magazines with titles that are hauntingly similar and content that, in some ways, could be considered very familiar to each other.

This caused Mr. Magazine™ to ask himself what’s in a name in the world of magazines anyway? As long as there is room on newsstands for both of these titles (or any others out there already or coming up) new magazines are the life’s blood of this industry. And these two new titles from long-time publishing companies may or may not have known about each other, but obviously, it’s a given; great minds think alike… that, or one of them left the windows open and the Flying Monkeys had a field day.

Until the next time…

See you at the newsstands….


Back To The Future: The Birth Of Mr. Magazine™… Memoirs From Lebanon.

August 5, 2019

A Mr. Magazine™ Musing

At age 10 when I bought my first magazine: Superman

Recently, I returned from a visit to Lebanon, my birthplace and where most of my relatives live. It’s always a touching and memorable reunion with family and old friends. And besides the human version of that term, “old friends” can also include memorabilia that takes you back to a different time. A time when your world was younger and just beginning. And in my case, a time (unbeknownst to me then) when Mr. Magazine™ was born.

The first issue of Superman magazine published in Jan. 1964 in Beirut, Lebanon

While I was in Lebanon, I was gifted the first 13 issues of the Arabic Superman (1964) by one of those “old” and dear friends I mentioned above. These issues are so important to me as they started this relationship I have with ink on paper. It was so much fun rereading those magazines that got me hooked on the feel and smell of ink on paper, storytelling, and journalism. They’re still as amazing today as they were 55 years ago, if not even more.

Being back where it all began, this magazine journey that I love so much and have such a vibrant  passion for, my mind shifted into reverse and the years began to unravel and fall away.

My name for the first time in a magazine masthead.

After my journey with Superman, my memories went to Music magazine. For the first time in my journalism career my name had appeared on the masthead of Music magazine (circa 1972 /1973). I was so excited to be on an actual masthead of a magazine that I did not even ask to be paid (and, for that matter, I was not paid). A great training experience in which I was translating, editing, and designing the pages of the magazine. My first editorial appeared in issue 18. Needless to say, I was on cloud nine. (I circled my name in red for illustration purposes only… the magazine was in Arabic).

I ended up being the managing editor of Film magazine.

Film magazine was my second stop on my journey of journalism. After almost a year at Music magazine, I was offered a job later in 1973 at the new movie magazine Film. I started as a reporter and editor and ended up being the managing editor of the Arabic edition of the magazine in 1974.

For Film, I created the people’s opinion page in which I took a photographer with me every week to a different movie theater and asked people as they exited their opinions about the movie.

It was a great job that lasted 30 weeks, when the magazine’s owner decided to suspend the publication in search of more funding. Nothing new under the sun when it comes to the folding of most magazines; the number one reason for magazine failure was, is, and will continue to be money.

First job as editor in chief…

During my sophomore year in college, and among the many journalistic jobs I was involved in, I edited a weekly 4-page tabloid newspaper Sout Al-Bilad (the Voice Of the Country) devoted to college news. The paper was published from November 1974 until the beginning of the civil war in April 1975.

It was my first experience in being an editor in chief and learning the entire process of publishing from letterpress and typesetting to printing and distribution.

My journalism ventures continued in Lebanon between my home town, Tripoli, and the capital of Lebanon, Beirut, where I was attending college. My hobby was already changing to my profession before it was my education.

Reporting for the daily newspaper Al-Kifah Al-Arabi, at a news conference with the Lebanese and Syrian prime ministers in Damascus, Syria, 1976.

Next in my Lebanese journalistic journey was a daily newspaper Al-Kifah Al-Arabi that was launched on March 25, 1975. I was a junior in college and assumed the role of managing editor for design, with a few reporting jobs here and there. The Lebanese civil war broke out on April 13, less than three weeks from the launch of the paper.

Needless to say journalism at a daily newspaper during a civil war makes for a very intriguing job. Single and loving what I did, who could ask for a better way to make a living?

As the war raged on, so did the work. In 1976, a cease fire took place and I was able to finish my last year in college and ended up the number one student in my class.

The daily paper changed to a weekly magazine in 1978 and I continued my work there, in addition to being a reporter and designer at another weekly and an art director for a monthly, The Arab Economist, which was published both in English and French.

Upon graduating from the Lebanese University in 1977, I ended up being the top student in my class and in 1978 I was offered a scholarship to come to the United States to pursue  a Ph.D. in journalism.  On August 31, 1978, my wife and I left Lebanon and came to the United States of America.  And, now you know the rest of the story….


Happy Birthday Mr. Magazine™…

March 7, 2019

Once a year March 8 arrives, and once a year Mr. Magazine™ celebrate his birthday. This year, Mr. Magazine™ decided to celebrate in a different way. Click the video below to join Mr. Magazine™ in celebrating his birthday.


Print Can Do This; Digital Can Do That. The Eternal Relationship Between Print And Digital: A Manifesto From A 1964 TV Guide Magazine… From The Mr. Magazine™ Vault.

March 5, 2019

A Mr. Magazine™ Musing…

As I was doing some research for my upcoming presentation at The Sixth Floor (JFK) Museum in Dallas, Texas on the power of the magazine cover, I stumbled upon an article in a January 25-31, 1964 edition of TV Guide where they devoted a major section of the magazine, including an introduction by President Lyndon B. Johnson, to the four days following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Leading into that special section, the magazine editors created a wonderful one-page comparison between television and print back then and the power of each medium, noting the speed in which television could present something as tragic and moving as JFK’s funeral.

It’s amazing to me that what was true in 1964 is still true today, only using a different medium rather than television. Television in the 1960s was a powerful unification tool for the United States and the world, when 180 million people watched the funeral of President Kennedy on the then three TV networks, before the fragmentation of cable television wreaked havoc on the communal spirit of television and the United States of America. And after Cable came Satellite Television and then ultimately, the Internet, eliminating the community of television altogether.

The country moved from a melting pot, with those three television networks and the host of magazines that were out there, to what’s now more like a cafeteria style information buffet, where you can find any number of networks that will provide you information that’s not related to the country as a whole, but rather to one’s tiny areas of interest and in most cases areas that support one’s own beliefs and theories. That unifying aspect of television is no longer there.

Some may say the same thing is happening with magazines, with the degree of specializations in many current titles, but yet we continue to see the growth of magazine audiences through all of the many platforms that the brands utilize. Whether it’s the printed magazine or the continuous outreach from the brands through other social media and digital extensions, audience growth for magazines is flourishing. And as I wrote in an article a few years ago and recently republished on my blog: magazines were the original social media and they continue to be the original social media, one that creates community and permanency such as the 1964 TV Guide article referred to when talking about television.

Here are a few points from that editorial that would still hold up today, only with the Internet replacing Television’s role. You be the judge:

• Television’s greatest advantage as a news medium is responsible for its greatest disadvantage. (Substitute Television with the Internet)

• The medium’s (imagine Internet as the medium) speed cannot be beaten, for it can often tell and show its audience what is happening as it happens. There is no need to delay so that reporters can write their stories and photographers can develop their pictures. There is no need to wait so that the many editorial and mechanical tasks can be completed before presses can turn and trucks and trains and men can complete distribution – as they must for newspapers and magazines.

• Thus television (Internet) can report a story just about instantaneously. But the reporting is gone just as fast. It can be repeated by the broadcasters, but the consumer, the viewer, has nothing he can hold in his hand to reread or examine closely at his leisure. This is television’s disadvantage.

• All of us who stayed close to our sets during the tragic weekend last November became part of the drama that unfolded before our eyes. But once the weekend was over, the experience was gone. Newspapers and magazines that related the events in Dallas and Washington in special editions were, quite understandably, interested in reporting the chronology of events, and their meanings. ( Emphasis mine. Proving once again that permanence of print and its collectability aspect).

As I’ve said before, there is nothing new under the sun. What goes around comes around, just usually in a different guise. So, where the television of the “50s, ‘60s, and ‘70s unified us as a society, the television of the ‘80s, ‘90s and beyond, divided us, along with that ever-reaching, never-ending, all-consuming thing we all call the Internet. Today we are such a fragmented information society that we do not know where or what to turn to, where to actually get, as the late, great Paul Harvey would say, “The Rest of the Story.”

But it’s out there…somewhere…among the fragments.

Until the next time…

See you at the newsstands…


Body And Soul: Bernarr Macfadden’s Magazines Covered It All And Some More… From The Mr. Magazine™ Vault

March 4, 2019

A Mr. Magazine™ Musing…

In March 1939, 80 years ago, the first issue of Macfadden-published “Your Faith” magazine came out. The idea was “Why Not Try God?” In the first editorial by Bernarr Macfadden himself, he wrote: A Religious Uplift Brings Spiritual Happiness. He talks about solving the mysteries of the universe and the impossibility of that without God. The magazine is an important part of Macfadden’s view on society and another example of magazines reflecting culture.

Mr. Magazine™ discovered this little nugget from his vault and took note of the amazing difference this magazine had from Macfadden’s other physical fitness and “true-fiction” type publications. And on the 80th anniversary of Your Faith magazine, as Bernarr Macfadden said himself in the first issue: This is a magazine for all who have an ear to hear.

And hear, Macfadden did. Some are just not sure what exactly he was listening to. But as any good entrepreneur would, Mr. Magazine™ believes he was listening to his passions and his own gut feeling. You be the judge.

Bernarr Macfadden is known as the “Father of Physical Culture.” What is “Physical Culture” you might ask. In its simplest definition, Physical culture is a health and strength training movement that originated during the 19th century in Germany, England, and the United States. But how did this topic find its way into a Mr. Magazine™ Musing, you might also ask. And of course, the answer in its simplest form would be: magazines.

Macfadden himself was an American proponent of physical culture. He was the predecessor of Charles Atlas and Jack LaLanne, and has been credited with beginning the culture of health and fitness in the United States.

But life was not always so kind to Mr. Macfadden. He changed his name from Bernard McFadden to “Bernarr Macfadden” in order to give himself an aura of strength and vitality. It seems that he was a very sickly and weak child who was an orphan by the time he was 11-years-old. But as fate would have it, Macfadden was placed with a farmer, leaving the life of an orphan behind, and soon began a regiment of hard work and wholesome food. His health improved and soon he became strong and hale again.

There is an entire website dedicated to the memory of this millionaire publisher, who many called a “kook” and a charlatan, and who Time Magazine referred to as “Body Love” for his lifelong advocacy of physical fitness, natural foods, outdoor exercise and the natural treatment of diseases.

In 1899, Macfadden, after a successful, national lecture tour and after founding Physical Culture “clubs” in several cities across the country, decided to publish a monthly magazine called “Physical Culture.” He tried unsuccessfully to find a publisher for his title and so decided to publish it himself, along with his own books about health and wellness (during his lifetime he wrote over 100 books). Physical Culture magazine remained in publication for over 50 years, and was the forerunner of today’s health and bodybuilding publications. Oh, and the magazine carried his name on the cover as well – the height of narcissism or just good business acumen? Either is possible.

Eventually Macfadden Publications was born and his company turned into an empire, with titles such as Liberty, True Detective, True Story, True Romances, Dream World, Ghost Stories, the once-familiar movie magazine, Photoplay, and the tabloid newspaper, The New York Graphic.

Macfadden even sought the Republican nomination for president in 1936, albeit losing the nomination to Kansas Gov. Alf Landon, who went on to lose to Franklin D. Roosevelt in the November election. But he was the first to propose that the President should have a National Secretary of Health on his cabinet ( he had originally wanted to be that person, but instead decided to run for office himself), all the while never giving up his love of physical health and his tendency to admire younger females, whether he was married or not.

Much of the basis of Physical Culture was religious in nature. And during his lifetime Macfadden also attempted to launch his own religion: Cosmotarianism, which combined physcultopathy with the Bible.

In an Esquire article written by Bruce Watson in 2013, Cosmotarianism was described as something that blended Macfadden’s bizarre theories on physical fitness with the Bible. Watson writes:

And some of his theories were, indeed, bizarre: convinced that baldness could be cured by tugging on one’s hair, he wore a towering pompadour; believing that physical contact with the “magnetic currents” of the earth could inspire feats of sexual prowess, he often went barefoot; furious at the fashion industry, he would wear his suits until they fell off his body.

Macfadden certainly seemed to fit the bill of an eccentric millionaire. Indeed, it’s a given. Bernarr Macfadden was an eccentric, a reputed womanizer, a multimillionaire publisher, a father of eight and a husband of four, a fitness guru who was before his time, who died in 1955 from a urinary tract infection that he refused to be medically treated for. And a part of American magazine history that should not be forgotten.

Until the next time…

See you at the newsstands…

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