An unofficial 20th anniversary of Giant Robot magazine post

The 20 Years Art + Mag and SuperAwesome: Art and Giant Robot shows at GR2 and the Oakland Museum of California, respectively, are coming up soon and Eric has assembled stellar lineups that boast many of the biggest-name artists who have appeared in the magazine and galleries. So many familiar faces, such great talent. The twentieth anniversary celebrations of Giant Robot’s first issue will be a blast, and I hope that some of you are able to attend them.

While I have not been involved in either event in any manner—art galleries and art shows are for artists not editors, I understand—I’d like to recall some other folks who were essential to my favorite magazine’s 16 years of publication.

Of course, the brilliant Pryor Praczukowski tirelessly and impeccably color-balanced practically every image that ran in Giant Robot, while my eventual wife Wendy Lau designed every gorgeous issue from 18 through 68, the final edition. They both moonlighted at GR and spent countless late nights and weekends with me in Eric’s garage accompanied by our ever-changing and always dedicated corps of volunteer copy editors during deadlines. Susan Cho, Hane C. Lee, Alexia Montibon-Larsson, Deanne Oi, Shelly Niimi, and Brian Tse immediately come to mind as all-star mistake finders who toiled for cookies and perhaps even a meal. Among the many excellent interns, the heroic trio of Michael Kai Louie, Joe Stillwater, and Pat Tsai was particularly memorable, as was Christine Kim. I don’t know how many times I asked Ben Clark to come out with me to shoot great photos under the most rinky-dink conditions. And what can be said about the enigmatic Bill Poon? I still make a point to hang out with the latter two guys all the time.

Although our advertising department always managed to do a lot with very little, I especially enjoyed working with Lisa Mouse, Kiyoshi Nakazawa, and Margaux Elliott (who all have lovely children now). We had the support of many great advertisers, but I still can’t believe Hook-Ups grabbed every single back cover starting with issue 4.

While I went over each word that was printed and developed our editorial style and voice—and accept blame for all the typos—it’s impossible for me to recall everyone who ever helped out since the cut-and-paste, staple-and-fold days in Eric’s bedroom at his parents’ pad in Brentwood. Since I had a full-time job editing textbooks for McGraw-Hill and was working on Giant Robot as a hobby for the first 20 issues or so, I wasn’t able to spend time with every participant until the original retail shop took off. That’s when Eric told me I could stop looking for a day job and start getting a small paycheck from Giant Robot. What a cool moment that was.

Editing Giant Robot really was a dream position. I felt like I was contributing to culture, got to write whatever I wanted, and not only worked exclusively with friends but made an army of new ones who do the most creative things possible. It was really hard to let go when the magazine was no longer financially viable for Robot Factory, Inc. At least I can be a way better husband and parent now that I’m working sane hours elsewhere, although I still contribute to the GR website whenever I come across something worthy of the brand and its followers.

To commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the magazine’s launch, I have dug into my dusty set of back issues and compiled the names of the writers, artists, photographers, designers, copy editors, and interns that have contributed over the years. We didn’t print a masthead until issue 12, so it’s possible that I missed a few. I apologize. I might have typed some names twice, too. Oops. But the list is quite impressive, nonetheless. In addition to recognizing noteworthy artists, musicians, filmmakers, photographers, pro skaters, and journalists in there, sharp eyes will find ex-girlfriends, as well. A flood of fond memories emerged for me while typing (or mistyping) names and if you happen to find yours among them, I hope you have fond ones, too. That goes for the cursory and even estranged supporters as much as Eric, Cate, and the crew that still flies the flag on Sawtelle. Everyone.

GIANT ROBOT CONTRIBUTORS FOR ISSUES 1 – 68 + ROBOT POWER

Mike Idemoto, Lynn Padilla, Daria Yudacufski, Minju Pak, Yvonne Ng, Jeff Briggs, Makoto Nakayama, Kim Yutani, Vicki Berndt, Rita Yoon, Pryor Praczukowski, Trang Lai, Ted Lai, Nikos Constant, Heeyeon Chang, Beth Accomando, Ron Kane, Greg Wong, Robert Ito, Tanya O., Rop Vasquez, I.H. Kuniyuki, Ken Kawamura, Wing Ko, J. Grant Brittain, Anthony Acosta, Jon Moritsugu, Jay Bain, Manami Kano, Julie Shiroishi, Katie McQuerry, D.M. Fukuhara, John Matsumura, Queena Kim, Margaret Cho, Betty Hallock, Todd Inoue, Robin Iwata, Andrew Sun, Daniel Wu, Eric Matthies, Angelyn Wong, Chantal Acosta, Jayson Sae Saue, Infinity, Duke Seino, David Choe, Chi-hui Yang, Nate Shimizu, David Walker, Akiko Tetsuya, Christine Muzquiz, Sky Whitehead, Michael Kim, David Yu, Gregory Han, Denise Ho, Caroline Suzuki, Carina Cha, Peter Lee, Raina Lee, Charles Song, Emily Ryan, Jessie Mann, Susian Cho, Caroline Poon, Bill Poon, Claudine Ko, Windy Chien, Rop Vasquez, Jay Babcock, Lance Hahn, Sandy Yang, Audrey Ednalino, Christine Kim, Curtis Lin, Masaki Miyagawa, Anjali Prasertong, Jenn Quinly, Jenny Yun, Thanh-Thanh Dang, Lucy Kim, Eric Elizabeth, Akio Iida, Matt Kaufman, Bill Marquez, Christel Leung, Brian Ralph, Jordan Crane, Happy Tsugawa-Banta, Brian Rasser, Eddie Rayden, Amy Davis, Jim Coursey, Scott Burgeson, Greg Chang, Emmanuel Yarborough, Rotor, Simon Moran, Ryoko Suzuki, Emi Yoda, Matt Gross, Kirk Jones, Joseph Baribeau, Felix Lau, Steve Reeder, Shawn Sites, Nelson Kuo, Gene Chung, Una Kim, Kien Lieu, Josh Orick, Michael Kai Louie, Joe Stillwater, Pat Tsai, Michelle Cabalu, Jane Hseu, Monti Lawrence, Gayle Peck, Mark Schaefer, Peter Zaslov, Grace Hung, Maria Blackheart, Phil Chen, Liberty Lidz, Rachel Rinaldo, Lisa Strouss, Lawrence Paul Evangelista, Angie Camacho, Carlos De La Garza, Wendy Lau, Amit Gilboa, Bryan McCauley, Colombene Jenner, Mike Reyes, Wendy Jung, Zen Sekizawa, Sarah Ciehomski, Anthony Lew, Cathy Camper, Chris Hayashida, Gabe Soria, Renard Garr, Barry Hamaguchi, Chris Canuck, Cynthia Dea, Bob Calhoun, Carla Avitable, Angela Bizzari, Angela Liu, Melissa Coats, Naomi Yang, Terence Lam, David Hyde, Heath Row, Rachel Ng, Eros David, Mabel Ko, Colin Geddes, Keith Saunders, Mitch Burman, Stephen Chiu, Adrian Tomine, Angie Lee, David Weiner, Derek Bevil, Izumi Tezuka, Jai Tanju, J. Otto Seibold, Linda Tang, Nancy Mato, Rob Schroeder, Scott Larson, Teena Apeles, kozyndan, Evan Mack, Jessica Sanders, Karin Anna Cheung, Martin Cendreda, Rachel Ng, Candace Mack, Herden Daza, Jasmine Ong, Stephanie Carbone, Anna Sophie Loewenberg, Bobby Kim, Carmina Ocampo, Corina Fastwolf, Danny Smith, Gabriel Ritter, Emiko Eda, Glen E. Friedman, Melanie Phipps, Scott Gibson, Shari Sakahara, Amanda Lovell, Ara Kim, Dan Huang, Eric Lau, Janice Chiou, Kim Riback, Scott Brooks, Michelle Loc, Deanne Cheuk, Joel Montague, John O’Conner, Ling Wu Liu, Markus Augustus, Tim Hugh, Hane C. Lee, Kiyoshi Nakazawa, Brian Houska, Dan Morey, Doug Kim, Eric Anderson, Alan Williams, Anthony Lew, David Moss, Felicia Daniel, Gavin DeGraff, Hamilton Stephens, Justin Dean, Lawton Chiu, Louise Chen, Gerry Mak, Raghunath Cappo, Shaun Fynn, Gabie Strong, Kim Okamura, Ryan Randall, Ryan Wong, Sarvi Sheybany, Gary S.H. Lee, Kyle Kiang, Lori Spears, Prodip Leung, Mira Lew, Mitch Mitchell, Rachel Felstein, Selena Ma, Cate Park, Rick Valenzuela, Ben Clark, Brent Fierro, Chow Ah Beng, Dan Eldridge, Kauko Takagawa, Mike Pendon, Wayne Pan, Andrew Lam, April Liu, Chris Baker, LeRoy Grannis, Andrea Sung, Joe Gross, Andrew Lam, Peter Siu, Derral Chen, Lilia Kawakami, Nao Harada, Carolline Kim, Michelle Borok, Mike Wu, Chako Suzuki, Eungie Joo, Karina Santos, John Pham, Philip Stone, Robert Bernal, Jenny Choi, Anne Ishii, Mia Park, Ava Kaufman, Katie Ryan, David Horvath, Kelly O’Sullivan, Lisa S., Nick Mangkalakiri, Sun-min Kim, Andy Wang, Bobby Carter, Cesar Fabello, Jeff Gaskell, Ming Tran, Nick Harmer, Maya Meinert, Justina Ly, Luis Rios, Alexis Ching, James Lee, Jeff Palmer, Kaori Shoji, Kevin Bolton, Myleen Hollero, Senon Williams, Yong Kim, Lizerne Guiting, Jeff Hong, Steve Khoo, Will Khoo, Amazing Améziane, Jon Campbell, Kim Suarez, Manuel Ocampo, Poi Beltran, Sandy Olkowski, Vanda Chong, Corey Arnold, Kiwon Yoon, Mike Park, Joyce Lee, Sandy Pae, Andrea Sung, Daryl Chin, Heseon Park, Jon Humphries, Lisa Katayama, Mike Tesi, Munkao, Gil Kuno, Jenny Kwok, Singo Hayashi, Myles Shioda, Kyle Hertier, David Chien, Keenan Keller, Xochitil Oliva, Mimi Soo-Hoo, Alex English, Michael Bevry, Ray Potes, Souther Salazar, Clarissa Woo, Mike Fong, Saelee oh, Zee Burns, Hellen Jo, Louie Cordero, Brian Tse, Eric Wang, Naat Jairam, Shelly Niimi, Vincent Hsia, Aileen Son, Shad Lambert, Erica Gee, Kevin Kleinhans, Margaux Elliott, jeffstaple, Jon Yokogawa, Josh Spear, Karol Mora, Nikki Rodgers, Todd Blickenstaff, Albert Reyes, Tran Bui, Helen Yoshida, Vicki Tao, Adrian Favell, Anderson Le, Jimmy Lee, Alison Kim, Isis Jara, Nikki Derse, Giovanni Reda, Ronald J. Saunders, Jimmy Cheung, Ken Taya, Konrad Ng, Paul Peng, Sheldon Candis, Aaron Brown, Audrey Shiomi, Dan Ryan, Daniel Lim, Satomi Matsuzaki, Thao Nguyen, Jessica Lew, Avery McTaggert, Fawn Fruits, Kaori Kasai, Rob Sato, Julienne Lin, Alexia Montibon-Larsson, Deanne Oi, Kelly Roberts, Lawrence Cheung, Emilio Santoyo, Joseph Peter, Max Wanger, Sarah Glazer, Tony Molina, Tricia Lew, Kevin Ung, Ayako Fujitani, Charlie Xia, Jay Jao, Jessica Lum, Steven Yi, Sophie He, Adam Lau, Damon Krukowski, James Leung, Kaia Wong, Abby Armada, Erika Ishii, Gabby Cheung, Jenny Liang, Aaron Stewart-Ahn, Ara Ashjian, Chris Alfaro, Gary Chou, Greg Papazian, Joe Hahn, Monkmus, Michael Zagaris, Phil Nisco, Ray Barbee, Brandon Kim, Ken Chen, Yuki Ueda, Dan Lee, Jamie Zawinski, Mia Doi Todd, Sooyoung Park, Chris Deaner, Graham Kolbeins, Harry Kim, Jame Piña, James Baluyut, Jason Jaworski, Lana Kim, Paco Taylor, Saelee Oh, Dora Quach, Elizabeth Kim, Adam Robezzoli, Dan-ah Kim, Dave Hoang, Derek Yu, Deru, Eric Cheng, Mark Nisbet, Maya De Forest, Natasha Bishop, Oscar Rios, Vanessa Cabrillas, Albert Lee, Angie Wang, Catherine Lo, Melody Ng, Roger Snider, Simon Lei, Maré Odomo, Matthew Hawkins, Tae Won Yu, Pat Casaldo, Robin Laananen, Grant Kakehashi, Judy Wang.

Thanks!

5 Comments

  1. Frederic Gleach
    13 March 14, 7:00pm

    A nice tribute to a great magazine! As much as I enjoy the online GR, I still miss the print magazine, and looking forward to seeing a new issue on the newsstand.

  2. 14 March 14, 6:01pm

    We need giant robot back long live giant robot

  3. 15 March 14, 1:35pm

    Giant Robot was one of a kind. it offered opportunities for Asians to connect to their roots and non-Asians to learn about the culture. Congratulations for the 20th year anniversary. Your efforts made a difference, and it was so timely as Asians became more visible.

  4. anonymousrobot
    18 March 14, 8:49pm

    Can we get the old issues in PDF format? That would be really handy.

  5. Darryl
    19 March 14, 11:09pm

    Martin – don’t sell yourself short re: editing vs creating. If not for your hard work and sweat, there wouldn’t be GR, which means there wouldn’t be a place for all this art.

    And your writing was art too man.

    I remember I totally wanted to put that article up on the first website.

    Interestingly, when I google “I was Hello Kitty”, an recent article pops up about immigrants playing Hello Kitty and other characters in Times Square. Funny:

    http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/01/31/i-am-hello-kitty

    I think I may go grab my copy GR2 and read it for old times’ sake. Yup, your article is still awesome.

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