December 20th, 2011
Telebi Kun Sept. 2011

Telebi Kun (てれびくん)Magazine September, 2011

Each month these magazines pack nearly all of their contents onto the cover. All of the heroes and headlines and slogans jostle and press to the front like an unwieldy and overexcited crowd bursting through a tight doorway. A riot of color and contrast and photo and text. Including fluorescent ink.

Telebi Kun might be translated as TV Kid and Telebi Magajin as TV Magazine. They deal with Television programs directed at boys. Mainly what they are about are television superheroes – Kamen Rider and the Sentai heroes – a bit of Ultraman. And a little bit devoted to other programs. Inside they show a lot of pictures of the heroes in action emphasizing the fighting deftness and force of the heroes exhibited through poses and dramatic moments from the show. I think what they offer, for the most part, is a chance to slow down and spend more time with the energy and power and mastery of the heroes than you can while watching the shows. It’s like having that big bag of candy after Halloween and being able to go through it again and again just to enjoy the inventory.

Telebi Magajin July 2011

Telebi Magajin (テレビマガジン) July 2011

Kenya Hara, in White, makes an excellent case for the great fullness and depth summoned by a white space or a single basic symbol. In part because our minds help to fill this space. These super-hero magazines seem to have an opposite approach. They flood all available space leaving our imagination little room to wander, little to do. But my three year old son can spend long periods poring over these covers, and leafing through the magazines. He seems to gain a sustenance from the repetition and from wending his way through the maze-like layout discovering gems to point out as he pulls apart the thickets of information. It also may be the case that the near indecipherability creates a kind of inclusivity for those who are connected and ready (maybe just simply willing to take the time) to receive the messages they offer. They are also, essentially, the visual equivalent of untempered, unhindered, aggressive boy energy. And underneath, there is certainly some anxiety being exuberantly allayed.

Telebi Kun June 2011

Telebi Kun (てれびくん) June 2011

I am older and so like a lot more space. I like one thing at a time because I already have such a powerful clutter in my head that something like Telebi Kun is consumer camouflage to me: indistinguishable from the bright visual forest of everything else in the aisle at the 7 Eleven. So I offer Pen magazine which is directed at adult boys. (Maybe it is something like Esquire). On the cover is just one superhero – Ultraman. Ultraman is on the cover because the issue is largely a nostalgic look back at the various Ultraman series.

pen magazine Sept. 2011

pen Magazine September 2011

Williams Trent