The June Issues
It’s getting hot, Dad is expecting something, and a new crop of men’s magazines has landed on our desks. And after thumbing through the glossy, slightly perfumed pages, we have a few thoughts.
Allow us to Sherpa you through the June issues...
Esquire (200 pages):
Looks like they snapped the cover picture just fast enough to catch Bruce Willis before his shirt disintegrated in the wake of his bulging presence.
The contents feature a lot of cocktails garnished with citrus and multiple instances of the words “dad” and “fatherhood” and “pater.” (Okay, technically it’s Paterno—as, in “Joe Pa”—but still.) It’s safe to assume Esky is doubling down on Dad and summer this June.
Looks like someone read May’s installment—our “lack of eye candy” complaint gets nipped in the bud with an early appearance of “Camp Esquire” counselor Gillian Jacobs. Good on you, Granger.
Scott Raab’s interview of Bill Murray is conducted over a weekend at Murray’s place in South Carolina. Bill’s exactly how he seems on film, except minus any of the overly goofiness or forlornness. Suffice it to say, they had a pretty chill weekend where Bill doesn’t take showbiz too seriously and talks Cubs with his kids.
We’re introduced to up-and-coming actor Laura Vandervoort in her underthings telling a... Stanley Cup joke... we think. (Honestly, we’re still looking at the picture.) All of a sudden we feel more inclined to watch Game 6 tonight.
The “Four Easy Pieces of Summer” editorial makes the revelatory claim that you need to wear a shirt, a blazer, a pair of pants and shoes this summer. Thanks for that hot tip.
Advice of the month from Nick Sullivan: “Suspenders, like underwear, should provide invisible support: nobody needs to see them.” Somewhere, Larry King is breathing a loud, gravelly exasperated sigh (and then throwing it to the next caller).
Best Bar City of 2012: Millwaukee. We’re inclined to agree—even if the only experience we’ve had is a 10am drink at the airport bar on a layover. (It was already a packed house.)
Also, we’d like to second Mr. Wondrich’s endorsement of bar dice.
The Bruce Willis interview is consumed with the number five (he’s got five pears to eat, five movies coming out, including Die Hard 5, he gets up to pee five times, and he’s expecting a fourth kid—sadly nothing can be done about that one) and also his urination pattern. Each chapter (yes, there are five) is marked by each visit to the restroom. (It’s assumed he’s actually texting/calling his pregnant supermodel wife most of the time.)
The interview finishes with four tips on fatherhood. Followed by a fifth. (At this point, Tom Chiarella cannot resist making a Fifth Element pun. Obviously, this was his grand plan all along.)
Just when the fatherhood manual section made being a dad seem nearly foolproof, we’re hit the cautionary tale of “Mr. Kardashian” Bruce Jenner. Esky keeping it real.
Picking nits: all of a sudden, Esquire has decided to go with “men’s-wear” as an apostrophe’d hyphenate. We’ve yet to hear back on our letter to Merriam-Webster, but in the meanwhile, can we all agree upon “menswear” as a word? And what’s with the abbreviation “fking”?
Details (155 pages, with an additional 30-page grooming guide on the reverse side):
There are two covers. Which is confusing at first. (And subjecting us to one too many photos of Adam Levine, if you ask us.)
We read the letter from the editor hoping to learn where to purchase the gold-plated pocket-comb pictured. No dice—but we do learn that this will be the “grooming issue.”
The “some assembly required” summer homes piece makes us want to dust off our Dusting Off: The Summer Cabin post.
All we have to say about this Logan Marshall-Green introduction: watch the throne, Tom Hardy.
The first thing they “emphatically endorse” is the movie Ted, the story of an adult-child (Mark Wahlberg) and his potty-mouthed teddy bear. We skip the next five things they’re pushing.
Notes on the Jeff Daniels Q&A: He cleans up nice in a tux; he can’t wait to do the Dumb and Dumber sequel; this guy is awesome.
Apparently the New Beach Essentials include pleated jorts. (*They may or may not actually be jean shorts, but we thought we’d make them sound as hideous as possible.)
The summer suit pictorial is beach-y, yacht-y and linen-y.
All of a sudden, up is down. Down is up. Without any prompting, the magazine has become the back end of the grooming guide—which requires you to flip the magazine, look at another cover photo of Adam Levine with his mouth slightly open and start anew.
The first grooming article to make us feel uncomfortable: the declaration that chest waxing is back.
Okay, we’ve recovered. (We’re of the mind that less is more when it comes to grooming—just keep it in check, find your happy medium between “overgrown” and “manscaping,” and leave it at that.)
The “16 Best Barbershops in America” piece is worth bookmarking for the next time a business trip goes long.
GQ (198 pages):
Fassbender on the cover, D’Angelo on the table of contents. This is already shaping up to be a pretty badass... oh, no... and just like that, Justin Bieber shows up on a crotch-rocket and ruins it all.
In typical GQ fashion, they try to convince you to buy a (white) suit and then proceed to show you how to schlep it up. T-shirts and slip-on sneakers ensue.
We learn, by way of a “labels we love” piece on Sundek, that Mark Ruffalo (who surfed often as a kid) considered himself a “soul surfer.” Explains a lot.
Some timely advice on being a good dinner-party guest, now that it’s summer-home season: come bearing gift, make some drinks, don’t crowd the cook, bring nice cheese if you’re tasked with an hors d’oeuvre, and always offer to do dishes. All spot-on.
Most/least surprising (at the same time) intro of the month goes to: “The two things Waka Flocka Flame loves the most in this world are strippers and puppies.”
Like most stories that involve an American finding his passion for soccer, this one is amusing at times and heartbreaking at others.
It’s official, even Fassbender’s thumb has arrived.
The godfather of neo-soul, D’Angelo, is back. Or at least that’s what GQ wants us to believe. (And, way deep down, so do we.)
And finally: only Justin Bieber can make a grown man question himself with the following: “What if his Horny Teenager Strength can easily overpower my Dad Strength?” Luckily, we’ll never know, because Biebs forgot his sparring gear.
- Najib Benouar