ROKon Magazine: Why You Should Care

Me And Annie During The Good Old Days
Me And Annie During The Good Old Days

I like to think that certain stories are so great that they’ll get themselves told one way or another. The story of ROKon Magazine in Seoul is definitely one of them. One problem in telling the story is I can’t really get into the nitty-gritty of what happen without pissing a lot of people off. In my previous posts about the matter, I tried to give you, the reader, a general idea of what was going on between July 2006 and March 2007.

The best way for me to tell the story of ROKon Magazine would be in novel form so I could tell all the zany stuff that was going on in such a way that you would care. I find myself staring at my computer screen all the time, wondering, “Where to begin?”

One reason to care about ROKon Magazine is it proves that through luck and pluck you can get anything done. Those first few months of ROKon Magazine were magical. Every day, something new happened that gave me pause for thought.  Who could have possibly imagined that someone like me would team up with someone like Annie and produce something that people actually really liked like ROKon Magazine.

Or how about this — if you care about the impact of ideas on people’s lives, you’ll care about the story of ROKon Magazine. ROKon, as long as I was involved, was just an idea. That’s it. An idea. Two people said, “Hey, let’s do something cool!” And the rest took care of itself.

And then there is the story of my personal obsession.  I became obsessed with the idea of ROKon Magazine because I was the only one doing any work. I was the one who was paying for virtually everything and I was the one who — more often than not — physically took the magazine out to get distributed. The first few months those magazines were as light as could be, despite their weight. Later on, they became a much heavier load because I realized no one really cared about the hard work except me.

The twists and turns that the story of ROKon would take are great fodder for a novel. I mean, take the fact that Julian would become publisher and do such a great job on the layout. How could I possibly have known that was going to happen?

And the characters involved! There were so many over-the-top characters involved in the life and death of my version of ROKon Magazine that only a novel would it justice. The expat “scene” back then was full of such people and they were all very interesting. Interesting enough to care about. But, as I said, I don’t feel comfortable writing in detail about them because, well, it was a long time ago and I have closure.

I could write three or four thousand more words trying to lay this argument out, but here is not the time or place for such behavior. I believe in my heart that the story of ROKon Magazine is unique and worth learning about.  I’ll shut up about it for the time being, barring something that provokes me.

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Migukin has been in the newspaper business off and on for about 15 years. He lived in South Korea for about 5 years total. He co-founded ROKon Magazine in Seoul, South Korea several years ago. He currently is a freelance writer and photographer living in the Richmond, Virginia area. You can read his personal Website at


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