Thursday, May 26, 2011

Illustrator Elwood Smith Amuses as Mixed-Messaging Parade Magazine Confuses.

Resistance to Elwood Smith illustration is futile for me. He’s been one of America’s leading commercial artists for years – I got to involve him on a strong Baker Hughes print campaign in the ‘90s. His work is so distinctive I couldn’t ignore his cover and text drawings for Parade’s May 22 issue; the magazine makes a usual appearance in our Sunday paper.

The title article was “Hungry? Eat Your Way Across America. The subtitle: “50 states, 50 fabulous food festivals.” Smith’s spot illustrations are wonderful. I began to read through the piece but realized...

Parade is highlighting this compilation of festival food so you can “have it all.” Festivals are indeed for eating; the magazine doesn’t hold back. Sample the world’s largest peach cobbler (75 pounds of butter) in Georgia. The giant strawberry shortcake feeding 15,000 in Oregon. The Fat Elvis peanut butter, banana and bacon biscuit in Tennessee.

The content is all about the numbers – 100 cheeses from 40 local creameries (Vermont), 200,000+ brats (Wisconsin), 100 tons of BBQ ribs (Nevada). It all sounds phenomenal. Don’t you want every plateful?!?

If you are “still hungry for more” the Parade website has plenty. The editors have salted these scrumpdillyicious descriptions with an occasional rarity for the health-conscious consumer:

Go ahead and indulge, then burn off the calories in the polka dance-off.

You press on, I’ll rest here with my buffalo wings (New York). I am amused, though. The magazine page count is 24. There are about 14 pages of ads. Of these, 3 are for fruit and meats; and 6-1/2 pages of ads for…drugs – 4 of those pages are for Zetia and Lipitor.

The Parade summer fun focus is great. But as the Lipitor slogan says, “Don’t Kid Yourself.” Happy Memorial Day.

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