If anything, it's a concept magazine.
Heralded as a "new trend in publishing" and "a multi-media concept," [R]U? magazine from BOO! media comes across as a do-it-yourself large-scale glossy by the few, for the even fewer. Transparent and bold in the approach, the primary aim includes getting readers to actually turn in submissions for the pages. This in the flying face of other magazines and publications that might include such a call squeezed with an ever decreasing font size into the indicia.
The second issue, released on a monthless date in 2002, is a broken example at the concept in process.
A section entitled, The Mall, lists freebies and products placed up for grabs by eager readers willing to exchange with a review. Another, The Noticeboard, lists other means in which the readers can help fill the pages with content. Through the post, the 1902 phone number, email or the website. All of which are now as defunct as the magazine itself.
Interviews with all sorts of people litter the pages and for each one of them, they don't finish off with the interviewer attempting to mount some sort of higher plane of condescension in the final sentence. Overdosing on saccharine from having read too many writers think about their subjects thoughts on life as they cut up a doughnut or eat their eggs, the move away from interference stands freshly naked. Especially given the method in which it is stripped.
Killing Heidi's Ella Hooper fills out a Q&A fax for her appearance. No attempt is made to butter it with extraneous information. Such as the way one stares out a window and ponders the product of hair extensions made from the locks of female prisoners. In another, this time slathered with quotes presumably by sports presenter Mieke Buchan, it's all Buchan with "says Mieke Buchan" the only indication the she didn't write the entirety of the piece herself. The credit, "words by Jenny O'Meara" adds to the suspicion that all is not right with the method of sewing together words of effect.
Of all the writers listed in the credits, their work seems to be little more than being a conduit for the words to pass through. This method only carries over toward other interviews and Q&As and stops at such features on September 11, gunning down feral dogs, cryonics and born again Christians. Reviews fill out the back and beyond one or two sentences are padded with spoilerish synopses and feature listings.
For an issue themed, Are You Alive?, it deals a lot on death. Brutally serene, a skinned and now emaciated dog hanging dead from a tree is one of a few powerful images resonating through the homogenous Shakespeare cartoons. Like that, the second half of the magazine seems to be filled more with longer and well tarted up articles—with actual comments, strokes and reflections of the writers—compared to the short pieces offered at the front section. The ads seem to have disappeared here as well. Most of them converted into the products placed in the review section a greater sticking mechanism if ever there was one. People have to think about why they want the damn products they'll be reviewing as opposed to being told the they can get favours owning a certain item.
Waiting around for a new issue of [R]U? is a futile effort. There weren't many after the second issue having soon stopped production a little while after.
Reviewed on Friday, 19 March 2004