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Esquire vs. GQ

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by WaylonJennings, Feb 19, 2010.

  1. The thread on Jones' Roger Ebert story got me thinking: Which of these two fraternal twins is the better magazine? What's different about them? What's the same?

    I absolutely cannot wait every month for both of them to arrive. Obviously GQ does a little more with the style and fashion material. I also noticed a Klosterman piece in there this month on Stephen Malkmus - did they hire him away from Esquire? Esquire, along with Vanity Fair, seems to have the reputation for more long-form narrative material, but GQ has plenty of its own meaty features, like the one this month on the suicidal Marines. GQ has Jones and Chiarella and Junod and others. GQ, however, did roll out J.R. Moehringer this month to write on Kobe, no small feat.

  2. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    I read both every month. Esquire's been my favorite mag since I was 14 and I don't think I've missed any issues, but it came close to losing me in the 1990s when Granger took over. Jones once explained to me that I'm not supposed to like every writer in it; that's not how it's designed to be. Fair enough, I don't like all the writers in it. I also find the general tone self-indulgent at times.

    GQ did lose me for a few a years, luring me back a couple years ago with the big anniversary issue, which was really good for that sort of thing. The mag in general became more juvenile. Some months I enjoy it, some months I see almost nothing interesting. I find it physically hard to read--some of the type is way too small, almost as if the designers like what they see on the screen and never actually try to read it in print. They ought to take to heart Granger's editor's letter in the March Esquire about magazines being a tactile and sensory experience.

    That's a rarity, in my opinion--David Granger actually having something to say in his monthly blurb. Of course, he's a little late to that dance since Mr. Magazine's blog has been pushing that school of thought, like, every week for months and Granger seems to be giving the impression that he's on the vanguard here. Useless as I usually find his musings, though, he is at least more tolerable than his GQ counterpart, Jim Nelson, whose tone is generally bitchy and undignified. I happen to agree with him politically for the most part, but a lot of his shots are apropos of nothing.

    I have lots of interest in clothing and read the stuff in both mags for entertainment only. Most of the stuff being touted is poor value for the money, and I don't see this as ignorance but of willfully sucking off the advertisers. It's probably unfair, but the sellout there makes me wonder about the credibility of the rest of the mag—if editors are willing to bend ethically in one part of the mag, why should I believe they wouldn't do it on other topics, too?
  3. DisembodiedOwlHead

    DisembodiedOwlHead Active Member

    Used to subscribe to both, let them both lapse recently. Grew tired of the endless string of normative "this is the way a guy's guy lives!" articles. Self-indulgent seems an apt description.
  4. BTExpress

    BTExpress Well-Known Member

    I just had "Time" offer me 84 issues for $20.

    If I can get Esquire for 19 cents an issue, I'll give it a try.
  5. At its best, Esquire is my favorite of the two. But it tends to coast 2-3 issues a year. GQ is a bit more consistent.
  6. BTExpress

    BTExpress Well-Known Member

    It wouldn't be so tiring to me if it didn't take a $200,000 annual income to live the way a guy's guy is "supposed" to live.
  7. DisembodiedOwlHead

    DisembodiedOwlHead Active Member

  8. Ben_Hecht

    Ben_Hecht Active Member

    Esquire occasionally indulges in sheer preciousness.

    For QB, preciousness is a mandate.

    No contest.
  9. Herbert Anchovy

    Herbert Anchovy Active Member

    You need a woolly turtleneck sweater with scarf dashingly wrapped (not nearly tight enough) around the neck, smoking grandpa's pipe and sipping an unfeasably large glass of brandy while laughing at all those uncultured oiks unfortunate enough to be non-subscribers.
  10. Ben_Hecht

    Ben_Hecht Active Member

    Spot-on, Old Sport.
  11. FreddiePatek

    FreddiePatek Active Member

    I don't know about anyone else, but my Esquire is less than a dollar per issue. Worth it in my mind.
  12. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    I bought about five years worth of Esquire with Coke Rewards points several years ago. It just ran out.

    Esquire is the better of the two. GQ is good, but has too many ads and too much male fashion stuff.
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