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Asian American Magazines

June 19th, 2003 by Ryan Ozawa · 2 Comments · Miscellaneous

In the latest issue of Dateline AAJA, the quarterly newsletter of the Asian American Journalists Association, there’s a brief overview of the Asian American publishing world in the wake of the spectacular collapse of aMagazine (to which I subscribed) last year.

Oddly enough, many think aMagazine failed because it tried to be the magazine for all AAs (or APAs — Asian Pacific Americans). I agree. I liked aMagazine’s political pieces and profiles, but not the fashion spreads or the “Whitey Took My Girl!” rants. In reviewing what’s still out there, it’s clear from the AAJA article that the trend is toward niche Asian American interests… that is, subcommunities of the subcommunity.

As a blog-in-time snapshot, I figured I’d visit and link the outlets mentioned. After all, who knows what the landscape will look like in a year?  

The newest comer is Hyphen Magazine: Asian America Unabridged, a quarterly that comes the closest to wanting to replace aMagazine as a pan-ethnic publication. Subscriptions are $18 a year (4 issues). I like the promised slant toward the serious, as it promises “hard-hitting investigative features on the cultural and political trends shaping the fastest growing ethnic population in America.” We’ll see if they can avoid the slide into lowest-common-denominator pablum that helped kill its predecessor.

AsianWeek: The Voice of Asian America is another outlet that plays it straight. In publishing time, they’ve been around forever — since 1979. These guys are my next most likely subscription (priced at $29 a year).

On the lighter side, there’s YOLK, a bimonthly glossy claiming to be “the DEFINITIVE Asian-American entertainment, pop culture, fashion, and lifestyle magazine!” Subs are $18 a year (6 issues). These guys took unabashed glee at aMagazine’s demise. Yet on the charge of “propagating the same stereotypes they supposedly oppose,” these guys are twice as guilty. If I lived in Utah or Nebraska, I’d hate for someone to pull out this magazine and ask if it represents me in any way.

For women, there’s Audrey: Asian Women’s Magazine, a bimonthly “Asian Beauty, Celebrity, Fashion and Lifestyle Magazine” with subscriptions priced at $2.33 per issue. There’s also JADE Magazine, a quarterly promising “A Fresh Perspective for Asian Women.” Price is $2.95 per issue.

Tipping their hat toward the gay market, the quarterly Noodle Magazine says, “It’s All in Your Head.” On this one, though, I don’t know if the target is Asians, or people who like Asians. Promises the site, “All magazines will be mailed in a sealed and discreet envelope.” Subscriptions are $17.95 per year.

And Monolid Magazine is still out there with guns blazing. The quarterly, priced at $12 per year, describes itself as “a back-atcha ‘zine with verve and chutzpah that dares to say no to a bleached-out culture.” I don’t know why, but when I read their “About Monolid” page, I imagine it being read in the voice of Daffy Duck.

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2 Comments so far ↓

  • NemesisVex

    Noodle is definitely a rag for the GAM, although I’m sure lots of rice queens out there will pick it up to oogle at the myriad pages of bare-chested Asian men. The editorial content is quite reminiscent of aMagazine’s mix of politics and lifestyle, although the pool of writers available at its disposal could probably use an upgrade.

    I was thinking of getting a subscription.

  • scrivener

    Don’t forget about YOLK. It’s not a very profound publication, but it has some profoundly beautiful photographs, and is always worth a quick look. This month’s issue has some lovely full-page photos of Tamlyn Tomita (and not a bad piece accompanying).

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