There's 3 variations of the December issue, though they all showcase the same cover story, and same cover imagery artwork.
1) newsstand/retail copy - as always, has slightly modified text placement of secondary content, as well as the ISBN block, and the "Faith...." headline runs large across the mid-center of the cover
2) member's/mailed copy, primary - typical, no barcode, otherwise mostly the same, AND has same "Faith...." headline running across the cover
3) the true "variant" this time around - this one has the overall image cropped differently: it is zoomed in a bit more, so note the framing within the artwork does not show up as it does in the prior 2 examples. Also of course, no bar code, AND, no "Faith....." headline runs large across the front.
I don't know which one I'll receive yet. See 3 attached pics.
I got the No issue... no Faith headline and no supplement.....
Well, I got mine today, with supplement inside. Alas, a few of the pages are gouged/torn from the middle top down into body (how odd). Also, my front cover is severely mis-aligned as per the border margins-to-center.
My cover does not have the large headline running horizontal...
I got #3 as well (No Faith). I did get the map though.
Scott, I notice that all three versions have different top headings with the Subscription copies listing the articles and the Newsstand copy advertising the poster. I hope this doesn't mean it was only meant for the newsstand. I'm really hoping it is the fourth loose supplement for the year (and fifth overall since they have returned).
Yeah after I made the post, and having looked at Phil's and yours other comments, the thought entered my mind of "is the poster only for the newsstand copy?" I also would hope not, and that's dumb if it were so.
There was/is one precedent for it though: The 125 Anniversary poster "Classic Covers" (w/ reverse 1922 World map) that was issued not once, not twice, but thrice as --only newsstand availability-- in August, October, and December 2013. All three times the poster was tagged on the cover but Society/Magazine never thought actual member's would have an interest in it. ??? I'm s-t-i-l-l disgruntled about that one...
To all corner members:
Did you get a loose Map supplement in your Dec 2016 Nat Geo issue?
....a friend from Germany messaged me (Dec. 13th) that his member's copy arrived sans poster-supplement as well. He had me pick up a copy so he can get the supplement.
Their map inserting machine is obviously not working......
Scott are you a NGS current member/subscriber?
...been a while, eh? Yep - sure am . . . until the day I expire - I'm a Lifer.
...and are you still ?
I want to add that here in Australia, my brother is a subscriber and he did not receive the map supplement. We both have variant #3 (big bold FAITH running across).
That's an extra map we need to try and chase down haha!