After the quite-good Comedy Issue of Vanity Fair (guest edited by Judd Apatow) was released this week, I was a little surprised to learn that it was only the third single-subject guest-edited issue in the magazine's history. Bono's "Africa" Issue (which focused on just...all of Africa, I suppose) seemed more in keeping with the magazine's general approach of describing lavish fundraisers and celebrity chandeliers than excellent Freaks and Geeks retrospectives and Tig Notaro interviews.
Other 2012 features have included a lunch with Celine Dion, a visit to Lady Gaga's childhood home ("Everyone wants to know: What is Lady Gaga really like? The only journalist ever invited into her childhood home-her parents' Upper West Side apartment, where the 25-year-old cultural phenomenon sleeps on an air mattress and cooks pasta (in Chanel, no less)-Lisa Robinson gets the answer"), an interview with Brigitte Bardot, a retrospective on the ladies who lunched (lunch being the only solid meal that exists in the Vanity Fair universe; breakfast is omitted and dinner consists of looking at expensive old bottles of champagne while saying something withering) and an analysis of the exploding use of human growth hormone among Hollywood residents. Culturally relevant stuff. What else can we hope to see VF cover in future single-subject issues? Thrilled you asked.
Four consecutive Marilyn Monroe Issues get 2013 off to a strong start. "Do You Remember Marilyn Monroe? We Do. Look At Her. 8000 Never-Before-Seen Photographs of Marilyn Looking Coy But Also Sad Somehow," written by a cat wearing a form-fitting sweater. Edited by every woman in Los Angeles under 30.
The You Know, I Actually Happen To Be Quite Wealthy edition. Featuring "Photographs of Vases in Large, Empty Rooms." "Breathless Descriptions of Expensive Homes." "Looking at Salads with John Boehner." Guest edited by an uncomfortable, vaguely sexual remark made by an investment manager to a recent hire.
The summer will bring the Very Large Boats issue, guest edited by other magazines about boats. With a profile of a $1000 bill wearing a monocle. Also: Keira Knightley interviews the Edsel.
Next August: The Long White Necks of Ingenues. 400 pages dedicated exclusively to white actresses wearing silks in a meadow (photos by celebrated war correspondent Zoriah). Featuring an advice column where all of the answers are titles of Noël Coward songs. Guest edited by a fanciful male wig.
The Eyebrows issue, guest edited by a boisterous bottle of Scotch.
Italian Smells I Have Enjoyed From the Back of a Motorbike, by George Clooney. Edited by Matt Damon's hands resting casually in a pair of hand-woven trousers.
Remembering the Past, September edition. "Remember the Past? I Quite Liked It and Still Do," by Julian Fellowes. "Yes, I Too Remember the Past," Christopher Buckley. "Oh, Are You Guys Talking About the Past In There?" by Martin Amis. Guest edited by an emotionally reticent cravat that smells like Graydon Carter's father.