"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 3 November 1997. Updated every WEEKDAY.
Devil in the Details


Naked men and Details go together like strip scents and The New Yorker, which is to say: We're not surprised when it happens, but it does make us want to get the thing off our desk a little quicker. The image of stunt 'blader Scott Osborne which lead off a recent advertorial spread in the erstwhile hipster lifestyle guide is perhaps the clearest evidence to date that Details' "up from downtown" editorial re-spin has yet to reach the mag's ad department - which seems to still be selling clients on its same old schizoid adman/mallrat/clubkid image. (Then again, what's really changed, besides dumping the unctuous, 18-going-on-geriatric Anka in favor of the grrlish Sarah Miller?) The plotless 12-page graphic story seemed a pastiche of slacker cultural references: obsessive video-store clerks, Star Trek, credit-card abuse, email courtship, cappuccino, and leftover sushi. Wouldn't the young executive on the rise be more accurately targeted with tales of expense-account padding, Gold Club tipping, and leftover cigar butts?


But the weirdest aspect was the near-dozen products drawn into the strip, along with leaden-prosed bubble tags, e.g., "Comfortable and versatile, WOOL looks cool in any season. Low maintenance, high mileage. Hang it up and it's ready when you are." Advertising Age called the 24-page section "groundbreaking" and "edgy." How did this atrocity happen? SCAT tapped into CIA satellites for footage of the day that spawned the commercial comix genre.



Next ... Behind the scenes at Details!


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