Who is Bobby Egan? He's a Hackensack restaurateur with a bizarre connection to the North Korean government. He's also, apparently, a fascinating subject to the people of 4 Times Square, with two different Conde Nast publications putting out extremely similar features about him in the same week.

Both the New Yorker and Vanity Fair have extensive profiles of the man; Vanity Fair's is online only, and seems to have gone live a day or two in advance of the New Yorker piece's publication date.

Why so much ink on what is, as near as we can tell, a story of middling-to-little interest? And why the close proximity of publication? Is it some kind of intramural scrap or the world's most boring coincidence? Who knows?

If you're desperate to read one or the other, go with Rebecca Mead's elephantine New Yorker piece: It has the not inconsiderable advantage of being a good 4000 words shorter than VF's mastodonian profile.

Our Man in Pyongyang [NYer]
The Axis of Hackensack: Meet Kim Jong-il's Best Friend in Jersey [VF]
[Image: Martin Schoeller, New Yorker]