EDITOR’S NOTE: Welcome to the new, improved and re-named version of Cover Wars — check it out, it’s not just for art directors anymore! Recently it was pointed out to us that there is more to an alt weekly than a pretty cover. And we’re like, ‘yeah, there’s that American Apparel ad on the back, too!’ And they’re like, ‘No Assleak, there’s actually articles and shit inside!’ And we’re like, ‘My god, you’re right!’ Sensing that this recurring feature deserves more than just the Warholian 15 minutes of aesthetic sassiness and art history jokes we’d previously allotted it — and might actually turn into work — we decided put our best media maven on the beat.
BY AMY Z. QUINN It’s that in-between time in WeeklyTown: People are starting to cut out on vacation, others are planning their exits (ahem), and everyone’s getting the heavy lifting stories out of the way before summer really sets in and it’s too damn hot to be picking up heavy things.
PW: The cover — the silhouetted graduate who is at once present and absent — telegraphs the tale the way a good cover should: That some will make it through West Philly High and others won’t. Fortunately, Kate Kilpatrick‘s story lets the students fill in details. “Stories run deep inside his stocky frame, but he shares them cautiously,” she writes of the class valedictorian, who traded the violent chaos of Sierra Leone for the violent chaos of Philadelphia’s public schools.
CP: Has a glorious cover shot of Rittenhouse Square’s shade garden and this week’s cleverest header, but the story itself, a scene-setter on the whole “You Gotta Fight For Your Right To Buuuuuuussssssk!” issue, seems about as weighty as the case being made by those who would see the park’s musicians silenced. Which is to say, not so much.
PW: For the record, I know exactly what Craig LaBan looks like — somewhere in my home office is a box of photos from back when we worked together in, like, ’95, and he’s in a few of them. The bidding starts at $10,000. A graphic novel gives a semi-fictionalized version of the Jason Sweeney-Justina Morely sex-and-murder tale, with Fishtown itself as a main character. Definitely better than it being an episode of CSI.
CP: Doron Taussig spells out how political correctness (and those pesky Catholics) are making it more difficult for kids in foster care to have some measure of control over their own lives. Why wasn’t this on the cover? Oh right, the Rittenhouse Square photo. I’m usually on the fence about Duane Swierczynski‘s weekly navel-gazes, but this one smelled like barbeque — and who can resist that? Save me a weenie.