Before we had smartphones, we relied on good old fashioned magazines to stay updated on the entertainment scene.
Before “scrolling” took over the way we consume information, we “flipped”. Some may not be familiar with this concept but flipping was fun.
It involved earmarking our favourite content, instead of pressing Ctrl+D or adding them to clicking on the heart symbol to put in our Favourites folder.
It also involved physical cutting if we wanted to transfer the images somehere else.
So before entertainment information and gossip were readily available to us in our phones, we had to go to the local newsstand to get our hands on a magazine. It’s those colourful little things with pages and a front cover.
Let’s take a look at some of the magazines Malaysians grew up with before the “Internet killed the magazine star”.
Yes it’s Mangga with two Gs, not one. That’s a different thing. Mangga which literally means mangoes (the fruit) in Malay was the name of an entertainment magazine which was under the Utusan group back then.
It wasn’t too scandalous but scandalous enough to be popular, that even if you would not purchase a copy, you would have definitely come across one, somehow.
The magazine was known for its swimming pool photoshoots of male celebrities. It had gossips, interviews, basically enough of the local entertainment scene to keep you updated on the latest happenings.
Then again, the reason Mangga lasted as long as it did was because we had no social media back then. Things would have gone viral a little too often for it to survive today.
While Mangga may be remembered for its swimming pool shots, the magazine actually had a different direction when it first hit the stands in 1995. It was supposed to be a combination of a comic book and entertainment news. As time went by, they changed course and the magazine’s tagline went from “Bukan Sebarang Komik” to “Bukan Sebarang Hiburan”.
While it is unclear when Mangga rode off into the sunset, its May 2014 issue featuring Maya Karin on the cover could have been the last.
Those living in the Klang Valley in the early 2000s would definitely recall KLUE. It was a comprehensive guide to events around the city with content that centred around arts, films, food, music and nightlife.
To the young ‘uns familiar with Urbanscapes, the festival owes its roots to the KLUE magazine. According to Urbanscapes founder Adrian Yap, as reported by The Edge’s Option, back in 2002, Urbanscapes came about as a means to bring to life the kind of content published in the KLUE magazine.
We started Urbanscapes with the idea that whatever was on the printed page or computer screen could be brought to life so that people can experience the stuff that we wrote about in person. And even if we did have personalities and projects from outside KL, at the heart of it, Urbanscapes has always been a KL festival. It’s a once-a-year opportunity to tell the stories of the many things that make up this city.Adrian Yap on Urbanscapes – The Edge, Options
URTV, Media Hiburan
Another major publication under the Utusan umbrella back then was URTV. It first hit the stands in 1970. Yes, most of you reading this weren’t even born yet at the time.
It was not as saucy as Mangga and the magazine was meant to be a source of entertainment news, not only for films and television but also radio.
At the time, even its writers and editors were known to many, including Juwie, Bam, Norshah Tamby and Huzz, among others.
While it had relatively no major rivals in the Malay language section when it first came out, in 1984, Karangkraf hit the scene with Media Hiburan. It shared pretty much the same concept as URTV and provided the masses with a means to stay updated on their favourite celebrities.
Teenagers in the 90s would be familiar with local magazine Galaxie, as they looked forward to its pin-up posters every fortnight.
Galaxie was an English entertainment magazine published by The Star. It was really popular in the 90s and rightly so as it had established its brand since 1974.
Access to international English entertainment magazines back then was limited and it was expensive, so Galaxie was a great alternative for Malaysians as it covered the mainstream international scene extensively.
Sadly, it bid farewell in 2013 after 39 years of providing printed entertainment information to its fans.