Community Programs Group (parent company to THE MAGAZINE) has been producing children's entertainment since 1984. We started out making educational films about subjects such as bicycle safety & rules of the road (Right Riders), first aid, and alcohol and substance abuse (Mr. Finley's Pharmacy, Choose). We were eager to break into the comic market as it was a new forum to tell interesting stories and use comic characters as harbingers of positive lifestyles. And who better to help us than mighty Marvel Comics themselves!
SPIDER-MAN IN CANADA
In 1990, we produced 5 special issues of The Amazing Spiderman. The first issue, Skating On Thin Ice, was graced with cover art by megastar Todd (Spawn) McFarlane. There were four other issues – Double Trouble, Hit and Run (featuring the Ghost Rider), Chaos in Calgary, and Deadball. These stories involved Spidey's adventures in Canada and featured drug awareness and safety messages. This series was published by MARVEL and distributed across Canada by Police officers visiting elementary schools whilst on their safety talks.
A series of 12 further episodes was proposed, but never produced. After a while we realized that Spiderman was too American, and there was only so much we could do with his character…
JR. JAYS MAGAZINE AND KIDS CLUB
…so we decided to create our own! In 1993, we started up a publication called THE NEW JR. JAYS MAGAZINE. The Jr. Jays were created for many reasons. We wanted characters that could better represent our multi-cultural society.
THE JR. JAYS magazines were given away at BLUE JAYS games and in schools by Police officers, and have since become very collectable. Packed full of lifestyle information, BLUE JAYS facts and a comic strip that represented the diverse culture of the new generation of Canadian kids, THE JR. JAYS magazines had something for everyone. The comic adventures featured many popular elements of Canadian myths and folklore (Bigfoot, Haunted Houses, BJ Birdie), and often merged sci-fi staples like aliens and time-travel with everyday issues which kids of the 1990s faced.
JR. JAYS mania swept across the country and at the height of their popularity had over 200,000 members and a hit show on YTV (watch Dr. Jay on The Zone!), as well as a clothing line, lots of cool merchandise, regular appearances at the Skydome (now Rogers Centre) from Dr. Jay himself, and even school visits from Blue Jays team members!
THE MAGAZINE – NOT FOR ADULTS (QUARTERLY)
In the Fall of 1998, we changed our name to 'THE MAGAZINE – NOT FOR ADULTS'.
While the baseball and sports focus of our earlier magazines was always popular, we wanted to expand more into the wide and wonderful world of entertainment. The JR. JAYS comic strip continued to run, even though THE MAGAZINE began to focus more on music, movies, TV and other popular culture elements, until it concluded in a farewell story entitled "One Exit" in the Fall 2000 edition.
THE MAGAZINE AS A MONTHLY
In November 2000 THE MAGAZINE went monthly. It was sold directly over the check-out counters at every A&P and Dominion store in Ontario. Distribution has since grown to cover all of the Canada. Our mission was to give back to the community, as well as open up the content of THE MAGAZINE to young writers, critics and artists.
Literacy and charity remain an important part of our program, and over the years THE MAGAZINE has evolved while retaining the original magic which made THE JR. JAYS series (and to a degree, SPIDER-MAN IN CANADA) so popular.
THE MAGAZINE TODAY
Buy The Magazine in stores or ONLINE today! THE MAGAZINE is available at:
- Shopper's Drug Mart
- Guardian Drugs
- No Frills
- Smith Books
And most good convenience stores, book stores, and grocery marts across Canada.
Our website has its own colourful history that dates back to the late 1990s when the Internet was still it its infancy, ICQ was the must-have instant messenger, 'tweets' were just the sounds a bird makes, and Mark Zuckerberg was a 15-year-old who no one had ever heard of. Then, several years later, he would invent Facebook and change the way the world communicates.
So too has www.themagazine.ca changed the way that THE MAGAZINE has interacted with its readers over the years. Central to this reader-writer-editor relationship has been the Mag Board, The Magazine's online forum where readers can sign up for a free account and engage with their fellow readers and The Mag's editorial staff to discuss the latest and greatest in pop culture and world issues.
Here is a quick timeline of the Mag Board's evolution:
- April 25th, 2002 – The EZBoard Years
Our first board was fun for the first little while, but the EZ network was a total nightmare (and still is to this day). In late 2004, there were outages on the EZ network that lasted days at a time. We needed a new board. A bigger, bolder board that could be personalized to better suit the needs of users. In early 2005, we locked the EZ doors. For those brave souls who would like to see what it looked like, its still there: THE MAGBOARD @ EZBoard, but be warned, its full of pop-up ads, and a lot of stuff was lost when EZBoard suffered a total network collapse sometime in 2005.
- Feb 2, 2005 – The Mercury Board Years
Mercury Board was a fantastic board that was light years ahead of EZ; however, because of our old server, there were cookie problems that barred new users from joining. Still, Mercury gave us a great couple of years, and many of the best posters we have had came from this era.
- May 7, 2007 – The Invision Board Years
In 2007, we launched another fresh board, and a brand new chapter. The Invision Board gave us improved moderating functionality and also provided users with private messaging, their own personal profile page that they could customize and use to post messages on each other's profiles, as well as better graphics and userfriendliness.
- April 8, 2011 – The Mag Board Refreshed
To coincide with the launch of our brand new website and ten years of archived content from THE MAGAZINE, the Mag Board has been redesigned and integrated into the rest of the site to provide our users with a more immersive MAG experience.
So, what are you waiting for? Sign up today and help us write the next chapter of our history!
For more information about anything else related to The Magazine, feel free to contact us.