Oh, how I love magazines. I get excited when they come in the mail. There's just something about flipping through a big pile of magazines that makes me happy (I always make an initial run-through to see what I have in store for me before getting into the articles). They are great for riding the bus, for reading in bed, for long hot baths, for during the commercials, and forwhen you are too tired or sick to concentrate on a novel. I don't drive and I prefer to listen to music in the morning or when doing chores around the house, so magazines serve the purpose that NPR does for other people (No, I don't listen to NPR unless I'm in someone else's car. Don't tell anyone, or my Masters of Library Science degree might be revoked).
I was starting to feel like my subscriptions were getting out of hand, though, and that I might have to join Maga-holics Anonymous and admit my powerlessness over my addiction to magazines, so I bit the bullet and cancelled my subscription to the Village Voice. It was hard, but it has been getting pretty fluffy since New Times bought it, and besides I can get the movie and art reviews on-line via RSS for free.
Here are my current magazine subscriptions and why I subscribe:
Asian Cult Cinema (quarterly)
The granddaddy of all Asian filmzines, this is where I was first exposed to such wonders as Lone Wolf and Cub, Sleepy Eyes of Death, Branded To Kill, Kung Fu Zombie, Ong-Bak, Oldboy and much more.
Bitching about pop culture is what I do and what this mag does, so we're made for each other. Plus, they love 70-80s young adult novels and the kickass feminist werewolf movie Ginger Snaps.
Just because you want to read a girly magazine now and then, doesn't mean you want to feel as brainless as Paris Hilton. Any magazine that puts Peaches on the cover needs to be supported.
Giant Robot (bimonthly)
I don't know why two Asian guys from LA have the same taste in movies, art, music, toys, and even furniture design as me, they just do. This is where I first saw Uglydolls, starting me on a path to art toy obsession.
Jade Screen (quarterly)
This is the only glossy I know of that is almost entirely about martial arts films, mostly from Hong Kong, so I feel I should give them some hard-earned money in exchange for feeding my obsession. They're British, so they have a different view of things, and they have actual contacts in the HK film industry, so they give you more of a feel for it than just some guy in Omaha's web site.
You know those people who subscribe to Playboy for the articles? Well, I admit it, I just get Jux for the purty pictures. But how else would I know what art galleries to visit and what artists to check out? Also, I can cut out pictures and use them for craft projects and CD covers (for the non-profit amusement of my friends and family, of course).
This magazine has saved me money and hassle with Apple tips-and-tricks and led me to some good products and shareware. Macworld is OK, but Macaddict has a badass additude and a sense of humor.
Every bleeding-heart needs some support in these terrible times. Actually, it's more like a weekly dose of heart-squeezing anger at the injustice in the world, which is good for me but about all I can take. I don't know how people who listen to talk radio do it.
New York Review of Books (biweekly)
With all the fiction and magazines and comic books I read, there is only a limited time for (non-movie-related) non-fiction. The great thing about NYROB is you learn a little about a lot of topics you might not want to read a whole book about, so your friends and people you meet at parties think you're insanely smart and well-read. NYROB, people. The tiny, chic, fake eyeglasses of the magazine world!
New Yorker (weekly)
More articles that will convince your friends you're smart. RSS feeds are fine and all, but sometimes you need a general-interest magazine so you get sucked into reading about some topic you normally wouldn't seek out, just because it's so well-written. Let me tell you about wild hogs, artisanal tofu, Planet X and Jean-Paul Sartre's love life!
Psychotronic (irregular/3 times per year)
Where else would I hear about all the vampire, biker, sexploitation, low-budget-sci-fi, werewolf, juvenile delinquent, monster, rocksploitation and zombie movies available? Even the interviews with unsung geniuses and bitter, washed-up has-beens are entertaining.
For people who like to make stuff but don't want to be all Martha Stewart about it.
Shojo Beat (monthly)
This is more of a comic anthology than a magazine, but it is sold in the magazine section of B & N and has a few articles. It reminds me of reading Frederick Schodt's Manga Manga years ago and wishing some cool girls' manga would show up in the US. Well, now it's here, and it's worth it for the very punk Nana alone.
Wizard Anime Insider (monthly)
I've had a hard time finding out about new manga and anime since Animerica folded, so I'm giving this new magazine a try.