London: Oz Publications Ink Ltd, December 1969. Offset. 9 ¼ x 11 ½ in. Saddle stapled in illustrated wraps. Very good, bumps and creases to back wrap, rubbing to spine. Item #6238
The “Hippie Atrocities!” issue.
Founded in Australia in 1963 by students Richard Neville and Richard Walsh, Oz was a monthly satirical magazine known for its eye-catching psychedelic designs illustrated. Plagued by harsh censorship at home, Oz looked abroad; in 1967, the magazine launched a parallel UK edition, dedicated to a wider range of counterculture topics, reporting on social movements, music, sexuality, art, drugs, feminism, censorship, and more.
The UK version of Oz quickly gained a large following, eclipsing its Australian counterpart. Richard Neville relocated to London and continued to be the main editor and driving force of the magazine, later working collaboratively with Jim Anderson and Felix Dennis. From the start, Martin Sharp provided the art and design, giving the magazine its signature psychedelic look. Sharp’s involvement in the magazine decreased during 1968-69 and the illustrated “Magic Theatre” issue was his last major Oz contribution.
Oz is also significant for the zeal that the British government brought to its censorship efforts. Oz’s 1970 obscenity prosecution and appeal was, at the time, the longest obscenity trial in British legal history and the first time that prosecutors combined the charges of obscenity and "conspiracy to corrupt public morals." The paper was ultimately acquitted, and the immense public interest generated by the trial caused the paper’s distribution to swell to 80,000, a significantly larger readership than many of their underground press counterparts.