A Brief History of The Late, Great ROKon Magazine In Covers

by Shelt Garner

Now that I’m beginning to get some sense of my creative future, I find myself thinking back at how I ended up in this situation. It all goes back to ROKon Magazine.

It’s embarrassing how long I dwelled on what went wrong a half-assed attempted at a magazine that only lasted a few months. But it was the one moment in my life — to date — when I was cool and people, like, actually fucking listened to me. Or, put another way, I told Annie Shapiro what we needed and people listened to her.

Anyway, the whole story is so romanticized in my mind and I’ve attempted to tell it in so many different ways, that, lulz, there’s not much more to say. But here are a few of the covers I’ve managed to save.

This was the first cover. We were all so naïve. I think my brief relationship with Annie lasted about the duration of production on this one — less than two weeks.

The above issue was a few months later — or maybe it was the second issue? It was the first issue where our vision for the magazine began to take shape, regardless. We were still very broke. But we were catching people’s attention. Again, no one cared at this point so things went well.

This was the first issue where there were obvious cracks in my relationship with Annie. I think this may have been the first issue when we were the only magazine for expats in Seoul. Everything that went wrong with ROKon Magazine was my fault because I was the one who started it. But it was fun, still at this point. I think this is the October issue when we decided to take a break so we could come out on the first of the month.

Below was one of the later issues. It’s a pretty good cover.

Author: Shelton Bumgarner

I am the Editor & Publisher of The Trumplandia Report

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