There used to be smart, hip mags that catered to Gen X cause it was the 90′s. I mean come on, Details in the early 90′s was the fucking zenith.
Then came April 1997 with the first issue of Maxim hitting the US shores. I remember this cause I managed the magazine section of a Hastings in college. Maxim started the era of hot babe on cover mags. Didn’t matter if your magazine was shit, if the babe was hot, people bought it.
Well, all the ad money flowed to what I called “dude lifestyle” mags and if your magazine didn’t follow the trend? Ad dollars slowed and eventually only the strong survived. Strong does not equal good.
In 2011, I still subscribe to about 8-10 magazines. Fast Company, Wired Inc, Ready Made, This Old House and Money and others. Magazines still have a long-form narratives and quick glance articles that the web still doesn’t procure.
In the 90s pre-internet and dot-com internet, it was still about magazines. My gateway to culture when stuck in a small town.
So here’s a collection of my favorite mags that have come and gone. And, yes I did keep the old mags that I liked.
First up: Might Magazine. This mag catered to the bright and witty crowd. It was also edited by the then unknown Dave Eggers (McSweeney’s and A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius). RIP 1997.
Swing Generation – Again a mag that catered to the Gen X with smart writing. RIP 1998.
Shift – The last magazine to survive longer. Published in Canada. This was around the time when Comcast had Much Music (imagine an MTV that plays music videos all the time, yeah…shocker) as a channel so I got into lot of Canadian bands like The Tragically Hip, Moist and Matthew Good Band. RIP 2003.
Fuse – This magazine lasted for one issue in the dot com days but it spoke to me. I also wanted to be the dude on the cover – there with a happy work life and a cute girl by his side. RIP 2000
P.O.V. – I started to read this in grad school. Again, smart writing and interesting articles. RIP 2000
Saving the best for last: Details – The Old Version not the crappy metrosexual mag that it is today. Remember that in the back of the mag was a two page comic Wild Palms that was later made in to a TV miniseries? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wild_Palms to jog your memory. Crazy that the story is set in 2007. I have the DVD is anyone wants to borrow it) Such a fucking good mag. RIP around 96.
Will we ever see these types of magazines on the shelves again? No. The era has past. I have found some sites similar in content but it’s just not the same. It’s a damn shame.