Bird spotting

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Last week I was changing planes in Munich, writes Andrew Losowsky, and spotted this cover of Business Punk, a relatively edgy business/lifestyle magazine – check that headline – made by the same company as Beef!


Flipping the bird (as they put it in the USA) is still a newsstand cover taboo in the USA, but Business Punk isn’t the first German cover to feature a one-fingered salute. Last year, the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper’s weekend magazine featured Angela Merkel’s main challenger for President raising his middle finger nine days before the election (the story behind it is here).


Back in 2010, the news magazine Focus responded to the Greek debt crisis with a statuesque finger of its own, which led to a lawsuit from unhappy Greeks.


While over in Italy, Rolling Stone in 2011 printed a cover that seems more rock’n’roll than its American parent would dare run.


I’ve never seen a middle finger on a British magazine, though this classic Pearce Marchbank Winston Churchill cover from 1974 is probably the UK equivalent.


Mind you, having said that it’s a distasteful no-no for the USA, Mad typically chose to test that theory in the same year as the Churchill cover, with this Norman Mingo illustration. According to Comics Alliance, stores refused to sell it. Mad ended up with a huge pile of unsold copies – and a place in American magazine folklore.

Any other birds we should add to our collection?

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    1. Since Baz Luhrmann’s cinematic work has always thrived on anachronisms, this “cover of Vogue” line of dialogue is hardly worth a mention. Suffice to say that Anna Wintour and Grace Coddington adore Carey Mulligan, and her Daisy cover was a forgone conclusion. (Wintour, in her cover letter, even talks about how this Vogue cover was held up last year along with the movie’s original release date.)

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