Specifically, the magazine was aimed at one middle-aged man: Sylvester Stallone. With many articles supposedly penned by Stallone himself, SLY (which I think you’re supposed to pronounce like you’re shouting “Adrian!”) reads like an autobiographical fan magazine. Readers can expect extensive journalism on the wisdoms of Sylvester Stallone, from his advice on workout routines and supplement choices to his philosophies on life and how to cope with mental and emotional issues.
But not even an action star as powerful as Stallone can carry an entire publication alone. Interspersed with Rocky’s creeds are interviews where Stallone sits down with some of his best buddies, like Jenna Jameson, Hulk Hogan, and Paulie from Rocky, to talk about how great he is.
As if all that didn’t stuff SLY with cover-to-cover Stallone, the magazine also featured rare exclusives (or exclusylvesters, as the publication foolishly failed to call them) where the actor shared behind the scenes stories from his one-season reality TV show and teased script pages from his upcoming “Rocky VI” movie.
One of those has proven to be more culturally meaningful than the other.
For those of us who don’t have a rare copy of SLY shuffled somewhere in a stack of old Penthouses and Soldier of Fortunes, it’s almost impossible to get our hands on this Cobra-centric content. SLY halted publication after only six issues, which is little for any Stallone franchise in part because A) Stallone’s film career was making a comeback thanks to Rocky Balboa in 2006 and B) What kind of meathead launches a print-only magazine in the late 2000s? Moreover, since the mag was as proudly internet averse as the average boomer stepdad reading it, scant info can be found about it aside from one Wikipedia page (appropriately) in Italian and some excerpts published on Craig Zablo’s StalloneZone, the Stallone fan blog that looks as Ed Hardy as the name suggests.
That’s not to say that in its day SLY didn’t manage to nab a lot of media attention. It did, though mostly because Stallone was sucker-punched by a one million dollar trademark lawsuit from the publishers of SlyMagazine.com, an online lifestyle blog for “the independent city gal.” Fortunately for the actor, the judge was part of the StalloneZone and threw out the case, dismissing Sly (not SLY) as a “shoe fetish” magazine and even accusing the publication of choosing the name to capitalize on “the well-known nickname of a very famous actor” in the first place.
Because if twenty-something female professionals found anyone flaming hot in 2005 it was the old dude from Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over.
But like a proper Stallone story, the scrappy underdog did manage to outlast the champ. While SLY had to throw in the towel after a few runs, SlyMagazine.com kept publishing until 2018, providing girlbosses with 14 years of online articles filled with fashion tips and online comment sections filled with confused New Jersey bros complaining: “WHERE DA HELL IS ROCKY???”