Men's magazines: an A to Z

Men's magazines, lad's magazines, men's fashion and lifestyle, glamour magazines, girlie magazines, pin-up magazines and top-shelf magazines are profiled on these pages alphabetically. This pages covers Carnival to Cut via Club, Clubman and Cosmo Man. On other pages:
  1. 3D titles to Boys Toys
  2. Carnival to Cut (this page)
  3. Deluxe to Esquire
  4. Fable to Front
  5. The Gentleman's Magazine to The Humorist
  6. Ice to London Opinion
  7. Man to Maxim
  8. Mayfair to Monkey
  9. Nine to Playboy
  10. Razzle to Stuff
  11. T3 to Zoo Weekly

Carnival glamour magazine January 1956
The January 1956 Carnival cost 2/- for 56 pages. Shirley Ann Field featured in 5 pages

Carnival [closed]

Liverpolitan Ltd, Birkenhead, 1955-1958?; City 1965-1970?; Williams; monthly

Originally, Carnival was a pocket-sized pin-up magazine that featured some topless images.

A regular feature was a 'beauty parade contest' in which readers voted for the best photographs sent in. The prize was £50 (doesn't sound a lot now, but would have been a month's wages). Voting was done on a postage-paid postcard that was tipped-on the contents page. A similar idea was used for FHM's High Street Honeys 40 years later.
arnival beauty parade contest
Note the spot red on the 'beauty parade contest' winner
  Full colour at this time was rare because it was expensive, and also the skills and materials needed were in short supply (rationing only ended in 1954). For its first year, Carnival used spot red on the cover for its masthead, and to pick out the lips and bikinis of the models on its centre four pages. Photographer Russell Gay wrote a five-page feature in January 1956 issue posing the model. That year, colour covers became the norm.
Carnival annual 1956
A Carnival annual and Rhapsody in Colour with 100 pages, below
carnival rhapsody 1957
carnival parade December 1965
Carnival Parade in 1965

carnival 1967 october cover
October 1967 Carnival for 2/6.
Published by City
carnival 1974 april cover
April 1974 Carnival at 35p (7/-)
  Carnival also ran special issues, such as a 1956 annual (2/6) boasting '26 gorgeous girls in full colour', and in 1957 produced a spin-off, Rhapsody in Colour, which was an all-colour special for 5/-, more than twice the price of the monthly.

What happened to Carnival after 1959 is unclear. The title seems to disappear from the scene by 1960.

However, the name was back on the streets in 1966 from City Magazines.

City published Men Only and the weekly Parade in the 1960s. In 1965, Parade Carnival was published in a sub-A4 format. By December of the same year, Carnival Parade appeared. A standalone monthly Carnival was certainly published with a February 1966 cover date.

By 1974, City had folded and Carnival was published by Williams.

The Chap issue 10
Knitted cardigans and pipes are essential accoutrements in the faux nostagalic world of The Chap (issue 10)

The Chap

The Chap
is a 'satirical magazine for modern gentlemen' that harkens back to an era of pipes, slippers and knitted jumpers. Its readers gather, wearing tweeds, deer-stalkers and plus-fours, to protest against the vulgarities of modern life. If you want moustache news and somewhere to buy a monocle, this is the place. The editor of the quarterly is Gustav Temple; the artistic director is Vic Darkwood.

The format of this men's magazine is more akin to an A5 book and it is more likely to be found in the magazine section of a large bookshop than a newsagent.
The Chap website

Charm 1955
Charm (issue 4) with glamour, pin-ups and features
Charm 24
Charm (issue 24)

Charm [closed]

Modern Fiction (London) Ltd, 6 Morwell St, WC1. Ed: Al Hyde. Printed by EHT (Printers) London N7.
1956-? (at least 28 issues). Small format (4.75in x 7.25in)

Nude art studies of the month: The magazine for students and photographers. Also published film studio shots.

Issue 4 here from 1956 ran pin-ups of Gina Lollobrigida, Felicia Farr (later married to US actor Jack Lemmon), Ludmilla Tcherina and Jane Russell. 34pp.

CKM men's magazine from 1988
CKM: the name of was inspired by a machine gun (and it sounds a bit like FHM)

CKM (Poland)

Verlagsgruppe Jurg Marquard, August/September 1998
Munich-based German group Verlagsgruppe Jurg Marquard launched CKM in Poland. The name comes, just like Maxim, from a type of machine gun, suiting the macho, lads magazine image. VJM runs franchises such as Cosmopolitan and Playboy in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Poland and Hungary also.

club first issue jane birkin
Club: Jane Birkin on the first issue cover (March 1971)
Club mens magazine
Club: Raquel Welch on the March 1971 cover. She was also to feature on the July cover that year
club oct 1971 Vivien Neves
Vivien Neves on the August 1971 Club
club oct 1971 bardot
Brigitte Bardot on the October 1971 Club
Club last issue
Club: last issue February 1972

Club [closed]

IPC, monthly. June 1970-February 1972
IPC tried to crack the men's market with Club – 'for today's man' and contents page pullers such as: 'If you don't swing – don't come in' and 'Come inside for a look at tomorrow today.' The contents page alternated between the title 'between the sheets' and 'key to the club'.

Club featured topless photo shoots on its colour centre-spreads and often used actresses and models on its covers. Terry Hornet was editor and production was headed by Bridget Rowe – possibly the same woman who went on to edit Women's World (also under Hornett at Carlton) and later the Sunday Mirror and the People. Christopher Ward wrote a column.

Issues were typically divided into four sections:
  • Club reports: news and features.
  • Sporting Club.
  • Club Collection: features.
  • Pleasure Club: reviews, fashion.
Interposed among the sections were two or three topless photo shoots.

Club lasted just 21 issues. An editorial on the back page of the last issue ('Thank you and good night') claimed that about half a million men read Club each month, but only 80,000 bought it – too few to sustain the magazine. IPC's failure was seen as having wider repercussions: 'The shame is that Club's closing will probably make any other publisher wary of putting out a similar product for young men.' As can be seen in the Men's Magazine History, that statement was prophetic.

Cover models included Jane Birkin (actress in 1966 film Blowup and singer of 'Je t'aime' with husband Serge Gainsbourg); Marsha Hunt (singer in Hair who posed nude for Patrick Lichfield on a Vogue January 1969 cover shot); Raquel Welch (twice); Vivien Neves (in 1971, the first nude model to appear in The Times, who contracted MS aged just 54); and Brigitte Bardot – with the cover line 'The sexual appeal of the older woman'. Bardot was also used as the cover model for the re-issue of Esquire in the UK in 1991.

The January 1971 issue (which has a 1970 copyright because it was on the shelves in December 1970) featured a 6-page article with Michael Caine's byline. In it he described how he had done the research for Get Carter (though the film is just called Carter in the article). It was based on interviews with the man on whom he had based his character. 'I mean, between you and mean,' says 'Jack Carter', 'I could have done porridge for GBH more than once. But it's not like Al Capone when they were running around with tommy-guns. Nothing like. Our firm is British ... It gets a gets a bit rough sometimes. But then life gets rough sometimes, don't it.' Sounds more like Bob Hoskins' Harold in the Long Good Friday. It was the only issue with a topless woman on the cover. Club International lives on as a top-shelf title (Paul Raymond).

IPC profile

club front covers
All 21 covers of Club magazine, from June 1970, top left, to February 1972, bottom right. The image was scanned from the last issue of the magazine. The 'New For today's man' flash in the top right corner only dropped the New at issue 9

Clubman March 1955
Clubman: March 1955 (issue 51) included four 3D images of circus acts

Clubman [closed]

Princedale Press, Pelican Passage, 128 Cambridge Heath Road, London E1. 1950?-1955?
Short stories, cartoons and photographs in sub-A4 format.

Clubroom 1953 no 38
Clubroom: issue 38 (1953) included 3D images and glasses

Clubroom [closed]

Bayard Production Ltd produced this sub-A4 format title. 1950s

Code magazine 2001
Code with Liv Tyler on the cover 'for men of substance'

Code [closed]

Monthly; Surcutus, Cornwall. November 2001-?
The first issue of this magazine 'For men of substance' cost £3 for 132 pages under editor Nigel Pengally. Liv Tyler was interviewed and on the cover, with other interviewees Jane Fonda and Jason Flemyng, whose Snatch follow-up Rock Star had just come out. The web address was

Company for Men 1989
Company for Men December 1979 issue with 44 pages

Company for Men [closed]

National Magazine Co, London. 1979-80? Printed by Mondadori, Verona, Italy

Free A4-ish, stapled supplement with women's monthly magazine Company. The December 1989 issue shown here ran to 44 pages. The centre spread photo shoot – 'Blondie the raunchy rocker' – was of Debbie Harry

Company profile

Cosmo Man 1985
Cosmo Man: banded supplement with women's glossy Cosmopolitan. 1985 cover shows Mel Gibson and Tina Turner in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome

Cosmo Man band-on [closed]

National Magazine Company, 1984-89 (approx)
The idea of Cosmopolitan Manwas revived by NatMags as Cosmo Man and published as a section inside Cosmopolitan and as a banded supplement produced by Paul Kerton and Paul Keers (who had both won Cosmopolitan's young journalist writing competitions). Cosmo Man was also published in various other countries as a male supplement to Cosmopolitan.

National Magazines profile

Cosmopolitan Man men's magazine from 1988
Cosmopolitan Man: the one and only standalone issue

Cosmopolitan Man [closed]

National Magazine Company, April 1978 (one issue)
Cosmopolitan publisher the National Magazine Company noted that many men read their partner's magazine and in April 1978 tried a one-off edition of Cosmopolitan Man. A spark for the launch was Paul Kerton winning Cosmopolitan's Young Journalist's Writing Competition and his suggestion to editor Deidre McSharry that they launch a version for men. 'Next minute I was in London working on it,' said Kerton. He added: 'The first standalone copy with Jack Nicholson on the cover had 60 pages of ads in it, and was deemed a success but management thought it was way ahead of its time. Also, Natmags were working on Company magazine at the time, which was originally slated to be a modern "couples mag", ie for men and women, which was to break the mould, but they chickened out at the last minute and made it a younger sister to Cosmopolitan.' Kerton then crossed over to Company along with Linda Kelsey and Maggie Goodman (the editor).

This cover shows French actress Aurore Clément and Jack Nicholson and cost 50p. There were no more issues. However, Cosmo Man was later published as a section inside Cosmopolitan and then as a banded supplement (at least until 1989).
National Magazines profile

Cream men's magazine from 1988
Cream, a men's magazine from John Brown as a Bizarre special

Cream [closed]

John Brown, December 1988-?
The publisher of Bizarre came up with this special 'for men with bottle'.
John Brown profile

Cut men's magazine from 1988
Cut: Bauer's attempt at a weekly men's magazine lasted just three months

Cut [closed]

H Bauer, 12 August 2004-11 November 2005 (on sale Thursday)
The German publisher behind popular women's weeklies Take a Break and Bella tried to break into a different market with Cut. Reports put its investment at £8 million. Simon Geller, former editor of Men's Health, headed the title. TV advertising backed the launch, which the company must have seen as a mass-market title, into the booming men's weekly sector being created by IPC and Emap. The first issue was priced at just 50p, rising to £1. It took a different approach from IPC and Emap on the day that official circulation figures showed Nuts and Zoo averaged half-a-million sales a week in their first six months.

The new title took 'the best' from newspapers and magazines (including Emap's Zoo!). This strategy had been used for several years by Dennis with The Week and the Guardian with its Editor supplement. The first issue culled from 54 papers and 185 mags for a mix of news, humour, gadgets, quizzes, sport, cars and, of course, women, although the flesh count was refreshingly low.

However, in October, Marketing Week reported that Bauer had stopped taking any advertising for Cut (14 October 2004, p15), and was rumoured to be gearing up for a relaunch. By November, Press Gazette saw 25 editorial jobs under threat as Bauer said it was reviewing the future of the title (11 November).

The issue published on 11 November was the last. Print Week said sales had fallen to just 10,000 after an initial print run, believed to have been about 700,000 copies, at Quebecor World in Corby (25 November, p9). 'It has been criticised for the poor quality of paper on which it was printed and the editorial content, which aimed to tone down the "booze and birds" focus of its rivals,' said Print Week.

The Brand Republic website ('Cut fails to make it as Bauer pulls plug on men's weekly,' 10 December) said Bauer blamed a 'highly competitive and promotionally led market'. David Goodchild, managing director of Bauer, was quoted as saying: 'Cut was an exploration of new territory for the company. The intent was to provide men with an alternative weekly read to the lad's weeklies.' Brand Republic said unofficial industry figures put sales of the first full-price issue at just 30,000.

Geller went on edit Sky, the free magazine for the 7 million subscribers to the satellite TV channel, at customer publisher John Brown Citrus.

H Bauer profile