It’s something most millennials might not be able to relate to, but I used to be a magazine addict. I lived and breathe reading, buying, re-reading and later on, writing for magazines. And it’s no surprise that I have a rather large collection, local and international that I’ve bought over the decades, immaculately preserved in several dozens of boxes at home (but don’t ask me how my family feels about it, please). Especially during the mid to late 80s and the 90s when local titles were limited and foreign titles were even rarer, I would simply buy everything my pocket money could afford.
And while you might have heard of some of the more high profile titles that existed until recently like FHM, CLEO and KLUE, you might not heard of these ones…
My favourite local entertainment mag at that time (the 80s lah). I also launched my writing ‘career’ with the mag, submitting a few Letters to the Editor and got published every time. My favourite was a piece called “Prince Is The Best”, where I basically dissed Michael Jackson and boldly proclaimed that Prince was the better dancer. True story.
Not to be confused with the more risque American version, this local Attitude was a mag for wholesome youths. And guess what, I was its “legal columnist”! I probably even stopped some people from committing crimes through my sound legal advice. You’re welcome.
From the publishers of FHM Malaysia, etc’s probably Malaysia’s juiciest English entertainment rag. Ever. Such a pity it died as a women’s mag. (Although it was resuscitated some years back to no success)
Day & Night
Popped up in the mid 90s and published by The Star. Day & Night was the KLUE of its day and had pretty decent food reviews. Main highlight though was the Editor’s Letter which was more of a dissin’ page with plenty of loaded and juicy goss that had nothing to do with the rest of the magazine’s content!
Started out as a free mag at Tower Records, tone became a full-fledged non-complimentary mag soon after. It was dubbed the local Spin and delved deeper into music and elevated the local scene to heights never before seen in the late 90s. Apparently not really appealing to advertisers, it had to close down after less than 5 years to the anguish of its loyal fanbase, including Yours Truly.
Local English sports magazines have never done well here. And Sports@ didn’t do any better when it was launched in the late 90s. People don’t really care about the serious side of sports here, apparently (no matter how much you try to fluff up the covers).
Published by the same folks who gave us the iconic Men’s Review (the original version), TV Review, um, reviewed TV shows and everything else connected to showbiz. It was really entertaining with its unconventional wit and humour and had some pretty decent covers as well.
A bigger-sized local Reader’s Digest, Journal One was probably ahead of its time and lasted at least 2 years longer than everyone expected. But some of my own serious pieces of writing can be found here, including a 2500-word story on Serial Killers. Yes, I was already an expert before ‘Criminal Minds’ came along.
The poor lad’s FHM. Enuff’ said.
Popped up during the dotcom boom. Went kaput after the dotcom bust.
Know of any more ol’ skool magazine titles? Share them with us, so we can work on a longer list!