Each week, one Slate staffer or critic offers up a favorite cultural pick for Procrastinate Better readers. This week’s endorsement is from Julia Turner, Slate ‘s deputy editor.
Pointing out that the Onion is funny is a bit like pointing out the sky is blue. It is perhaps the most-praised comedy brand in existence, and its brilliant headlines and videos constantly ricochet around the Web. But it’s worth seeking out what may be the most overlooked treasure on the Onion ‘s Web site: the archives of the Onion ‘s Sunday magazine .
What makes me love the 234 covers featured here isn’t just that they’re hilarious—though they certainly are ; it’s that they so fondly parody the magazine form. Parade , the Sunday Times Magazine , ESPN , the newsweeklies : Each of these comes in for loving scorn. And magazine nerds will recognize that the details—the headlines, the typefaces, the layouts—are cunning and astute. A cover mocking publications that set out to scare their readers—the headline is ” The World’s Most Terrifying Hook “—shows the hook arcing around the display text, a favored tactic of designers striving to make still-lifes look lively . There are covers that lampoon stock photography and covers that filet headline conventions: ” A Statement Followed by a Question Separated by a Colon: An Effective Journalistic Technique? ” There’s even a cover that nails Entertainment Weekly for its endless futile redesigns . As the future of magazines looks ever bleaker, it’s nice to know that someone’s still paying enough attention to make fun.