Maxim closes – but don’t mourn the gonners

Issue 4 of Maxim under editor Gill Hudson carried a CD-Rom on the cover

Issue 4 of Maxim under editor Gill Hudson carried a CD-Rom on the cover

Maxim has followed Arena into the great paper recycling bin in the sky. Well, it’s no surprise; the title had been dead on its feet for a couple of years. What is surprising is the health and breadth of the men’s lifestyle sector.

Back in 1985 there was nothing. As Brian Braithwaite, a former publishing director of National Magazines, said:

‘I was told quite positively in the mid-70s by the Men Who Must be Obeyed from America that men’s magazines were a dead duck. My attempt to produce more than one edition of Cosmopolitan Man [with Paul Keers, who was later to head the launch of GQ, as editor] in 1978 was quashed by top management to make way for yet another women’s title, Company.’

That was eight years before the debut of  Arena, which sparked today’s lifestyle titles – and James Brown’s reaction to them led to Loaded.

Today, there is FHM, Loaded, GQ, Esquire, Nuts and Zoo for the mainstream sector; Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, Bizarre, Stuff and T3 taking a specialist slant;  and a raft of quarterly or biannual niche titles, from the recently launched Buck, to The Chap, Another Man, Blag, Fantastic Man, Man About Town, Notion and Wonderland.

Then, there are the freebies – Shortlist, Sport and (digital only) Monkey.

And, like any sector, men’s lifestyle is littered with bodies – Later, Cut, Deluxe, Eat Soup, Ego, Front, Ice, Mondo, Sky, Untold and Jack, to name a few.

So, don’t mourn the gonners, go out and buy The Chap and learn about Steam Punks; compare your moustache with the lads in Buck; see how many fewer nipples there are in FHM these days. Pip! Pip!

History of men’s magazines

History of Maxim

To see almost 500 magazine covers and pages, look out for my book, A History of British Magazine Design, from the Victoria & Albert Museum, the world’s leading museum of art and design

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4 Responses to “Maxim closes – but don’t mourn the gonners”

  1. / editorial design Says:

    […] Tony at Magforum succinctly makes the point that despite the closure of two of the UK market’s most prominent names, many men’s magazines continue to survive and others launch; while James Brown adds his angle on the market in the Observer. […]

  2. matt mcarthur Says:

    I spotted a copy of Fantastic Man in a newsagent recently and laughed out loud. It’s got to be the silliest name I’ve seen in a long time!

  3. The fall of the lads: Loaded and Clarkson | Magforum Says:

    […] feet for a long time, the latest in a line of lad’s mags to bite the dust. Yet, they helped expand the mainstream men’s magazine sector, which is now more vibrant than at any […]

  4. Magculture’s Jeremy Leslie on BBC Radio 4 | Magforum Says:

    […] state of the mainstream men’s sector is a classic example – with the likes of Loaded, FHM, Maxim, Nuts and Zoo going to the wall, […]

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