Friday, April 02, 2004

21 Yolk

The Special Premiere Issue of Yolk (for the new generasian) appeared in 1994 as Volume 1, Number 1 with Margaret Cho on the cover and an interview about her new (then) ABC sitcom on the inside. What's with the title? I've never met an Asian that looks like the color of an egg yolk, but that's the derivation. Larry J. Tazuma rambles on about how he never liked the name "Larry" so he chose a name that, well, no one else seemed to like either.
". . . the yolk of an egg is yellow. . . some say [it] symbolizes the birth of something. . . [some say] it's a body building term. . . [others say] yolk represents the Asian American struggle to break free from our shells. . .our skin color is really the only thing that connects Asians with other Asians and Asian Americans. It goes beyond geographical lines. . ."
Philip W. Chung, editor, was at first skeptical when approached to participate, but then warmed up to the idea.
. . .Yolk has arrived despite obstacles that might have crushed lesser mortals. How we did this, even I do not know. We are a group of mostly twentysomething, mostly Asian American men and women with some publishing experience, no money and few resources, but with our determination, passion and hard work we have made it thus far."
The early issues covered issues important to younger AA's, as did this first one--AIDS, ethnicity (Korean/Latino), prejudice, sex and the inventor of Play-Doh (a Chinese American). Not a reading menu that would interest me, but then middle age librarians weren't the target. It appeared to have a healthy ad and design budget at the beginning.

However, Yolk laid an egg and had to be given a re-birth in 2001, according to its web site, as an entertainment, lifestyle and pop culture magazine (which I thought it was). Sexy, scantily-clad Asian women became the only cover subject--what a concept! After 15 issues it ceased in late 2003, a victim of the illusive advertising dollar. However, Informasia Media Group, Inc. has put all the issues on a website where they are available for reading.

1994, Vol. 1, No. 1, Special Premiere Issue
ISSN: 1077-6907
Subject: Asian lifestyle and pop culture
Publication schedule quarterly
Status: Ceased 2003 after 15 issues
InformAsian Media, Inc.
PO Box 862130
1984 North Main Street Studio 202
Los Angeles, CA 90031
$3.95;$18.00 for 6 issues
Chief Operations Manager: Tommy Tan
Editor: Philip W. Chung
Managing Editor and Marketing director: Larry J. Tazuma

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