Oz


Oz was an independently published, alternative/underground magazine associated with the international counterculture of the 1960s. While it was first published in Sydney in 1963, a parallel version of Oz was published in London from 1967. The Australian magazine was published until 1969 and the British version until 1973. The central editor, throughout the magazine’s life in both countries, was Richard Neville. Co-editors of the Sydney version were Richard Walsh and Martin Sharp. Co-editors of the London version were Jim Anderson and, later, Felix Dennis, and then Roger Hutchinson. In both Australia and the UK, the creators of Oz were prosecuted on charges of obscenity. … Influenced by the radical comedy of Lenny Bruce, Neville and friends decided to found a ‘magazine of dissent’. The 16-page first issue, published on April Fools’ Day 1963, caused a sensation, selling 6,000 copies by lunchtime of publication day. It parodied The Sydney Morning Herald (and was even printed on The Herald‘s own presses, adding to its credibility) and led with a front-page hoax about the collapse of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. … In succeeding issues (and in its later London version) Oz gave pioneering coverage to contentious issues such as censorship, homosexuality, police brutality, the Australian government’s White Australia policy and Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War, as well as regularly satirising public figures, up to and including Australian Prime Minister Robert Menzies. … In early 1966 Neville and Sharp travelled to the UK and in early 1967, with fellow Australian Jim Anderson, they founded the London Oz. Contributors included Germaine Greer, artist and filmmaker Philippe Mora, illustrator Stewart Mackinnon, photographer Robert Whitaker, journalist Lillian Roxon, cartoonist Michael Leunig, Angelo Quattrocchi, Barney Bubbles and David Widgery. With access to new print stocks, including metallic foils, new fluorescent inks and the freedom of layout offered by the offset printing system, Sharp’s artistic skills came to the fore and Oz quickly won renown as one of the most visually exciting publications of its day. …”
W – Oz
Open Culture: Download the Complete Archive of Oz, “the Most Controversial Magazine of the 60s,” Featuring R. Crumb, Germaine Greer & More
V&A: Oz magazine archive
Guardian – Rupert bare: how the Oz obscenity trial inspired a generation of protest art


Paste-up boards, designed by Martin Sharp for Oz #16 – The Magic Theatre Issue, November 1968.

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