Sunday, September 17, 2006

Fake Magazine Covers

I didn't notice when I wrote my little Vanity Fair entry a day or two ago that there was another gem inside the thick ad-infested September issue. I found this when I stumbled upon writer and designer Andrew Hearst's website, panopticist.

It's an ingenious bit of do-it-yourself magazine sabotage in the form of one of those cover flaps that you see at newsstands. Here we have a fake flap that you can cut out and fold over an issue of Bill Kristol's neo-conservative soap box, The Weekly Standard. Try it at home!

Andrew Hearst has a whole section of his fake magazine covers which includes "Sementeen," "American Gentrifier," a creepy US Weekly cover designed like a Harper's cover, "Bad Touch Weekly" (with Michael Jackson on the cover), and, my favorite, a fake issue of Parents that started an Internet hoax.

That ingenious cover was, as Hearst explains, never promoted as the real thing -- it was some bad Internet journalism that spread the rumor. It started when the blog Boing Boing referred to it as a real cover, and ended when Snopes.com debunked it, much to the amusement of Mr. Hearst.

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