Logo from the cover of Gear
|Editor||Bob Guccione, Jr.|
|Publisher||Bob Guccione, Jr.|
|Country||United States, others|
Gear was an American lad's mag published by Bob Guccione, Jr. devoted chiefly to revealing pictorials of popular singers, B-movie actresses, and models, along with articles on gadgets, cars, fashion, guy tales of sex, and sports.
Gear debuted in September 1998, with actress Peta Wilson on the cover. The magazine established itself with several publishing stunts such as publishing a nude photo of women's football celebrity Brandi Chastain.
When Gear featured a nude pictorial of actress Jessica Biel in the March 2000 issue, who posed while appearing on the family drama 7th Heaven and was then 17 years old, actor Stephen Collins, who played her father on the show, described the pictures as "child pornography". The mature Biel cited it as one of her biggest regrets. Esquire magazine described the photo shoot as "quasi-infamous".
Guccione described his vision for the magazine as being a successor to the likes of Esquire and GQ and to produce a literate magazine that includes quality journalism alongside articles on celebrities and fashion. Advertisers viewed the magazine as being more like Maxim, Stuff, or FHM, forcing it into the category of lads mags. Efforts were made to change the magazine's perceived image with instead of scantily clad female celebrities to present different cover images, including notable actors such as Elijah Wood and Christian Slater.
Gear closed its doors in 2003 with the intention of relaunching at a later date, hoping to break out of the lads mag category as Details had done. The magazine was described as similar to Spin also founded by Bob Guccione, Jr., and was praised for attempts to achieve the same kind of serious journalism. Ann Gerhart of The Washington Post described the magazine derisively as "the frat boy's Esquire".
- Jeff Bercovici (2003-04-08). "Bob G. Jr. on what did in Gear". Media Life magazine. Archived from the original on 2003-04-09. Retrieved 2010-06-10.
"We're producing a magazine that's perhaps the most literate of them all, including GQ and Esquire," he claims.
- Mary Elizabeth Williams (August 27, 1998). "Gear and loathing". Salon Media Circus. Archived from the original on 1999-08-28. Retrieved 2010-06-10.
Gear does, to its credit, take stabs at the kind of serious journalism that gave the old Spin its justified reputation for writing.
- Denise Kiernan (Jul 6, 1999). "Brandi Has a Ball. Chastain Boots the U.S. Team's Goody-Goody Image".
- William Saletan (July 15, 1999). "Cups, Bras, and Athletic Supporters". Slate. Microsoft. Archived from the original on 2003-07-15.
Newsweek says Chastain had posed for "a lowbrow men's magazine"; the Post's Ann Gerhart calls it "the frat boy's Esquire."
- Randy Starkman (December 19, 1999). Skating "Top women athletes take clothes off to get more exposure for their sports". Toronto Star Sports.
Chastain, who also posed naked but well-concealed by a soccer ball for Gear magazine, drew far more attention for removing her shirt than for scoring the goal.
- "Jessica Biel’s Naked Photos: Her Worst Regret". Egotastic!. November 3, 2008.
- A.J. Jacobs (October 31, 2005). "Jessica Biel Is the Sexiest Woman Alive". Esquire (Hearst Communications) 144 (5).
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