July 02, 2012

Review: Muse Magazine


Before I begin, I just wanted to address the points brought up by commenters in the previous review I did, as they wanted more pictures to better accurately understand the pictures I was referring to, but in order to shorten my post so I don't bore you all to death I'm going to write down which page I'm talking about. In this magazine, there are 20 pages, so if I say [page 4/20], then flip to page 4 to see my meaning. Thank you guys for understanding, it means a lot!

Muse Magazine editor-in-chief Ashley_Doggett published the magazine after a long remodel, and it's not been a bad comeback! Here at MDM I'll break the issue down and [unfortunately] rip it to shreds like I likely will with every magazine. After all, criticism is good for improvement.

Click on the cover to visit Muse Magazine in a new window to follow along with my critique.

Graphic Design: 2/10 The graphics went from so-so on the cover to terrible as the magazine progressed. May I point out on the cover the cheeks make her look anorexic and the feather crossing over her chest... Makes me wonder what designer came up with the inspiration. And may I point out on the right shoulder there is a single strand of black? If that's a strap I certainly don't see one on the left and frankly, it confused me. Let's talk about [page 5/20] where the necklace happens to be several sizes too large for her neck, and she's got some serious side-boob going on the right side. This continues as well later on [page 7/20] where the dress is poorly fitted as there is not only extra breast showing but extra stomach. Hold on, is that possible? Points back on the footwear [page 8/20] but what's going on with the moon? I'll cover the fashion editorial clothing-wise later on, but a glance at the model's heads [page 10-13/20] has me wondering what's wrong with their hair, as well as their faces. Finally, excuse my french, but WHAT THE HELL is going on in in the nude editorial [page 16/20]? The model's face color isn't matching with her body, which is downright just a lazy job in photoshop, as I am assured by my graphic designer friends there is an easy fix for that. All in all, I was really disappointed by the graphics.

Fashion Editorial: 1.5/10 The only points I could give here were for trying. I simply cannot comprehend what is going on here. The models are on a beach [page 10-13/20] wearing what looks to be Burberry-esque jackets and jeans, with only one in a dress (which appears twice by the way, bad choice). I could give points back if there was some sort of reasoning, but after spending many hours of the beach myself, I just cannot understand why I would ever wear a heavy Fall/Winter jacket and jeans to the beach. Also, since this was supposed to be a Summer issue, not a Fall/Winter pre-season issue, there is no way of returning points for this inevitable flop.

Creativity: 7/10 I will admit this magazine was creative in casing out some of Stardoll's members and asking them about themselves and their personal style and fashion opinions. Although not unheard of before (for full points, think originality!), this hasn't shown up recently, so kudos to you guys. Rehashing ideas are not always the smartest ideas, but Muse seems to have pulled it off rather well. What I don't like is the "Dollywood" that they are implying here, face it- outside of Elite News and PSG, that is not going over. Also, the nude editorial was a risk, and although I did talk about it's graphics above, I appreciate the idea of risk-taking.

Trends Shown: 4/10 This magazine had no trends shown, and honestly, no real fashion. No sustenance. I'm wondering over the point of the magazine itself, to be quite clear. I'm going to disregard the fashion editorial as I've already gone over that and assume the nude editorial was the trend? If it was, it's not catching for me. On the first picture [page 15/20] I'm not quite clear what the model is wearing but I like the American flag shorts, that is a cute trend that is pretty popular every summer. However, on the next shot [page 16/20], not only is the model's face not the same color of her body, the little growth of hair on her nether parts is a little disturbing. I understand we all grow hair there, but it's a bit repulsive to have it flaunted on a magazine. Also, when models are shot in magazines usually the photographers will hide the nipple, where here it seems to be half showing through her hair? Points off for that. There is the "The Absolute Hottest" article but it really just explains what Stardoll thinks is hot, not what the writer thinks. Think out of the box, there's so much you can talk about for Summer! Honestly I think I was a little generous with the points here, but I will keep it at 4/10.

Writing Style: 5/10 Can I point out I was not even a few sentences into reading [page 4/20] when I found my first spelling error? Right off the bat, I see grammar seriously lacking but at least the picture that is painted in my mind is vivid and I'm not ready to snore. It does get harder to read though as I'm mentally correcting the spelling and grammar errors that seem to keep growing. I'll admit, at least the font's nice and readable. What I'm wondering though is if this interview is really true (I know that she and Jack aren't really lovers, she's not really an actress, doesn't have a mansion, I get that) and I wonder if she actually likes "Boy George" or if that's a fabrication. If I'm not able to distinguish fact from fiction, what do I have left? How much else of the magazine can I take their word for? As for the rest of the magazine, there's no sustenance. The interviews are vague and hastily conducted, and the only real salvation to Muse is the "Madness and Greatness" article. However, I'm really not sure what this has to do with anything the magazine has said. It makes me really upset that the score could have improved so dramatically if the team was on point with spelling and grammar (hello, use spell check?) and by coordinating on a specific topic the issue was addressing. The "Madness and Greatness" article could have been more on point if the article was about say, "Stardoll's greatest leaders" with examples like Style_Magazine, Bluegreen86, or Beverlyhillshei, who are considered the "original elites." It really could have been much better so easily.

How did this magazine score?

19.5 out of 50 total points, at 39% or F

My Final Comments: I really, really, really hate to fail a magazine after the hard work I'm sure the entire team put in. However, the score was brought down so much by small or easily fixed things. I did not see a coordination between the team and what they were really doing, and honestly I felt most of the work was done by one person. A magazine cannot function with a one-man team! A magazine scores well by the willingness to work together and cooperate, and unfortunately I feel Muse failed in those aspects. Everything seemed quite sloppy and done last minute. Sadly, there was so much more I could critique. My advice? Don't rush to make a date. If you feel as if it's not good enough to show to the public, push it back. When I asked the legendary Alice (Hunnigall) about how she manages her perfect graphics, she replied:  "Make them good. Perfectionism is no sin. I pick out faults in everything I do, I am the ultimate perfectionist. I pick out faults in everything, so, if you've made a magazine or project I've seen, chances are I've picked out one or two faults. If you can do a job you're proud of, it'll pay off more." Muse Magazine, I hope you all will read my review and know that this was constructive criticism entirely and I have no personal animosity to your magazine. I hope you take this advice and improve on your weak points and thrive in your next issue, I look forward to seeing more of your work.

Sorry for the long post guys!

MDM, what do you think? Do you agree or disagree? Comment!

38 comments:

  1. Brill! You're post was absolutely 100% correct. The magazine was rather horrifying. Good think you're here to help correct the team! :-)

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  2. I would have probably given them a lower score! The graphics were horrible. They should have built up more graphics experience before creating a magazine.

    The most disturbing thing was defiantly that nude photo. It made absolutely no sense and looked like she had a spray tan on all of her body except for her face. And that hair!?!?! *shivers*

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  3. Stop trying to act cool by purposely being harsh and low scoring the magazine. It wasn't that bad. You can't write any better than the writers who wrote for that magazine.

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  4. It so not that bad. It's actually good. Articles were amazing, you just have to read them.

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  5. I have to admit that I don't like the graphics either and that's because Ashley_Doggett didn't stick to the Paint graphics she made(that everyone admired ,incuding me, as most people use photoshop)but used Sims2 bodies(am I right?)

    Although I believe that you shouldn't have made such a post but just leave a comment on her magazine saying these things. It may have been the truth but these things when you spent so much time making them and all you get is a bad critique.

    To be honest I didn't enjoy this issue at all but you've been harsh as well.

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  6. I'm so fucking disgusted i was used for porn!

    I suggested myself as a model to ashley but i had no idea i'd be used in such distasteful images, i feel so sick and repulsed, it literally is stardoll child pornography as i am only 16.

    Please don't think i'm bad, as i had no idea either.

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  7. It deserved the review it got, that's all I will say.

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  8. You're completely right, Sierra. Unfortunately, I know what the owner must be feeling now reading your review.
    But then, it's always good to see improvement, I know about that. :)
    And the review was correct for me, and the best advice I could say: "Be aware about what's IN these days, what kind of graphics you need to be able to do, and in general, don't take risks till you aren't good enough."

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  9. _StarHelen_ said...
    ...but used Sims2 bodies.

    Not really. The Sims games have amazing graphics. Those were just some over-edited ones. They look pathetic.

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  10. @_StarHelen_: No, not Sims. More like Project Fashion.

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  11. Thanks for the comments everybody!

    @ _StarHelen_ : I was actually asked by the owner to review it on this blog.

    @ Nihkol: I actually didn't quite see it as porn, but I'll admit it was much more revealing than it should have been to the point of a bit gauche.

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  12. i actually liked it. it was different to the usual, run of the mill "BE BOLD...... BE U!!!!!!1" magazines. i just didnt like the way that 3d models were used for some of the graphics, they looked like imvu or second life characters and they just didnt really blend with the heads.

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  13. oh and also, i get that the owner of the magazine was trying to go for an artistic, tasteful nude photo, but using imvu or second life characters as bases which are generally used in sexual situations on those websites wasnt a great idea.

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  14. WTF with the nude pic??? sorry but i do find it disturbing i'm 12 years olds and is an stardoll magazine why it should be a nude doll or well whatever is that with a face of a doll, disgusting. they should remove the pic ASAP.

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  15. I'm 16 and i realy find unnecesary the nude pic, is very disturbing and you should remove it, the mag is not that bad but is not great the only good thing are some of the articles, but the nude pic was out of line and i don't see any fashion in that, is just porn to me and i'm not closed minded, but really??? on a stardoll magazine that pic was absolutly necesary???..... i don't think so. i feel bad for Khol, girl make them remove that pic, if they don't by tomorrow i will report them and send the link to stardoll beacuse they are using a doll face inapropiate.

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  16. It just seems that you all are never used to something different. That's all I have to say. We didn't use sims bodies either. The graphics were done mainly by the "photographer" who works for a high end graphics company. Stardoll's faces don't match with the realistic bodies, but other than that I think it turned out wonderful. Thanks for the opinions however, I'm glad to get publicity!

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  17. Also, what's wrong with nudity? Are you all just ashamed of the human body or something? It's not like I took someone's real life image and put it on a graphic intended for Stardoll. It's kind of silly, but you know. Like I mentioned, everyone is used to simple attitudes and simple behavior when it comes to art/graphics on stardoll. No one ever thinks outside of the box, but I'm not sorry that I did either.

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  18. Ashley, we're not ashamed of nudity at all. We're just ashamed that Khol's amazing body was mutilated by your so called graphic design team.

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  19. everyone report the bitch now! imma report her on stardoll

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  20. ^ you can only report her on stardoll for DOING SOMETHING WRONG ON STARDOLL. they have no control over what she does outside of the website, even if she used stardoll's graphics.

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  21. I think this magazine deserved the score you gave it, maybe even lower. It IS very 'different', but in a bad way. And that nude graphic is simply disgusting. I'm not disgusted at the body itself, but the way you (mis)used it! And not asking the model first is really mean, you have no right to do that unless she has agreed!
    And the graphics quality is so terrible that I can proudly state that my own graphics are better.

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  22. anon above WRONG! read the one stop rules and she is an SD user and she agree to the terms on SD if she use images or something from SD in a inapropiate way her acc might get deleted, probably she will recive a warning to remove it, and if she get more than 5 reports about the same incident she can get her doll deleted i know about this beacuse a while ago i send SD a mail asking about it beacuse i saw a blog with "graphics/porn" display, and they reply that i have to send the link of the blog and the name of the SD user who made those graphics, and the girl had to remove those "graphics". Contact SD and ask if you don't belive me, either way i'm sending a mail tomorrow if she don't remove the picture and the link of the blog and her username as well. And btw i'm not ashamed about a nude body but i have 2 daughters on Sd one is 8 and the other one 14 and they read blogs and love the SD magazines more my teen daughter so yes is inapropiate the nude picture for a tons of young users on SD.

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  23. QUOTE: the "photographer" who works for a high end graphics company.

    OMFG!!!! LOL!!!!!LOL!!!!! i can't stop LOL!!!!!! for real LOL!!!!

    you were kidding right? was sarcasm intended??

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  24. The bodies were not from the sims they are from second life and it is pretty obvious. The Magazine was not good and nudity is art yet it is not relevant to fashion magazines unless it is brought up by a deeper editorial meaning. I just don't get it.

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  25. i can't see it, what nude pic you guys are talking about??

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  26. I feel like it was a bit rushed, but I'm sure it'll be better next time. It's got potential, I think; the articles themselves were fine, and the grammar wasn't as bad as this post led me to believe. Give them time.
    Still, what's nudity doing in a fashion magazine? Isn't the point of a fashion magazine to talk about and promote the sale of clothes? Unless, of course, nudity was the featured trend, not the coats-on-the-beach thing. I'd love to see Stardoll try and capitalize on that.
    "New boutique in Starplaza: Au Naturel! Buy your own birthday suit today, at an introductory price of 25 stardollars!"

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  27. Anonymous pretty much summed it up for me - LOL @ high end graphics company. There are so many issues with that alone I don't even know where to start.

    1 - the graphics aren't consistent. 2 - what kind of "professional" would be wasting their time on this? 3 - what kind of "professional" would be THIS incapable? I mean, they couldn't even match the damn body to the face's color?

    SMH.

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  28. i don't understand why does everyone think this magazine is horrible? :L

    it's just different. out there are many stardoll users who admire her for at least doing something amazing (even though different).

    and after all, if you don't like it - don't check it out.

    but the review didn't go over the edge. i agree with it. however it was a little bit harsh but it's for the best.

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  29. Khol didn't agree on this? This is really changing my mind...

    The nude photo looked like a "men's magazine page" to be honest and I blame the pose for that. For a fashion magazine it'd have been better to make her hide her breats and vagina with her hair or hands. But this is over the top as Khol didn't agree and it's also disrespectful.

    Nudity can be art as long as it doesn't look like porn. For me it was the pose that made it look so porn like...

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  30. I think the review was a tad bit harsh. The graphics were not very good. I quite liked Sara's article. Sierra, I think you should have at least commented on good things, it's not always about the bad. Be a tad bit positive.

    I do like the reviews you give, although I wasn't happy about the HYPE magazine one, but that's a different thing altogether. I can't wait for you to review more magazines.

    Niamh/Nee x

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  31. For sure not sims 2.... I LOVE SIMS! :D

    More like IMVU or something....

    The nude pic scared me...there should have been a warning...or something. 0.o

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  32. accept nudity or die u motherfuckers

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  33. rly? nude picture scared you? are u afraid of ur own body. u gotta be fat in rl!!!!!!

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  34. what scared about the nude pic was the horrible graphic LOL!!! so yeah i agree it scared me too.

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