5 Indestructible Magazines
2008's magazine killing season was like Peter Luger's on a Friday: busy and bloody. And unfortunately, the night's just begun. With the Big Three in a world of shit, ad dollars for '09 are drying up before the ball even drops. Eventually, most every mag will feel some sort of squeeze.
But unlike men, some magazines are islands, tiny idyllic places immune to the sufferings of the other, distant media continents. Here are some publications we're confident will emerge from the economic downturn no worse for the wear.
Circulation: 32.4 million
Mission: "PARADE … draws readers in and then holds them with stories that educate, entertain and empower."
Why it won't fail: Parade's key to success is its barely-there overhead. The paper quality is low, the finished product thin and it's distributed through Sunday newspapers, alongside canned sweet corn coupons. It's possible this weekly could be rattled by a full collapse of the souvenir coin industry, but even then we think it'd pull through, stomping down Media Road like an actual dumpy, boring parade.
Mission: "Each [issue] is packed with new mystery short stories … and one 'Mystery Classic,' an outstanding tale from the genre's past."
Why it won't fail: Life's a niche! Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine's unique specificity, like Inked's (catering to tattooed men) and The American Spectator's (catering to white racists), is the reason it's not going anywhere. People who read AHMM can't go to a competitor, because a competitor doesn't exist. Rest easy, nerds, your subscription's safe.
Circulation: 150,000 in 1996
Mission: "Big tits for hard times."
Why it won't fail: "How do porno magazines still exist," you ask, "with such a proliferation of free pornography on the Internet?" Wake up, snob: The great majority of people in the world don't own computers, and even some people who do own computers don't have Internet access. What everyone in the world does have is a desire to reach orgasm. So while you sit in front of the computer, trying to stay aroused while battling relentless pop-ups, Joe Sixpack is going to the bodega, picking up Juggs and getting his rocks off the old-fashioned way. Also working in Juggs' favor is that, despite its tremendously cheap production, it can still fetch around eight to 10 dollars—less if you buy it in three-packs (not that we've price-checked it or anything).
Mission: "Every issue immerses our readers in … political perspectives, great golf, hot cars … and of course ???????? the most respected cigar reviews and ratings…"
Why it won't fail: Dealing in death may not win popularity contests, but it sure keeps the ad buyers coming back. While some publications won't touch tobacco advertisements, Cigar Aficionado welcomes them with open, stinky, atrophied, cancer-ridden arms. If you're a cigar company, you don't debate where to place the bulk of your ad money. You go to Cigar Aficionado and then, if there's anything left in the budget, you consider dropping a line to Esquire.
Mission: "DETAILS sets the trends and uncovers the stories that keep the modern man a step ahead of the crowd."
Why it won't fail: Despite the fact that it should be severely punished for frequently exalting the worst men in the world – fuckin' leave the Pete Wentz beat to Tiger Beat, guys! – Details will survive because it would be humiliating for Cond???? Nast if it did not. Having already been forced to massively shrink Men's Vogue, the ostentatious publishing giant simply won't allow another male-oriented cornerstone to crumble. It's the prideful wisdom of the woman who shows up to a bankruptcy hearing in diamonds: "They can't take everything."