HX was a weekly gay entertainment guide for New York that began publishing in 1991. It was briefly called Homo Xtra and its slogan was: "The totally biased, politically incorrect party paper". (I still have an HX t-shirt with that tagline on the back.) It continued publishing until the issue dated July 10, 2009 when it was purchased by the company that published rival Next Magazine.
Next began publishing a few years after HX and both co-existed for many years despite having similar content. (Because of the similarities I sometimes forget which one is still around.) Both were freebies distributed mostly in the West Village and Chelsea, and in the Pines & Cherry Grove during the summer. Like so much content on the internet, both publications were able to be distributed free because of advertising support from clubs/bars, restaurants, escorts and masseurs/body workers.
When it started HX had an unwieldy fold-out format, similar to a map. The covers during the first few years were sexy shots of barechested guys. These early covers were quite striking because they were B/W on sturdy newsprint, calling to mind the works of Robert Mapplethorpe. Once the magazine became a 4-color glossy the covers became a mix of pretty boys, studs, drag queens and celebrities.
And now some favorite ads: 1) The model in the Thanksgiving ad also did a nude cover for the May 2002 issue of GQ. (Before he went to law school we worked together at ad agency Foote, Cone & Belding where he was an assistant account executive.) 2) Ads for the annual "Black Party" are always outrageous but this one even more so because of the inclusion of the little boy. 3) Splash Bar could always be counted on for hot ads. It opened at about the same time as HX - and is still thriving.