Tuesday, May 12, 2009

esquire october 1962

this alluring cover was the first of 92 covers George Lois designed for the Esquire (you might remember Lois's exhibition at the MoMA last year). the cover features floyd patterson lying flat on his back with the headline: "last man in the ring: sonny liston and floyd patterson talk about being tough and scared". unfortunately, the accompanying article is nowhere to be found online, but you can buy yourself an original copy of the issue for a mere $10 on bay. have it framed, and you've got yourself a nice piece of recession-friendly wall art for the bachelor pad. quite the collector's item.

side-story: the issue came out two weeks before the liston/patterson fight, but editor Arnold Gingrich was quick to vindicate himself from any controversy the cover might cause, proclaiming in his editor's note: "We don't agree with its cover." i think lois knew what he was doing--the cover is appropriately ambiguous. do you think Lois is insinuating one of the two men will be the last man standing? it seems to me that Gingrich's statement was more of an attempt to redeem himself from any hard feelings the fighters may have developed toward him in response to the cover. understandable: you definitely wouldn't want one of those two coming after you.

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