For New Magazine, An Edgy Beginning

News Feature

The premiere, provocative issue of Inside Edge hit newsstands across America this week, and the early returns are in.

Students interviewed yesterday expressed less than positive opinions about the magazine, some criticizing it for being offensive to women, others saying it is simply juvenile.

The first issue, for example, answers these questions for men age 15 to 22: How can a man tell when a woman "wants it?" What party tune will make "the girl who never lets you see her sweat be ridden hard and put away wet?" What convertible best "mirrors your confidence and complements your style?"

Inside Edge's editorial philosophy, according to a column at the beginning of the magazine, is that staff members "firmly believe that there's more to life than money, beer, and sex. We just don't know what it is."

Some students said the Harvard Lampoon's parody of Inside Edge, distributed on campus Monday, was actually better than the real thing.


Nonetheless, the magazine has partial backing from Time-Warner Inc., which agreed to distribute the magazine worldwide, sending copies to newsstands nationwide and in eight foreign countries.

Created by Aaron M. Shapiro '94 and Jonathan K. Hsu '94, the premier issue of Inside Edge marks the culmination of 18 months of organizing, brainstorming, marketing, writing and editing.

The magazine has an editorial staff of 30 composed of students from Harvard, Boston College and Boston University, according to Hsu. The staff is also supplemented by 300 nation-wide correspondents, Hsu said.

Hsu said he came up with the idea for Inside Edge after noting "a void that had been neglected in the pub- lishing world." Hsu and Shapiro's goal was to create a publication by and for young men, a novelty in magazine production.

Hsu said the magazine has done superbly so far around the Square, selling out at Christy's and "flying off the racks" at Out-of-Town News. Inside Edge has received about 100 subscription requests, according to Hsu.

The media has also latched onto the magazine. The Boston Globe published a feature about Inside Edge, Time magazine interviewed students on campus this week for an article of its own and local television stations have given Inside Edge air time this week.

Not all the media coverage has been glowing, however. Boston Globe columnist Michael Blowen was unimpressed with the magazine, writing in yesterday's paper that Inside Edge "brings new meaning to 'sophomoric'...I mean no 'soph' and very 'moric.'"

Staffers celebrated the magazine's publication at a party on Monday night at the Avalon club in Boston. Top officers from Time-Warner, representatives of WBZ-TV, and several Boston bands attended the event.

Hsu said the party was marred by the "childish" behavior of several members of the Lampoon, who distributed the parody there.

Hsu said although he was flattered that the Lampoon took the time to write the parody, he was was displeased with the Poonsters' behavior at the party.

"They acted very childish. We respect their work very much and it was dismaying to see that fellow students could be so rude," Hsu said.