Denny’s Daily Zinger: Two Magazine Covers – Oxymorons

The worst-selling cover in 'Esquire's' history.

The cover of the 'Yoga Journal' that caught Denny's eye.

An old newsstand magazine salesman once said to me, “You wanna sell magazines? Have a cover you wanna kiss.”
Cover 1
In 1976, I was in a circulation meeting in the office of Esquire’s legendary, beloved publisher Clay Felker.

Suddenly, renowned designer Milton Glaser, co-proprietor of Push Pin Studio, stormed into the meeting unannounced along with a retinue of flunkies. Slamming a design down on Felker’s desk, Glaser snarled, “Here’s your July 18th cover!”

Whereupon the group marched out.

[See Illustration No. 1 in the media player at right.]

Everybody in the meeting gasped.

It was emphatically not something you would want to kiss. It was the worst selling cover in Esquire’s history.

Cover 2
Two years ago I took up yoga. Our wonderful teacher Sheila comes to the house one day a week to push, pull, twist and prod me into uncomfortable poses.

I think I feel better.

While waiting in the Whole Foods checkout line, I found myself staring at the March 2014 cover of Yoga Journal.

I burst out laughing and bought the magazine.

Peggy, my wife, also does yoga with Sheila.

When I showed Peggy the magazine, she cracked up.

[See Illustration No. 2 in the media player at right.]

The promotional copy on the cover:

  • STRONG TONED & BALANCED: 6 Dynamic Moves

From two geezers’ point of view—Peggy in her 60s, me in my 70s—this cover is a delicious oxymoron.

You gotta laff.

Denny Hatch is a copywriter, designer and direct marketing consultant. You are invited to click on the title below and read the first three chapters of Denny’s new book: “Write Everything Right!” No cost. No risk. No obligation.

Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His latest book is “Write Everything Right!” Visit him at

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  • Margaret

    Can’t see the covers. Don’t have a flash player and don’t want to download it. Can’t Denny use pdfs or mp4 or something? Why flash? Very sad as this is the second post of his that I cannot really appreciate since I cannot see the images.