`Drill,' a new magazine, trying to capture men in uniform

Publishing

October 19, 2003|By THE HARTFORD COURANT

Testosterone-fueled young men spend millions on magazines each year. And what better place to find a concentration of them than at a military base?

Enter Drill. This latest in a long line of laddie magazines hit newsstands this week. This one has a twist - it's geared toward "men who serve."

"We're intended for one particular audience," says Lance Gould, Drill's 38-year-old editor. "Maxim and Stuff are trying to be all things to all men."

Gould describes Drill as Spy magazine (of which he is a former editor) meets National Lampoon meets Maxim. He neglects to mention TV's Fear Factor. Drill is certainly not for men with weak stomachs.

The cover of the first issue resembles its laddie magazine brethren by luring readers with a photo of Natasha Henstridge spilling out of a camouflage bikini top. Inside, the content includes a full-page photo of a Hindu man with an iron rod piercing his tongue (done as part of a religious ritual) and a picture of a vat of bull testicles to accompany an article about a Montana dining tradition. There are other raunchy bits better left without description for readers still eating breakfast.

Gould stresses that this is strictly an entertainment magazine. It's apolitical, and there will be no stories discussing such things as the reasons for going into Iraq.

The magazine includes a version of YM magazine's "Say Anything," a column that asks teen-age girls to divulge their most embarrassing moments. Drill's version asks, "What's the weirdest thing you've witnessed since enlisting in the armed forces?" The answers range from drunken antics to a story about one cadet who accidentally set himself on fire while cleaning the floor.

Drill's Gould and executive editor Isaac Guzman are lifelong magazine and newspaper editors with no military experience. To familiarize themselves with their new audience, they traveled the country visiting military bases, and got feedback from potential readers during Fleet Week in Manhattan.

"We're pro-troops," Gould says. "It's something fun for them. It's not propaganda from the federal government. It's like an edgy, hip USO newspaper."

More like an R-rated version.

The Hartford Courant is a Tribune Publishing newspaper.

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