GQ Bruce Willis Cover March 2013

Here we are, March-ing toward spring—even if there’s still snow on the ground in the majority of the contiguous US—with the latest crop of magazines hitting newsstands in the last couple days.

And in our grand tradition of sizing up the state of printed menswear journalism, we’ve thumbed through all 620 pages of the big three to bring you the most comprehensive assessment. Without further ado:

The March Issues.

GQ (208 pages):

Apparently, “Arthur Miller” is back in style, which to GQ means bringing a sweater to the beach.

A woman laments that men are not as sex-crazy as the hype suggests. Her solution: “Just try saying yes more often… even if Mumford & Sons are doing that namby-pamby forest jig thing you like so much on Fallon.”

Low point: “Man-Pregnant,” an article with a terrifying photoshopped picture of a bobble-headed, pregnant Brad Pitt.

High point: “Excuse Us While We Kiss the Sky” profiles urban explorers—guys with normal day jobs who climb bridges and explore sewers by night. Pretty badass.

Bruce Willis (who’s on the cover) talks about Pulp Fiction: “There’s a little scene of me gagging with that ball in my mouth, and Quentin said, ‘Do you want to stop for a minute?’ And I said, ‘[makes a sound as though he has a ball gag in mouth].’”

We’re told Channing Tatum is the new breed of leading man. It’s hard to pin down quite why.

The first picture of a sexy woman is on page 168. It’s Emilia Clarke of Game of Thrones. She looks great.

Nicholas Hoult shows off a bunch of “Power Suits.” Jim Parsons shows off loafers.

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (also of Game of Thrones) shows off how to wear a denim vest with occasional help from the gorgeous Behati Prinsloo. It’s mildly annoying how Prince Charmingly good-looking that guy is.

Total pretty lady count: two.

Esquire (210 pages):

Esquire bin Laden Cover March 2013
The cover eschews a photo for the phrase “THE MAN WHO KILLED OSAMA BIN LADEN… IS SCREWED.” Subtle.

This joke about Williamsburg, Brooklyn: “It’s like there’s a conspiracy afoot to breed a race of tiny painters and drummers.”

Esquire’s Alternative Oscars: “Best Beard: Argo,” “Best Stoner Film: The Hobbit,” “Olivia Wilde Award for Achievement in Being Olivia Wilde: Olivia Wilde in Deadfall.”

A user’s guide to the new patterned shirt, which to Esquire means toning down color in order to make the patterns less striking. (See Details for a rather different opinion.)

Lots of weapons this month. Here’s a thousand words on fetishizing guns and we haven’t gotten to the cover story about the bin Laden shooter.

Cover story: It’s been getting a lot of press, and accusations of inaccuracies. We are not military experts and can’t add much to that debate. We can point out that this article is very serious and very long.

Thom Yorke wears a bowler hat and shares what he’s learned. This includes how to properly use an ATM, that everyone else is an idiot and the definition of respect.

There are 11 pages on eating like a man. A segment entitled “Chili Without a Recipe,” somewhat dubiously, involves a recipe.

They also endorse dark suits.

Pretty lady count: one (two if you count the one hiding behind Ashton Kutcher).

Details (202 pages):

Details James Franco Cover March 2013

Pages of ads pre-table-of-contents: 33.

There’s apparently a rise in the availability of bottled cocktails from master mixologists, as well as cocktails on tap.

A profile of Steve Carell notes that he’s 50 years old. The accompanying picture really makes him look it.

There is an endorsement of textured, part-linen suits for the spring.

Also an endorsement of good stationery, because “in an era of texting, a handwritten note is a mark of taste.” We concur.

An article entitled “Why You Should Try Crack” is about chiropractors.

Apparently, guys are getting plastic surgery to look chiseled. That seems pretty depressing.

But then there are a bunch of recipes for cocktails that will make you feel better: “Medicinal Mixology.”

“The first condom sniffing dogs have been deployed in the UK due to [reports] that millions of poor-quality counterfeit rubbers have been smuggled in… Last year, $2.4 million worth of dodgy condoms were seized at Heathrow Airport.”

And another article about strong suits. This time, they’re (mostly) dark but also solely double-breasted.

’80s fashion, we’re told, is coming back. Some questionable prints are involved, but also James Dean-y denim jackets.

The cover story on James Franco seems designed to make sure we don’t forget that he’s weird, artsy, poetic and self-indulgent. It succeeds.

And finally, former rocker Steve Ludwin really loves injecting himself with snake venom. This is objectively a very strange thing.

Pretty lady count: zero.

—S.P. & N.B.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Stephen Praetorius
    Najib Benouar