Monday, February 26, 2007

Are these the 51 best magazines ever?

Good magazine has published online its list of the 51 best magazines ever, an amusing conceit that is based on the opinions of a selected group of magazine mavens and about which (see the comments) there is already some lively discussion concerning titles included or left out.

Of course it should have been headed the "51 greatest AMERICAN magazines" since very few are from outside of the continental United States and none from Canada. The list is introduced by an essay by Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter (whom we never fail to identify as having come from Canada).

Carter says, in part:
Magazines—or, rather, certain magazines—aren’t going away anytime soon. They have survived radio, movies, and television. And they have, so far, not perished at the altar of the internet. It will take something not known of today to replace the power of the combination of words and image when, as I have just said, they are aligned by the right hands. Magazines that tell stories in type and pictures will survive the coming electronic revolutions. Magazines that merely deliver information will have to either become stronger and more vital, or drown in the turbulent wakes of change.
The top 10 are:
  • Esquire
  • The New Yorker
  • Life
  • Playboy
  • New York Times magazine
  • Mad
  • Spy
  • Wired
  • Andy Warhol's Interview
  • Colours


Blogger David Leach said...

A fun and frustrating list for jonesing magaholics. You could argue that Canada scores a few gold stars via influential Canuck founders and editors: #7 (Spy), #22 (Wallpaper*), and the "also try" runners-up at #19 (Vice) and #38 (Seed).

(Of course, that tactic just reminds me of a joke a German backpacker once told me: "How many Canadians does it take to change a light bulb? Two. One to change the bulb, and another to say, 'Hey, did you know he's Canadian!'" Ouch.)

Really, though, how many Canadian magazines can claim to be pioneering and influential enough to rate a slot on this master list? Adbusters maybe. Shift could have been a contender if it had made the leap to New York. Any others?

3:35 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good is a cool mag... I am not sure how long it will last, but I purchased this issue because it dealt with media.

The intro by Carter is about a booster for magazines. The truth is that any article such as this is bound to cause a dustup...but as far as I'm concerned, as long as the disussion is about a magazines, then who flippin' cares.

By the way, speaking of Carter, the latest issue of Vanity Fair weighs in at 3lbs+ and 500 pages. It could kill a small dog. But, as usual, the ridiculous amount of fashion ads can't cloud the excellent stories. Hands down, one of the best mags out there...and yeah, I guess you could still call Carter a Canuck, but my sense is that he doesn't see himself as one.

6:25 am  
Blogger Debbie said...

There is a great line in Toby Young's "How to Loose Friends and Alienate People" about Graydon Carter and his Canadian/American identity.

Carter, while dressing down the British Young, makes a crack about WWII saying, "If it weren't for us you'd be speaking German"
Then Young comes back with, "But, your Canadian, if it weren't for us, you'd be speaking French"

The current issue of Vanity Fair is so satisfying to me. All that pleasure for only $5.95.

10:40 am  
Anonymous lise ravary said...

Colors in 10th position ? (and not Colours). Isn't that the Benetton magazine ? A magazine that could not be named Magazine of the Year at the National Magazine Awards because it has a corporate sponsor. I guess I still have not forgotten the enRoute episode.

9:57 pm  

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