Magazines – Bobo, Anorak and Monocle

Once a week, the paper delivery man would post through our gates Bobo, the children’s magazine and Gadis, the teenage girls magazine. My older sister would have taken first dibs on both magazines, then I would have to knock on her doors to get Bobo of her. Despite the fact that she was too old for Bobo.

Growing up reading Bobo was brilliant. It was a cartoon character out of Bobo, Pak Janggut (literal translation: Bearded Man/sir), that inpired me to become a wanderer. Pak Janggut, Douwe Dabbert in its original version, is a short man with a magic travellers-sack tied up at the end of his shoulder-carried stick. The sack always produced items that he needs the most, almost like Doraemon’s pocket or Hermione Granger’s handbag.

Bobo Magazine / majalah

Adapted from the Dutch magazine, Bobo, offered a lot of stories, including its main character ‘Bobo’ the blue bunny, who always wear a red jumper with the letter B on it. He had a strange family, including Bibi Titi Teliti (trans:Very Thorough Aunty), Bibi Tutup Pintu (trans: Closing the Door Aunty) and Paman Gembul ( Trans:Chubby Uncle). There many other characters from different cartoon strips, Bona, the pink elephant, with his friend Rong-Rong the cat; Then there is Juwita the kind witch and her nemesis the wicked witch Sirik (Trans:Jealousy); Oki the little elf and there is always a moral to the story.

However it has moved a lot from what it used to be, I think somehow, either Bobo or I have grown up, Bobo has lost its charm.

From Bobo one usually move onto Gadis or Hai, then we also have Aneka, a magazine concentrating on short fiction stories. Occassionally, my mum would buy me American and or Australian teenage mags. Not until I was in highschool that Indonesian versions of Elle etc came about.

From the moment that it wasn’t right for me to buy and read  teenage magazines anymore, I have always felt that the magazines available to me are somewhat trivial. They are either full of celebrities gossips or full of fashion trends that I don’t really find interesting, there is always hardly anything to read. In airports or when I feel I need a magazine to read I either buy the economist or new scientific or conde nast or similar magazines. Even then I don’t find that the magazines are for me.

Monocle magazine

Not until a few years a go when I found Monocle, did I feel that there is a magazine that is meant for me. I picked it up because in its front cover had mentioned Indonesia. I flicked through and found that there were so many interesting things, it talks about current affair, snippets of global development in politics , economy, design etc, presented in good writing and lots of illustrations. Perfect. The only downside is the price, it is twice the price of popular mags.

Illustrations in Monocle

Ok, admitedly I don’t only buy one magazine, the other is Anorak, which is a children’s magazine, but it is so cool, full of illustrations and stories, limited advertising. I buy them for reference only, (^.^)v

Anorak front cover and inside

Anyways, I would recommend both magazines, if you are a bit like me. Do you ever feel like me, that the existing popular magazines is not talking to you? Have you read Monocle? What do you think of it?