Sunday, February 15, 2009

Oz 31 / Ink 23 – A peek at the UK Underground

Yikes! I've been scanning my butt off but typing not at all, so howsabout a double post tonight of UK undergrounds. I did a scan a little while back of IT, but tonight I’m serving up examples of a couple of other magazines thanks to my main man on the other side Slinky. First up Oz 31. The cover is classic:

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I scanned a Berkeley Tribe recently with a similar man, woman, baby, gun thing going, but this one is a cheeky take on the revolution. The caption says

He drives a Maserati
She’s a professional model
The boy is the son of the
Art Editor of Time Magazine:
Some Revolution!

I’d hoped to see an issue of Oz for some time now, and I was not dissappointed with what I’ve found. The issue is packed with art and oddities and printed in a wide array of colors. It’s really something of a graphical explosion. Full of all sorts of naughty and amateurish bits, there’s also some striking graphics.

Perhaps Charles Acid has something to do with the colorful sensibility. A funny take on the goofy ads from the comics of youth:

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Here’s a colorful spread so you can see what I mean, you’ll can get a much closer look when in the full scan:

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or this piece, too, is just all over the place, only in one color but complex, from the article on magic mushrooms…

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The background is full of all sorts of detail images blending into each other in shades of orange. A nature sketch of the mushroom Fly Agaric hovers over a long haired with ride a sort of phallus broom beneath a faun and maiden perched on mushroom pedestals which are growing from the eyes of a frog that is blending into Alice’s caterpillar smoking from a hooka being descended upon by a parade of fairies, aliens, and stools all floating over a castle with phallic towers growing from toadstools with human faces that stand above cockroach and another frog with stools for eyes. Not too shabby for a background illustration!

I love this bit probably reprinted from EVO, Yossarian’s tease of the obscene caller:

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Or I thought this was a funny title for the Dylan story:

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Really a fun magazine, graphically brilliant but not as political as IT or Ink which the cover above proclaims is coming. Apparently there was a web archive of Oz material but it seems to have been taken down. You can navigate to the page and still see the covers at least from a link at the bottom of this wiki on the UK Underground:

or there is also a list of UK underground pubs at the wiki for the underground press, here:

Ink reminds me more of most of the U.S. papers at this time, moving away from aesthetics and lifestyle into mostly political issues. Issue 23 is from December of 1971 and features a Warhol-esque examination of Che as icon.

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Inside is an article on the Gay Liberation Front. Sample:

Click the links below to get the cover to cover scans, enjoy! And thanks once again to Slinky for the raws.

Oz 31 (1970-11) (SlinkyDarwin-DREGS)

Ink 023 (1971-12-03) (Slinkynation-Dregs)

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