The night was late, the pages of editing were piling up, and—as always happens when you’ve been staring at a bunch of black marks on the bleached surface of a pulverized tree for too long—the comma stopped making sense. In fact, most of those squiggles, lines and dots on the paper in front of me started to bleed together and take on a leering shape of their own like the T-rex in that old Magic Eye. That’s when I wondered aloud if blog titles were ever italicized, was told that they weren’t, decided that they should be and resolved to write this.
Of course, this list is not about sites like NewYorker.com or VanityFair.com or any url that is mainly the online duplicate of a print magazine, but stand-alone web-periodicals—pixelated entities that, instead of importing content from glossies, upload it solely into the series of tubes and send it out into the ether. And since that stodgy AP Style Guide is a little behind the times, here are the sites that, due to their careful reporting, rigorous fact-checking, or, scratch that, just plain old ROFL-ness, should have their titles italicized.
While Gawker can get lost in its own in-jokes, Jezebel, with posts on topics ranging from infant tiaras to female werewolves, highlights the awesome-bizarre paradoxes of the “This is What a Feminist Looks Like” age.
Where other entertainment blogs rewrite press releases in a series of monotonous mantras, Vulture (which, yes, stands on its own talons as an italicize-able blog even though it’s affiliated with New York Magazine) knows that devouring Hollywood news is deliciously, guiltily, toxic-ly good.
3. The Morning News
This online magazine combines op-eds, travelogues and satire, marrying The Believer’s joy-of-the-written-word aesthetic with content gathered as meticulously as that of the Christian Science Monitor. Its final “Letters from Mumbai” column by Jil Wheeler begins: “Let me tell you, friends, the tale of Sonal and the peppered popsicle.”
4. Bad Astronomy
Discover’s most heavenly blog (oh yes I did!) that plays scientific (though humor-based) reporting against stupor-inducing photos of deep space. Skepticism and wonder never kept such close company.
5. Fail Blog
Fail Blog is more than just an embarrassing image-roundup of children named “Jesus Condom” and penis-shaped monuments. An editor of mine once said: ”Fail Blog is a meditation on the human experience.” All you have to do is look at the sign declaring “Be Aware of Invisibility” to see it’s true.