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Types of Korean Magazines based on Keywords

 

2022.05.02

 

"The child plays because it plays. Reason does not exist in its play. (The editor-in-chief of Magazine B Tiktok)." This is a quote from Heidegger. Unlike books, magazines are like amusement parks as it is hard to expect what will unfold in the following pages. That is why it is okay to replace the word magazine with play from Heidegger's quote. A brand magazine Magazine B quoted Heidegger. The gap is the fun in magazines. Magazines neutralize the differences and show the unexpected of the world unpredictably.
I used to work at a weekly magazine publisher. Once, I heard the president of a magazine publisher say, "You refer to books the most as you write one." So, likewise, magazines are what you refer to as you write one.
The ones who visit The Magazine Club, a magazine bookstore located in Hapjeong-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, are primarily editors. The co-founder of The Magazine Club, Mr. Lee Seok, used to write magazine articles at a media outlet. He liked reading magazines back in the day and spent more than 1 million Won per year subscribing to diverse magazines. He was often called a person with excellent planning ability. He recommends juniors read a lot of magazines. "While working for a company, I directed two of my juniors to plan an article under a theme. The project proposals from the two were almost identical." Project proposals made from reading and collecting materials from the Internet are predictable. He said that magazines stay between books and the Internet. Magazines absorb the strengths of the two. The internet is fast, and books are slow. The internet is shallow, but books are deep. Meanwhile, magazines are trendy and deep in content.
The word depth can be confusing. The term 雜 (miscellaneous) from the magazine stands for something mixed and insignificant. It shows that magazines are something to skim through. Nevertheless, magazines of the contemporary era do not follow the word's original meaning. Some are deeper than other writings. Magazines not only categorize lifestyle into interior design, female, male, and fashion but also deep-dives into themes. Today, let us look at magazines in 2022 that deep-dives into the keywords: books, environment, and science.

 

#Books

 

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Chaeg 2022 April Edition, Seoul Review of Books 1-Year Special Edition, Crossover The 1st Edition

 

 

Chaeg is a monthly magazine launched in November 2014 that covers anything about books. The magazine releases ten monthly editions, except for the bi-monthly editions, combining January & February and July & August. 2022 April Edition's theme is The Possibility Called Friendship, and it wrote Us Being Together on its cover. On the inside, Yoo Anjin's poem On Friendship is quoted and shows other sayings on friendship, such as the one from The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini or "I made you take care of me, and you made me take care of me. That's why" from Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. Elaborately collected phrases in the magazine are good to use on certain occasions. The magazine made reading easier than books by actively using pictures and images. The index that shows a list of books released during the past month is a hand-made list that shows the significance of listed books and reviews written by editors, which might be helpful to readers.
Seoul Review of Books is a relatively new magazine that just released its 1-Year Special Edition (The 5th Edition, 2022 Spring Edition) but showed its reproductivity by regularly publishing its editions from 0 to 5. Writer Kim Young-Min, who wrote A Reminder the Humans Are Mortal (published by Across Publishing Company), joined the Meokkul Noire series and gained attention from the public. This series shows a firm intention that editors will not play the role of an old and stubborn generation even if they consist of professors, people so-called Meokmul. The magazine clearly shows the theme and naming style of Kim Young-Min as seen in All Trips Leave Three Times (3rd edition) and What Are Medicines to Us (2nd edition). The magazine collects themes that seem irrelevant (regardless of the writer's major) in one place. For example, an astronomer Shim Chae-Kyung reads Mule by Tony D'Souza and The Snow Angel by Kanzi Kawai, and a Korean language professor Kwon Bo-deu-rae reads Serotonin by Michel Houellebecq. The magazine writes articles as if professors or experts found a new continent of jobs called book review. In its 5th edition, the magazine focuses on brick-like books as it meets its 1st anniversary.
Publisher Itta’s Crossover (read as Gyocha in Korean), which released its first volume in October last year, designs topics in a palindrome style. The topic of the first volume was “Society of Knowledge, Knowledge of Society.” Through book reviews and books on humanities, such as the classic Discourse on Inequality by Jean-Jacques Rousseau and the young classic Le Monde des Salons, it conveys the major point of dispute in academia (‘Can Korean intellectuals be independent from the West’). In the biannual journal Crossover, readers can feel a strong sense that the editors in charge of humanities “study together,” encouraging readers to join hands in challenging themselves through tough texts.

 

Magazines stand between books and the Internet:
Magazines are trendy like the Internet and deep like books.

 

#Environment

 

Wind and Water, published by Kang Won Young Foundation, is a magazine being published for the limited time of 3 years. Starting with its 2021 Summer Edition, its life ends with its 2024 Spring Edition. Authors of the magazine are diverse: a member of congress Jang Hye-Yeong, a full-time expert member of Green Korea United Seo Jae-Cheol, journalists, researchers, and activists. The 1st Edition's theme was The Climate and Heart, 2nd was Harmless Waste, 3rd was Running Forest, and 4th was The Definition of Caring. It may be because the magazine aims to be an environmental movement platform. The themes are expressed in diverse forms, including novels, comics, and drawings, but the magazine fails to convey the central theme. On the other hand, there is a quarterly magazine on veganism named Wave, which Donghaemul and Dooroome Books publish together. In its 2022 Spring Edition, the magazine described the point where activists in other fields meet with veganism under the theme Intersectionality ✕ Veganism.
1.5°C is a magazine published by the renewable energy company Soul Energy and creative impact company Bold Period. Unlike other environmental magazines, the magazine uses glossy paper instead of recycled paper and makes a bold choice of vivid colors. The color red is the theme color used in the magazine. In its 1st edition, just like the title of the article, "How to talk about the climate crisis in an attractive way (an excerpt of an interview with the artist Olafur Eliasson)," it seems to have answered that charm is how one delivers message efficiently. Even the studio photos taken by high school climate activists are glossy. The photos high schoolers took may be the best ones in their lives.

 

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Wind and Water 4th Edition, Wave 2022 Spring Edition, 1.5°C 1st Edition

 

 

The Map to Saving the Earth is a special 5-article series published in an Ecology-Culture-Environment magazine, Small Things Are Beautiful's edition from 270 to 274. Coal, plastic, renewable energy, agriculture, and transportation were the series's themes. In addition, The Earthian is a magazine launched through Tumblebug in December 2021 under the theme, People Living Their Lives Interacting with the Earth.

 

#Science

 

Epi is a one-hand-sized small magazine. It is an easily readable quarterly magazine on science. After releasing its 1st edition in September 2017, the magazine released its editions with several themes under the umbrella of science. For example, New Normal (12th edition, June 2020) and Aftermath (18th edition, 2021 Winter) took a scientific view of the era affected by COVID-19, reflecting the reality. There are also Disability (16th edition), Science on Food (13th edition), and Space (19th edition), categorized per each scientific topic. Epi also has its special editions, such as EX-HA-LA-TION, cultural FOUN-DA-TION, AN-SI-BLE, and a planned edition FAR-CAST, which all show the characteristics of being a magazine from Epi.
Skeptic is a quarterly magazine published by Bada Books. The publisher also releases Womankind quarterly and NewPhilosopher bi-monthly, releasing a total of 12 books every year. Womankind and NewPhilosopher are translated versions of Australian magazines, and Skeptic is a translated version of a American magazine. The name of the magazine Skeptic means being doubtful. The magazine befits the contemporary era where the essential attitude of a scientist, skepticism, is necessary for the general public. While the original American magazine criticizes homeopathy, religion, and pseudo-science, the Korean version mainly discusses science issues in Korea.

 

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Skeptic, Womankind, NewPhilosopher

 

 

SEASON is a science book review magazine funded by Science and Technology Promotion Fund and published by Galdar, a science bookstore. As a magazine representing each season, each edition has different traits. For example, the 1st edition targeted senior citizens with its theme, The Long but Cool Life for Homo Hundred. For that matter, the letter size was big. The publisher says that it plans to continue making magazines with different looks. In its 1st edition, one interesting piece of content included an interview between people who know each other well and share a common interest. For example, one interviewee was a psychiatrist, Lee Geun-Hu, and the interviewer was his grandson. Another interviewer was the Weekly Science Books, and the interviewee was a zoologist Choi Jae-Cheon.
If SEASON's keywords can be both ‘book’ and ‘science,’ The Earthian Tales is a mixture of science and literature. It focuses on science fiction novels. Managing editor Choi Jae-Cheon published a sci-fi novel at a publisher, Arzak. Mr. Choi established a publishing company because he wanted to nurture and promote new sci-fi writers as literary magazines do. So, two-thirds of its content are writings and interviews with the new writers. The magazine's attraction point is its unique, in-depth interview with new authors, like the one with Lee Na-Gyeong, the author of Only The Rarest of The Dogs (published by Arzak). Mr. Choi contemplated the physical traits of the magazine as the editor-in-chief who has directed the magazine for a long time. As a science magazine that does not look like one, its first edition had a blue cover on a white hardcover, and its 2nd edition had a gold cover on a black leather binding.

 

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The Earthian Tales edition 1 & 2

 

 

 

 


Written by Ku Dool-Rae (Journalist at Hankyoreh 21)

 

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Ku Dool-Rae (Journalist at Hankyoreh 21)

#Korean Magazine#Book#Environment#Science
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