Illustrated covers? It must be Christmas

December 7, 2009 in General

Bloghorn noticed today that the bumper Christmas TV guides are in the shops and that, as usual, many of them have covers featuring illustrations rather than photographs. With the Radio Times, above, you even get two drawn optons.

It’s rare to see cartoons and illustrations on magazine covers in this celebrity-driven age. There are a few notable exceptions, magazines such as The Week and The Oldie, but you don’t generally see them on the cover of TV guides any more except at Christmas.

Clearly magazine editors believe the public still has a sentimental attachment to cartoons and illustrations, which is why they are brought out at this time of the year. Bearing in mind this attachment, Bloghorn believes it would be nice if editors did not just consider drawn covers for the festive season, why not let your readers see more great artwork between New Year’s Day and Christmas Day?

Editors take note: Cartoons and illustrations are for life
… not just for Christmas.

8 responses to Illustrated covers? It must be Christmas

  1. The RT used to be a haven for top illustrators and cartoonists. Sadly now awash with celeb photography.

  2. Agree with all the foregoing obviously. The celebrity issue[I WILL NOT write “celeb” because..oh, bugger] is one which may eventually reach a saturation point. I watched a bit of “I’m a D lister, Get Me A Boiled Rat etc etc.” the other evening, in the company of a couple of Young People. Don’t know who let them in, but anyway, even they couldn’t name all the sad fools featuring.
    Not unlike the fact that “International Best Seller” appears on every novel in the shops. According to whose estimation ?
    Editors’ lame reliance on the tedious doings of silly people who eat rats will wane in years to come when we’re ALL celebrities – a turgid panjandrum of overlapping 15 minutes worth of everybody’s fame. Then some maverick individualist in publishing will “discover” little colonies of starving artists. And middle aged Ant and Dec will be Senior Advisers at B&Q

  3. Sorry to burst a bubble of nostalgia, but…
    I was in that retro magazine and poster shop on Brewer Street the other day and happened to look through loads of old Radio Times’ from the Seventies and Eighties. For pure cringe-making reasons. The covers were all photos of Terry Wogan, Bruce Forsythe, and that programme, what was it called, Just Good Friends. I guess they were the “celebs” of their time.They never used illustrations on the cover.
    But they did use them inside. I know, because I drew a caricature of Sylvester McCoy as Doctor Who (when was that?) as one of my first ever ‘proper’ cartooning jobs.
    So, inside, yes they did have illustrations. Cover, afraid not.

  4. Christian, this is not nostalgia. It’s about looking to the past to learn lessons for the future.

    The shop you visited is hardly likely to have had a definitive collection of Radio Times from the past. The magazine certainly did have illustrated covers, as a simple web search reveals (try these links:

    Perhaps the reason you didn’t see any in a shop selling retro stuff (remember when they were called junk shops?) is that the ones with illustrated covers actually have some worth, so they have already been snapped up!

  5. Point taken Royston. The ones I saw were certainly not worth a penny…

  6. I certainly can’t imagine anyone buying a Radio Times with a “Just Good Friends” cover. That’s a show which proves there are certainly pitfalls in getting nostalgic about TV “comedy” programmes of old.

  7. How boring are the magazine covers which just have photos these days? Little magazines, little magazines and they all look just the same. Well done to the Radio Times for daring to be not so boring.

  8. There’s loads more Radio Times covers at the Radio Times website (where else?): – including this famous Christmas one, a personal favourite:

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