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The Making of a Cover (and other true lies)


Of all the pieces and parts that go into the magazine each issue, the cover is by far the most difficult. It’s a painstaking process that requires the talents of many to bring together a representative image of the current theme.

On a typical issue, we start the cover selection process months in advance, from generating ideas, taking sample photos, mocking up roughs, and writing headlines to speaking with agents, auditioning models, gathering props, scheduling photographers, and the rare Murphy's Law-inspired weather delay. Of course, we can't forget arranging for on-location air conditioned luxury trailers and fancy white-glove catering for the day of the shoot—because you know how demanding talent can be. We then consult with a roving gypsy named Vinchenzo on the upcoming seasons color palettes. (It's funny how many times he’s predicted red as the next “it” color.) And, finally, it's on to the focus groups, where we invite a cross-section from the community to come in and view the potential cover inside our secret underground “newsstand” lab, which is located deep within the Mojave Desert. There, we corral the subjects in single-file past multiple images and record their most intimate opinions using an advanced, highly scientific, patent-pending process similar to the Facebook “Like” button. Just one “dislike” and we start the whole process over...

Ok, so maybe that's not really how we go about producing the cover, but, it is a lot of work, regardless. Unless, of course, we're talking about the Man Issue cover.

For the past two years the Man Issue cover has taken on a life of its own, thanks in part to Global Family. Global Family is a Bakersfield-based nonprofit and their Daughter Project is an international program whose goal is to prevent girl child trafficking in high-risk communities in India and Nepal. Once again, they asked us if we would be willing to donate the cover for them to auction off at their Best of Bakersfield event held in May. Well, of course we said yes and are happy to announce that the cover was the big item of the night (again) among the many other fabulous items being auctioned. And, not surprisingly, after a heated bidding battle, last year's cover auction winner, Don Kuhns, of Heartland Insurance Services, was the highest bidder. It was a memorable evening and together we raised a lot of money.

Then the real fun began. With only three days to make it happen, and with the only restriction being it had to be “man” related, Don was the man and helped us pull it all together by enlisting his family for a fun mid-week afternoon photo shoot.

Usually at this point I like to tell you about some of my favorite articles featured in the issue (trust me, in this issue, they're ALL good!); instead, I’d like to use this space to give a big shout-out of appreciation to our cover guys and introduce them and their sport of choice (L to R:)

Russell Kuhns—Cyclist—Don's Son; He's into cycling and enjoys biking all around, especially up Breckenridge Road (which is 18 miles uphill).

David Wells­­—Golfer—Don's Son-in-law; A weekend golfer who enjoys the recreation of the game. He’s currently teaching his kids to play.

Don Kuhns—Motorcyclist—He loves riding bikes of all kinds, from his dirt bikes to his Harley (featured on last year's cover). He has been riding since high school.

Ryan Kuhns—Marksman—Don's Son; He is into wilderness preparedness. Ryan enjoys utilizing a variety of firearms, including his Daniel Defense AR15 (as shown in the picture).

It’s another extraordinary issue, and most important, there were no diva meltdowns in the making of this cover...Just a bunch of great guys representing what they love to do. Enjoy!

For more information on Global Family and the Daughter Project please log-on to


Article appeared in our 29-2 Issue - June 2012