The Daily Ping

The 1st Ping was published on January 6, 2000.

May 22nd, 2000

Paul Looks at Men’s Magazines

Within the past year, there’s been a curious resurgence of all things guy. Examine the evidence: The Man Show on Comedy Central. The X Show on FX. Maxim magazine, FHM magazine, Stuff magazine. The downside is that the two television shows have been battered for being a little light on, uhm, substance. Lots of eye candy, and some occasional "Hey, that’s neat!"s, but they’re lacking.

That’s where the mags are supposed to come in, right? I first picked up Maxim last year when, I think, Shannen Doherty was featured on the cover. (I swear, that’s not why I picked up the issue. Really. ahem.) The whole thing was a worthwhile read. Lots of good information, lots of neat stuff I can’t afford, good jokes, scantily-clad women (ha) – in other words, a very guy magazine. Since then, I’ve read quite a few issues of Maxim. The only true downside to the mag, for me, is that they sometimes have questionable cover girls (Melissa Joan Hart? please.)

FHM, like Maxim, comes from the UK and has been there for at least 5 years that I know of: I was paging through an issue of Q from 95 and an FHM ad was featured. Recently, FHM branched out with a full-fledged US edition. I got the May/June issue, with Shania Twain on the cover. Yes, that’s why I bought it and yes, I wasn’t disappointed by the Shania article. But the rest of the issue was awful. It was a clear and blatant copy of Maxim, minus the quality. For instance, Maxim usually features witty captions on most of its pictures. Good witty captions. FHM offers captions on all of its pictures… but really tries too hard, and fails. Plus, most of the columns are straight out of Maxim, minus the style and sophistication.

Both mags have sites, of course. Maxim‘s is future-cool and has a decent amount of online-only material (yay!) FHM goes for a very basic look, and even feels British to me. Not that that’s bad, but somehow, FHM feels isolated from what’s going on and seems to go for the "stereotypical American" stuff… which isn’t my cup of tea.

Both cost almost the same for subscriptions, with Maxim offering 12 issues for $12 and FHM offering 10 issues (1 year) for the same money. I’d say that if you find $12 in your Yearly Subscription Budget, and can have just one men’s magazine, Maxim is it. -pm

Posted in Miscellaneous

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