Thousands of people have complained to Rolling Stone magazine about its latest cover.
Its portrait of Dzokhar Tsarnaev, the man accused of the Boston Marathon bombing in April, has been described as tasteless.
The publication triggered angry claims that it is "glamorising terrorism" and calls to boycott the magazine, AFP reports.
At least two US nationwide chain stores announced they would not be selling the latest issue of the publication, known for interviews with rock stars and others, and thousands of people took to Rolling Stone's Facebook page on Wednesday.
The cover picture - showing a goateed Mr Tsarnaev, 19, staring sadly at the camera with tousled brown curly hair - was likened to a famous Rolling Stone cover of the late singer Jim Morrison of The Doors.
Boston mayor Thomas Menino blasted the story in a letter to Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner, calling the provocative cover an "obvious marketing strategy" to generate publicity and sales.
Mr Tsarnaev faces a 30-count indictment - including 17 counts punishable by death - for his role in the 15 April twin blasts at the marathon that killed three people and wounded more than 260.
Rolling Stone defended the story. "Our hearts go out to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing, and our thoughts are always with them and their families," the magazine said in a statement.
"The cover story ... falls within the traditions of journalism and Rolling Stone's long-standing commitment to serious and thoughtful coverage of the world's most important political and cultural issues of the day," it added