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  #1  
Old 02-05-2017, 06:46 AM
Horatio Hellpop Horatio Hellpop is offline
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Has Playboy gotten any better?

It's been a year since Playboy gutted almost everything I liked about it, presumably to cut costs and share display/iPad space with Maxim and such. My online subscription lapsed after three issues and I've left the country, so popping over to the newsstand out of curiosity really isn't an option.

Has it gotten any better? Have they reinstated the cartoons, at least?
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  #2  
Old 02-06-2017, 07:01 AM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Horatio Hellpop View Post
It's been a year since Playboy gutted almost everything I liked about it, presumably to cut costs and share display/iPad space with Maxim and such. My online subscription lapsed after three issues and I've left the country, so popping over to the newsstand out of curiosity really isn't an option.

Has it gotten any better? Have they reinstated the cartoons, at least?
When Playboy abruptly changed, it's as if they sucked all the fin out of it.

I don't mean just the nudes (although it's weird that Maxim, or even Newsweek, had women wearing fewer clothes than Playboy at that point) -- they took out just about everything that made the magazine fun to read. The cartoons were gone, an awful lot of the "front" material (the "trends" and "datasheet" (not the one on the centerfold -- the statistics page near the beginning) and the political commentary), the Playboy Party Jokes (OK, that one didn't bother me, I have to admit) and the COLOR -- the magazine was suddenly a collection of somber tones of brown and gray, with all bright colors missing (except for the paid advertisements).

Playboy has recovered somewhat. There is one -- one! -- cartoon per issue. The color has come back, a little bit. They run an occasional humorous or The State of Sex article in the spirit of the old Playboy. The women are allowed to be a little more naked (you can see entire gluteal sulci* again). The mag never did give up on the Interview and well-written fiction and its "living the good life" features. You can read it without a problem on an airline or in a waiting room. But, heck, Cosmopolitan is sexier and more colorful these days.


*"buttcrack" to many people. I can't stand the word. It sounds like something with ragged edges that are inflamed and hurt.
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  #3  
Old 02-06-2017, 08:20 AM
Ukulele Ike Ukulele Ike is offline
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ONE CARTOON PER ISSUE? Jesus, I had no idea they'd done that.

That's some serious shit. After THE NEW YORKER, PLAYBOY was always the most important venue for contemporary cartoon art.
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  #4  
Old 02-06-2017, 09:02 AM
DSYoungEsq DSYoungEsq is offline
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Originally Posted by Ukulele Ike View Post
ONE CARTOON PER ISSUE? Jesus, I had no idea they'd done that.

That's some serious shit. After THE NEW YORKER, PLAYBOY was always the most important venue for contemporary cartoon art.
Who remembers Gahan Wilson cartoons ftw?
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  #5  
Old 02-06-2017, 09:22 AM
Ukulele Ike Ukulele Ike is offline
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Who remembers Gahan Wilson cartoons ftw?
Gahan is still around! May be retired, though...haven't seen any of his work for the past year or two.
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  #6  
Old 02-06-2017, 10:29 AM
Derleth Derleth is offline
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Originally Posted by CalMeacham View Post
*"buttcrack" to many people. I can't stand the word. It sounds like something with ragged edges that are inflamed and hurt.
Wrong direction: The buttcrack separates the cheeks vertically, the gluteal sulcus is the horizontal crease which separates the bottoms of the buttocks from the tops of the rear upper thighs.
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  #7  
Old 02-06-2017, 11:28 AM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
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Originally Posted by Derleth View Post
Wrong direction: The buttcrack separates the cheeks vertically, the gluteal sulcus is the horizontal crease which separates the bottoms of the buttocks from the tops of the rear upper thighs.
It's allowable, sincve it's a sulcus ion the gluteus maximus.

But if you wanna be unambiguous, it's intergluteal cleft

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intergluteal_cleft
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  #8  
Old 02-13-2017, 05:08 PM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
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...and now they realizxed what a mistake they made.


They're bringing back not just the nudity, but some of the old features:

Quote:
In addition to adding nudity, the March/April issue of Playboy will bring back some old franchises (”The Playboy Philosophy,” “Party Jokes,” etc.) and omit the phrase “Entertainment for Men” from the cover.


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/...094a129ed6668?


I could do without the Party Jokes -- I'd just like them to bring back the cartoons. And the COLOR. The magazine has been a damned somber parade of earth tones for the past year.
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  #9  
Old 02-13-2017, 05:30 PM
E-DUB E-DUB is offline
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Our long national nightmare is over.
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  #10  
Old 02-13-2017, 08:03 PM
madsircool madsircool is offline
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Its nice to see the breast of America returning to the newsstands.
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  #11  
Old 02-13-2017, 10:48 PM
foolsguinea foolsguinea is offline
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Somber earth tones? That sounds like "Worklad."

Can we blame this strange turn from Playboy for the GOP majority in Congress? Or North Korean missile tests? No? Well, I may anyway.

Last edited by foolsguinea; 02-13-2017 at 10:49 PM..
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  #12  
Old 02-14-2017, 04:13 AM
aldiboronti aldiboronti is offline
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Originally Posted by foolsguinea View Post
Somber earth tones? That sounds like "Worklad."

Can we blame this strange turn from Playboy for the GOP majority in Congress? Or North Korean missile tests? No? Well, I may anyway.
I realize you're joking but really the only reason is the bottom line, cash, mazoolah, spondulicks. People didn't want to buy Playboy without nudes. And why should they? Despite the oft-heard mantra in its heyday "I buy it for its really good articles" everyone knew that was BS. For most purchasers it was a glorified strokebook with classier broads.

Personally I'm pleased that the tits and asses are back. I'm a little past strokebooks myself but I remember my youth and these magazines really do serve a noble purpose. Young men, old men too at times, need to masturbate, it's healthy. Women too but I have no idea what visual aids they use.

Removing the nudes was a totally dumb move and we should all welcome their return.
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  #13  
Old 02-14-2017, 06:26 AM
JRDelirious JRDelirious is online now
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IIRC the original move to merely cheesecakey content followed on the heels of how the sanitizing of their website had resulted in a huge boom in visits -- but maybe that was not so much about finding a new audience who prefers their web exerience uninterrupted by tits, as due to it no longer being on the wrong side of nannyware. (Old Hef was apparently fine with it... maybe because he was thinking sales first? maybe because because at this point he says my job is done here, maybe I AM too old for this?)

So are we to assume Coop has looked at the figures and said, "Um, people? This is not giving us the sort of kick on the bottom line that merits having done a New Coke on the brand"?

The magazine even before last year was but a shadow of what it was in the 60s/70s, not really knowing what market it was going after in this day and age. It would be unreasonable to expect a return to that point, but still one can see a position of "our brand was built on tasteful nudes and good text content; how about we try that" coming from someone with an interest in keeping the legacy going.

Last edited by JRDelirious; 02-14-2017 at 06:29 AM..
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  #14  
Old 02-14-2017, 06:37 AM
Mr Shine Mr Shine is offline
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Just out of curiosity I downloaded it: if this is supposed to be the "back to normal" issue, they're still rather squeamish about nudity. No visible full frontal in any of their pictorials, nudity level no higher than you might expect from page 3 a British tabloid
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  #15  
Old 02-14-2017, 06:50 AM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
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I haven't seen the newest issue yet on the stands, but, as I say, what bugged me was the lack of color and humor, more than the nudes. And even without the nudity, Playboy seemed obsessed by it. For the first few issues they went out of their way to make sure there wasn't even any butt cleavage -- there were strategically placed towels and the like. They were showing ostentatiously not-nude women.


I always thought it was a move to get their magazine into places like waiting rooms and airlines and the like.
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  #16  
Old 02-14-2017, 06:53 AM
JRDelirious JRDelirious is online now
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CalMeacham yes that was what I perceived too.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Shine View Post
Just out of curiosity I downloaded it: if this is supposed to be the "back to normal" issue, they're still rather squeamish about nudity. No visible full frontal in any of their pictorials, nudity level no higher than you might expect from page 3 a British tabloid
So it would be a reset back to their early-60s mode, then. They seem to be carefully testing for what will be "enough".

Last edited by JRDelirious; 02-14-2017 at 06:55 AM..
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  #17  
Old 02-14-2017, 08:14 AM
MichaelEmouse MichaelEmouse is online now
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What was good about Playboy's writing?


Am I correct that Playboy was successful by combining somewhat shocking sexual appeal with some sophistication/non-crassness?

What could be today's equivalent of the somewhat shocking sexual appeal it used in the past now that GQ and Cosmopolitan are about equally sexed up?

Last edited by MichaelEmouse; 02-14-2017 at 08:16 AM..
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  #18  
Old 02-14-2017, 08:55 AM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
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Originally Posted by MichaelEmouse View Post
What was good about Playboy's writing?


Am I correct that Playboy was successful by combining somewhat shocking sexual appeal with some sophistication/non-crassness?

What could be today's equivalent of the somewhat shocking sexual appeal it used in the past now that GQ and Cosmopolitan are about equally sexed up?
Playboy paid top dollar for its writing, and was a much sought-after venue. There was a lot of good fiction, not to mention good political commentary and general nonfiction articles published in its pages over the years. There was also a lot of popular stuff that fits its image that wasn't of the highest literary caliber, but at least it was fun.

So, over the years, it published Isaac Asimov, Arthir C. Clarke, Ray Bradbury Robert Sheckley and other science fiction writers (Hef was a sciFi geek), William F. Buckley, Vladimir Nabokov, Norman Mailer, Gore Vidal, and many other noted writers. It also serialized Ian Fleming's The Man with the Golden Gun (Playboy and the James Bond franchise had a symbiotic relationship) It published abbreviated versions of Nicholas Meyers Sherlock Holmes pastiche The West End Horror and William Hjortsberg's pulpish Falling Angel (which became the movie Angel Heart. The iconic science fiction stories The Fly (by William Langelland, filmed twice and spawning three sequels) and A Sound of Thunder by Ray Bradbury (which has been endlessly referred to and parodied) first appeared in its pages.

"I only read it for the articles" is a well-worn cliché, but the fact is, there was a lot worth reading in its pages. Plus all those great cartoons by Gahan Wilson, B. Kliban, Robert Coles, and others.
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  #19  
Old 02-14-2017, 09:45 AM
dropzone dropzone is offline
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"A Sound of Thunder" was published in Colliers. Maybe Hef got sloppy seconds.
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  #20  
Old 02-14-2017, 10:34 AM
JRDelirious JRDelirious is online now
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And the interviews of political and artistic figures were also top notch quality, sometimes rather edgy or exactly timely (Miles Davis, Dr. King AND Mamcolm X, Stanley Kubrick, Ayn Rand, Lennon/Ono just before his slaying, Jimmy Carter's lust in his heart in the middle of the campaign, the whole Sandinista leadership while we were fighting them).
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  #21  
Old 02-14-2017, 11:25 AM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
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Originally Posted by dropzone View Post
"A Sound of Thunder" was published in Colliers. Maybe Hef got sloppy seconds.
My mistake. It did appear in the June 1956 edition of Playboy, but that was four years after it had appeared in Colliers. I was unaware of its earlier appearance. It was also in Planet Stories for January 1954.

http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/title.cgi?61488
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  #22  
Old 02-14-2017, 01:44 PM
foolsguinea foolsguinea is offline
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I haven't read Playboy in a long time, but when I did, the interviews were really good, the Adviser was interesting (if sometimes wrong), there was always pretty decent fiction, and there was even some pretty smart social/political journalism.

They may have marketed the brand as glamour & nude women, but there was a really good, smart magazine under there once. By comparison, Maxim was too many bullet points and kind of lowbrow.
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  #23  
Old 02-14-2017, 02:48 PM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
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Interesting thing -- if you look it up on the Internet Speculative Fiction Data Base, Playboy has a listing for every single year from its founding in 1953 until 2002. It has had at least one issue every year -- and generally many more than one -- in which a piece of speculative fiction has appeared. Most of these are original, although they've reprinted, as with a Sound of Thunder above. They also published Fahrenheit 451 in three parts, but it was after the book publication.

http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/ea.cgi?10978

There are entries for several later years, too:

2006
2008 - 2011

It's sad that the SF entries peter out and then stop. I assume it's because Hefner stopped editing, and his influence wore off. There's only one entry for 2011 -- it's by Margaret Atwood (!), but it's an essay on the covers of weird Tales, not fiction.

In any event, at least it had a good run. Playboy Press published six anthologies of SF stories in 1971, and a couple of earlier ones in the 1960s. I've got some of these.

Last edited by CalMeacham; 02-14-2017 at 02:50 PM..
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  #24  
Old 02-16-2017, 12:56 AM
Sam Stone Sam Stone is offline
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Playboy's marketing was perfect. It had just enough top-quality material that you didn't feel embarrassed buying it or have guest see it in your magazine rack, but it had enough nudity to attract men for that reason. It was the 'acceptable' porn of its era.

But Playboy eventually got serious competition from the likes of Maxim, which was 'acceptable' by providing enough frat-boy and gearhead content that you could plausibly buy it for that. That ate into the portion of Playboy's audience that prefered Ferraris to Norman Mailer.

But the real killer has been the availabilty of embarassment-free porn and titillation of all varieties on the Internet. So I can kind of understand the desire to change the direction of the mag. I guess that wasn't working for them.
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  #25  
Old 02-16-2017, 10:50 AM
Elendil's Heir Elendil's Heir is online now
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Originally Posted by JRDelirious View Post
...uninterrupted by tits....
Band name!
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  #26  
Old 02-16-2017, 04:59 PM
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Fascinating fact: The 'uninterrupted by tits' era is ending next month, see the link below. I remember there was a lot of odd science fiction and some other fiction that got published in old playboy, there really were reasons to read it for the articles.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor...ogressive.html
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  #27  
Old 02-16-2017, 05:37 PM
JRDelirious JRDelirious is online now
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Well FWIW it looks like Slate is not getting any better either.
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  #28  
Old 02-16-2017, 06:14 PM
Derleth Derleth is offline
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Band name!
Their first album could be called "Brassiere, My Dear" or "La-Di-Bra".

And Playboy should be what it was founded to be: A lifestyle magazine for straight men aspiring to be intellectual, cultured, and well-rounded, which stakes out a specific kind of pornography curated to maintain a certain tone. There's a difference between curated and sorted, after all: A perfectly sorted collection can vary wildly in quality and style, whereas curation implies a strong editorial voice. That's rarer, and is precisely the value a magazine should add.
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  #29  
Old 02-16-2017, 06:57 PM
Elendil's Heir Elendil's Heir is online now
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Their first album could be called "Brassiere, My Dear" or "La-Di-Bra"....
Maybe "Elastic Ladyland" or "Boobs Next."
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  #30  
Old 02-16-2017, 07:54 PM
Derleth Derleth is offline
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Maybe "Elastic Ladyland" or "Boobs Next."
"In Her Cups" or "UnderWiFi" or "Hooked On Her"
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  #31  
Old 02-17-2017, 10:44 AM
Horatio Hellpop Horatio Hellpop is offline
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Gahan is still around! May be retired, though...haven't seen any of his work for the past year or two.
I heard a couple days ago his health had taken a turn for the worse. He's 86. I can't imagine being that funny for that long.
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  #32  
Old 02-17-2017, 11:00 AM
Biffy the Elephant Shrew Biffy the Elephant Shrew is online now
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I heard a couple days ago his health had taken a turn for the worse. He's 86.
Nuts.
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  #33  
Old 02-17-2017, 11:23 AM
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Well FWIW it looks like Slate is not getting any better either.
Oddly, I read them because they're bad enough that I get annoyed by their writing and go read the real story they link to to 'prove' them wrong, it actually gets me to read real news that I'd otherwise find boring.
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  #34  
Old 02-25-2017, 04:03 PM
Thudlow Boink Thudlow Boink is online now
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The Wall Street Journal announced Friday that the daily newspaper will resume featuring nude photographs after a failed yearlong experiment with nudity-free issues. “While we remain committed to updating the paper for a contemporary audience, we’ve come to realize that tasteful nudity has always been part of what makes The Wall Street Journal so beloved by our readers,” said editor-in-chief Gerard Baker, adding that beginning with the following week’s Monday edition, the Journal’s signature pictorials of topless and fully naked women will return alongside its award-winning reporting, business-focused news coverage, and weekly columns from Peggy Noonan and Holman W. Jenkins Jr.
-‘Wall Street Journal’ Reintroduces Nudes After Failed Yearlong Experiment
SPOILER:
link spoilered because WSJ nudes possibly NSFW:
http://www.theonion.com/article/wall...utm_medium=RSS
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  #35  
Old 02-25-2017, 05:39 PM
foolsguinea foolsguinea is offline
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That's not that clever, but I still laughed.

I was going to say that of course it doesn't seem realistic because WSJ doesn't publish photos. But--huh. I remember when WSJ didn't print photographs at all. I guess the internet changed things.

Last edited by foolsguinea; 02-25-2017 at 05:43 PM..
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