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July-August 2013 issue – first thoughts

Can’t believe it but just received the digital edition of the Jul/Aug double issue and here are my first thoughts;-

The cover – Another excellent cover. I’m sure I’ve seen a similar one on an international edition and just love it. Whoever started designing the covers since October 2012 deserves a pay rise.

Interview – I absolutely detest this man and will have to muscle up some strength to read this. Hopefully I don’t get so angry that I throw up.

Pictorial- there’s 3 pictorials this issue. A very brief 6 page one of another Brazilian model, an 8 page one of a French model/actress and a 4 page tribute to Playboy covers. You’ll not be surprised that all the covers featured are similar to the ones that are being published lately.

Playmates – two brunettes this issue.

Miss July is Alyssa Arce. I thought she was a latina but she is fair skinned and blue eyed and all natural. Not sure what it is but I just cannot see her being PMOY.

and Miss August is Val Kiel – another brunette and a very interesting themed pictorial. Again, I can’t see Val being PMOY either.

Overall – a very good issue and I’m very glad that OFM is still heading in the right direction.


She’s appeared in foreign editions and now the US edition gets to see former Miss World and Chris De Burgh’s daughter – Rosanna Davison – in the nude.

I’m pretty confident she will be on the cover of the September issue.

Interview is with ‘self help guru’ Tony Robbins. This should be another interesting interview.

And Miss September is……. once again …. no mention.

I am guessing Briony Flores will be Miss October – OR will we get three brunettes in a row?

I agree, it’s a very good issue, love the cover and in my opinion both Alyssa and Val are very beautiful additions to the playmate family.

I was very excited to get the email saying I could now read the new issue. I wasn’t expecting it to go digital until next Tuesday. Both Playmates have many bonus photos. No video this time though.

Alyssa’s dad is Honduran. Maybe her mom is Caucasian. I could see her as Playmate Of The Year. She is gorgeous and has a killer body. I’m looking forward to her Playmates! episode to see her personality and that killer body in motion.

Val is half German and half Hispanic.

I think this is the best issue all year as far as pictorials are concerned. The two non-Playmate pictorials feature nice photography and hot models. And the two PMOMs are shot incredibly well. Sasha Eisenman is improving each time. In the June issue, the backgrounds were blown-out. This time, they are clearly visible. And I can always count on Josh Ryan for the sexiest photos. The last page in Val’s layout is quite an epic ass shot. Josh is now credited as the 4th senior contributing photographer to the magazine.

One goof with the layouts is they give links to inactive social media profiles.
To follow Alyssa, go to http://twitter.com/AlyArce – http://instagram.com/alyarce
To follow Val, go to http://twitter.com/val_keil – http://instagram.com/valkeil

what are the odds that the Rosanna Davison pics will be the same from the foreign edition ? seems the only new pics in the mag now are the playmates *sigh*

I totally disagree with your assessment of Alyssa and Val as pmoy worthy; especially with regards to Alyssa. Alyssa is by far my favourite of the last couple of years with only the “natural” Jaclyn Swedberg rivaling her. The only playmates this year that would rival Alyssa and Val would have to be Audrey Allen. Having said that, this year keeps getting better and better… Are there any tattoos this year? Nothing overt – if at all. 6 out of 8 naturally endowed playmates. Call me a happy camper! Kudos to the playmate selector!!!!

I know she was in Los Angeles and at the Mansion not too long ago. Hopefully she shot new photos.

Now Miss July’s social media matches the links provided in the magazine

Having “Miss” in there must be something that Playboy wants the girls to do. Carly Lauren recently changed her instagram to http://instagram.com/misscarlylauren and guess what, she’s a Playmate. Josh Ryan first shot her for PB+ and recently shot her CF.

Tonight on Plus, Alyssa’s Behind the Scenes video was posted and she sure has a PMOY personality. Alyssa is instantly likeable and she provides much fan service (boob jiggling). My favorite Playmate this year.

That is interesting that they are getting so controlling on what to name their social media.

And now Val has updated her social media

I would guess this is probably something learned from that “Playmate Summit” — it’s part of branding, which includes the social media presence.

Do we know for certain this is a management decision, or could it possibly be that the women, having achieved one of their premier goals in life, do it to be like the other women in this very exclusive sorority?

This might be a bit dated now, but there is an interview with Playboy’s social media team from 2011 here:


Here, you can see how they maintain and extend their brands on social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc.).

Since they work with Playmates for the #FriskyFriday pictures, I wouldn’t be surprised if someone advised the Playmates to pick up specific Twitter handles in order to bring about brand consistency.

It doesn’t seem to be controlling, but trying to preserve the “Miss” branding to the degree possible. The Playmates and “Miss July” (or any other month) is a significant part of the company’s brand, and they logically would want to have consistent branding whenever possible. That’s tougher in the social media age, where a PR person can’t control everyone’s moves.

A few years ago, I read a book on the history of the CBS network. At one point when the eye was adopted as it’s logo, there were manuals sent out to employees stating at which point on a sheet of letterhead a letter should start, what kind of artwork was allowed, and how far off the ground. Adding “Miss” is minor compared to that.

I agree. Her boobs are amazing and she knows how to delightfully have them bouncing and jiggling 🙂

Finished reading the issue on Monday, so here are my extended thoughts of the July/August issue.

1) The cover — you may have noticed that Cooper Hefner tweeted that they’re bring the “cool covers” back (https://twitter.com/cooperhefner/status/350427374191517696) and he’s absolutely correct. May they keep it up!

2) World of Playboy/Hangin’ with Hef — Great shots of PMOY Raquel Pomplun’s special projects, Cooper’s appearance on Dr. Drew’s radio show, and of course the luncheon with all the vintage and new Playmates.

3) Dear Playboy — love the reader-submitted photo of his office filled with framed covers of vintage Playboy covers.

4) After Hours — MIMP photographer Michael Edwards’ shoot of Valerie Azlynn is delightful as per usual. Enjoyed reading about the bizarre ways to masculinize grocery shopping (“broghurt”… what??), ways to keep your social media presence going after you die (what’s the point?), and such. I agree with the Raw Data finding that Jennifer Lawrence would be the most-waned celebrity sex tape (between Jennifer Aniston and Anne Hathaway, at least).

5) Francofile / Men / Women

Another avant garde conversation with German filmmaker Wim Wenders, Joel Stein seems a tad too insecure about men with no shirts, and Deborah Schoeneman nicely articulates the thorny territory of appropriate/inappropriate gifts a man can give a woman.

6) Playboy Forum

Fantastic essay from Ishmael Reed on the limitations of the LGBT movement (noting the particular problems with discriminating against the T and more or less ignoring gays of color). And it’s all too sad how scientists are viewed with contempt in some circles as Taffy Brodesser-Akner relates.

7) Playboy Interview: Sean Hannity

A most enjoyable interview with Hannity. But man, what an ignorant, ignorant man. He actually tried to argue that Obama said he grew up in Kenya and said that was talked about in his book. Then he stopped and realized that it was really Indonesia. The fact that he can’t tell the difference between the two countries says so much about this bigot.

8) Deported Warriors

Luis Alberto Urrea is one of my favorite writers and he wonderfully talked about how foreigners in the US army get deported if they commit a crime (no matter what) but only become US citizens when they die. Fucked up!

9) Olivia pin-up

I never get tired of seeing an Olivia pin-up of Bettie Page!

10) Best Bars

These features in magazines are interesting to read, but since I don’t live in the US, I mostly just skim them unless it’s a city I get to visit with some amount of frequency.

11) Chasing the Dragon

Loved the behind the scenes look at the making of Bruce Lee’s “Enter the Dragon.” Kind of surprised that Stephen Rebello didn’t write this. Anyways, it was wonderful to learn something about a great movie.

12) Secretary of Stagecraft

An interesting portrait of the new Secretary of State (John Kerry) and the mess of the world that he has to navigate (Middle East, Latin America, etc.). Great insights.

13) Karen Kounrouzan pictorial

Ah, I LOVE Brazilians and this pictorial is proof. Karen possesses a wonderful ass (it comes off better on Zinio than it does in print).

14) Still Life

Interesting glimpse at the artisanal moonshine scene. This was of more or less passing interest to me.

15) T.C. Boyle fiction

I tend to enjoy Boyle and this one was decent. I preferred his last story for Playboy to this one.

16) Armie Hammer 20Q

An enjoyable read, but he stars in a movie (Lone Ranger) that I have very little interest in reading.

17) Miss July Alyssa Arce

Alyssa is wonderful. Love her wonderful natural breasts, which my wife highly approved of. The racing theme was kinda neat. I agree that she is good PMOY material.

18) Marilyn Monroe cartoon + Femlin

Perhaps a bit surprising to see a 2nd non-Olivia pin-up style portrait in the same issue. We have an artist (Moebius is the sig) doing a version of Marilyn Monroe. I ain’t complaining!

The ’60s style Femlin makes me wonder if they’re now starting to recycle Femlins since LeRoy Neiman is no longer with us. I guess he’ll become the Charles Schulz of Playboy (Peanuts is still run in the funny pages).

19) Brester’s Ark

I greatly enjoyed this profile of Internet Archive founder Brewster Kahle’s mission to preserve one copy of every book. I interned at the Smithsonian Institution (Library department) in 2009 and our division worked lots with the Internet Archive, so I was amused to see my SI friends on Facebook post about the Playboy issue. It caused quite a fuss among them. One librarian friend bought her first Playboy because of it. 🙂

Anyways, the article was great to read.

20) The Dice Man Cometh

I was too young to know much about Andrew Dice Clay when he was big, but I know his reputation was that he was a real dirtbag as a comedian. Now he’s making something of a “comeback.” It was interesting to read about his rise and fall. May want to check out his material to get a better idea about him.

21) Miss August Val Keil

A great companion Playmate. I’m honestly unsure which one I like better since they’re wonderful in their own way. The setting with the old time movie projecting on her body in black and white was a great touch!

22) Let’s Get Small

Kind of an odd but interesting look at fancy living in spaces that look like shipping containers. Huh.

23) Dedini cartoons

I like Dedini’s style so it’s nice to see him back

24) Fast Eddie’s Last Stand

Hawaiian Eddie Rothman’s fight against Monsanto. Loved reading this because I also hate Monsanto and their GMO crops.

25) Classic Playboy covers

Great trip down memory lane of their best covers. It’s good timing that today’s covers actually can compare with the old ones!

26) La Beaute pictorial

A pleasant pictorial of a largely anonymous (to me) French model. The shot of her backside on the 7th page is amazing.

27) Playmate News

Interesting news about Anna Sophia Berglund’s streaming only movie “Unlucky Charms” with Nikki Leigh. Can’t get a theatrical release?

28) Next Month

Look forward to the Rosanna Davison pictorial, Junot Diaz, Bill Hader, and others.

This drawing is based on a famous image of Marilyn by photographer
Douglas Kirkland, photographed in late 1961 and published in Look
magazine in January 1962.


For many more images from that sitting, search google images for
marilyn monroe kirkland. She is posed nude under a bedsheet.

I know it better as the opening image for Chapter 5 of Norman Mailer’s
“Marilyn” (1973): one of my top/favorite images in that book.
Incidentally, in my opinion Mailer’s “Marilyn” (“Pictures by the
world’s foremost photographers”) is one of the top MM books for
photography, ever. The photo editing and printing are both superb.
Photo editor for that book was Lawrence Schiller, who also has several
Playboy centerfolds to his credit.



Funny you should mention Kirkland. I got to read his book “An Evening with Marilyn” (2005) over the weekend about that very photoshoot:


I haven’t read Norman Mailer’s MM book, but I’ve got it from the library and it’s coming up on my reading list.

I also recently finished Gloria Steinem’s “Marilyn” (1988) book:


It was an interesting book and it interprets MM’s life through a feminist lens. There is no doubt she went through a lot of hardship and was mistreated by various men in her life, but I felt it may have over-emphasized the negatives over the positives.

Moreover, the book did take some time to make some swipes at Norman Mailer’s biography and heavily disputed some of Mailer’s assertions about what happened in her life (Mailer never met MM and Steinem claims Marilyn wasn’t interested in meeting him; Steinem apparently did get to make MM’s acquaintance in the early ’60s or so).

I’ll look forward to reading what Mailer says and I’ll have to figure it out for myself over who is right (or less wrong, perhaps more accurately).


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