It’s always good to have friends in high places. In 1968, when my friend Milton Glaser started New York magazine with Clay Felker, I became one of its regular illustrators. This brash new weekly didn’t pay a lot, but it gave me something I coveted more—a chance to write and illustrate my own ideas. Appearing in New York changed my career, just as it did the careers of Tom Wolfe, Gloria Steinem, Jimmy Breslin, James McMullan, Nora Ephron, and the dozens of others who were given their big chance to strut their stuff.
In Mag Men: Fifty Years of Making Magazines, by Walter Bernard and Milton Glaser, we get the inside scoop on how New York magazine came into being, plus a dazzling show-and-tell of about 25 of the hundreds of periodicals that these two designed. Bernard was the art director at New York, while Glaser, who with Clay Felker created the magazine, was listed as design director. But Glaser not only decreed how the magazine would look, he had a voice in influencing its editorial direction as well. In the book, Glaser describes his differences with Felker this way: “Inevitably, we had different views of the city. I loved the Lower East Side—cheap food and left-wing politics. Clay, with his outsider curiosity, was obsessed with the city’s power establishment and the lives of the rich, the talented, and the perverse.”