The very first cover of the very first Fab Magazine back in 1994
On July 1, 1994, the first issue of Fab was released. Check out the cover we’ve included on this page. So ’90s. So cool. Still so hot! The magazine was smaller in size, but just as big in gay. It cost “$2 in Toronto, $3 in the sticks and free if yer lucky!”
In the editor’s letter, Michael Schwarz thanks the many gays who contributed to making the magazine happen and writes, “What are we all about? Well, fun would be the shortest explanation.” A magazine for men whose “identity is tied to being gay but not bound and gagged by it.” He also addresses the fact that lesbians wouldn’t be included so writers could focus on the men’s community, stating, “We have no experience in women’s issues.”
It’s a titillating time capsule but also an eye opener, because really, not much has changed.
Except for the fact that the 1994 Fab was aimed at readers who “live in the village and live throughout Southern Ontario” — we live very openly, happily and freely wherever we want in the city today — we’re still a publication that wants to have a good time. Something uplifting, local, informative and really cute to look at.
Inside that first issue there are party pics and stories about design, health and coming out. In one piece the writer dreams of Marky Mark naked; another story, about “big toys for boys,” includes an enormous, shower-proof cordless phone. Listings were still integral, and the ads themselves are something to drool over in all their ’90s, greasy-haired glory.
18 years later (holy shit!), we’re changing things up. Not the main objective of Fab, which is still to show off gay Toronto, but the look and a few other little details.
First off, the logo. It’s big, chunky and bold. Gone are the two bathroom-stall boys inside the letter B, as well as the lowercase letters. Fab deserves an uppercase treatment!
Secondly, the overall look. Fonts, colours, design, layout . . . all thanks to our creative director and dynamo design team. Readers will notice things are much slicker and cleaner.
Third, some content changes: we have a new music column from Kevin Ritchie, called Playlisp; a new style column from Diego Armand, called Style Life; a new gay history column from Michael Lyons and Jeremy Willard, called History Boys; and a juicier look for Deep Dish.
More pictures, more presence and, like Schwarz wrote almost two decades ago, more fun.
Just what this city needs.
— Phil Villeneuve