THE AVATAR #1 + #3-14 + #19-21 (Boston, Mass.: 9th June, 1967-15th March, 1968). 16 issues, from 24 published.
THE AVATAR #1 + #3-14 + #19-21 (Boston, Mass.: 9th June, 1967-15th March, 1968). 16 issues, from 24 published.
THE AVATAR #1 + #3-14 + #19-21 (Boston, Mass.: 9th June, 1967-15th March, 1968). 16 issues, from 24 published.
THE AVATAR #1 + #3-14 + #19-21 (Boston, Mass.: 9th June, 1967-15th March, 1968). 16 issues, from 24 published.
THE AVATAR #1 + #3-14 + #19-21 (Boston, Mass.: 9th June, 1967-15th March, 1968). 16 issues, from 24 published.
THE AVATAR #1 + #3-14 + #19-21 (Boston, Mass.: 9th June, 1967-15th March, 1968). 16 issues, from 24 published.
THE AVATAR #1 + #3-14 + #19-21 (Boston, Mass.: 9th June, 1967-15th March, 1968). 16 issues, from 24 published.
THE AVATAR #1 + #3-14 + #19-21 (Boston, Mass.: 9th June, 1967-15th March, 1968). 16 issues, from 24 published.
THE AVATAR #1 + #3-14 + #19-21 (Boston, Mass.: 9th June, 1967-15th March, 1968). 16 issues, from 24 published.
THE AVATAR #1 + #3-14 + #19-21 (Boston, Mass.: 9th June, 1967-15th March, 1968). 16 issues, from 24 published.
THE AVATAR #1 + #3-14 + #19-21 (Boston, Mass.: 9th June, 1967-15th March, 1968). 16 issues, from 24 published.
THE AVATAR #1 + #3-14 + #19-21 (Boston, Mass.: 9th June, 1967-15th March, 1968). 16 issues, from 24 published.
THE AVATAR #1 + #3-14 + #19-21 (Boston, Mass.: 9th June, 1967-15th March, 1968). 16 issues, from 24 published.
THE AVATAR #1 + #3-14 + #19-21 (Boston, Mass.: 9th June, 1967-15th March, 1968). 16 issues, from 24 published.
THE AVATAR #1 + #3-14 + #19-21 (Boston, Mass.: 9th June, 1967-15th March, 1968). 16 issues, from 24 published.
THE AVATAR #1 + #3-14 + #19-21 (Boston, Mass.: 9th June, 1967-15th March, 1968). 16 issues, from 24 published.
THE AVATAR #1 + #3-14 + #19-21 (Boston, Mass.: 9th June, 1967-15th March, 1968). 16 issues, from 24 published.
THE AVATAR #1 + #3-14 + #19-21 (Boston, Mass.: 9th June, 1967-15th March, 1968). 16 issues, from 24 published.
THE AVATAR #1 + #3-14 + #19-21 (Boston, Mass.: 9th June, 1967-15th March, 1968). 16 issues, from 24 published.
THE AVATAR #1 + #3-14 + #19-21 (Boston, Mass.: 9th June, 1967-15th March, 1968). 16 issues, from 24 published.
THE AVATAR #1 + #3-14 + #19-21 (Boston, Mass.: 9th June, 1967-15th March, 1968). 16 issues, from 24 published.
THE AVATAR #1 + #3-14 + #19-21 (Boston, Mass.: 9th June, 1967-15th March, 1968). 16 issues, from 24 published.
THE AVATAR #1 + #3-14 + #19-21 (Boston, Mass.: 9th June, 1967-15th March, 1968). 16 issues, from 24 published.
THE AVATAR #1 + #3-14 + #19-21 (Boston, Mass.: 9th June, 1967-15th March, 1968). 16 issues, from 24 published.
THE AVATAR #1 + #3-14 + #19-21 (Boston, Mass.: 9th June, 1967-15th March, 1968). 16 issues, from 24 published.
THE AVATAR #1 + #3-14 + #19-21 (Boston, Mass.: 9th June, 1967-15th March, 1968). 16 issues, from 24 published.

168.

THE AVATAR #1 + #3-14 + #19-21 (Boston, Mass.: 9th June, 1967-15th March, 1968). 16 issues, from 24 published.

Tabloid size newspaper (#19-21 broadsheet). Editors David Wilson, Wayne Hansen, Lewis Crampton and Brian Keating. Artwork by Eben Given and Ed Beardsley. A good run of this Boston-based underground newspaper, lacking eight issues from the full run (not including the 25th, considered so rare that it is commonly referred to as the 'lost' issue). It was followed by the New York Avatar (7 issues), the Boston Avatar (6 issues), and the American Avatar (4 issues), which published its final issue in summer 1969.

The Avatar emerged from the Fort Hill Community in Boston, an alternative lifestyle commune founded in 1966 by Mel Lyman and his wife Jessie Benton (daughter of the painter Thomas Hart Benton), artist Eben Given and Sophie Lucero (Lyman's former wife), and David Gude and Faith Franckenstein (daughter of the writer Kay Boyle). Lyman appeared on the Boston scene in 1963 during the folk boom, which centred around Club 47 in Cambridge. Though he came from the West Coast and was well-educated, he presented himself as an Appalachian banjo-playing backwoodsman, and joined up with Jim Kweskin's Jug Band. Such disingenuousness belied his wide network of contacts, which included Andy Warhol, Bruce Conner, and Timothy Leary's circle at Harvard. His ingestion of large doses of LSD and morning glory seeds, years before the former became widely available, presaged his later use of acid as a weapon to manipulate what came to be known as The Lyman Family, an anti-hippie millennial cult.

At first the bi-weekly Avatar represented a fairly typical example of the underground press, though one with a rather more philosophical interpretation, emphasising the occult and astrological aspects of the counterculture. Lyman's full-page column, "To All Who Would Know", beginning in the first issue, gave an early hint of his megalomania (rampant by issue #19), as did the sudden removal as editor of non-Fort Hill member, David Wilson. When fifty Avatar street-sellers were arrested for obscenity and selling without a permit, Lyman responded by provoking the authorities further by devoting the centrespread of issue #13 to a drawing of four large words: FUCK SHIT PISS CUNT. This won a First Amendment battle and helped raise circulation.

Not all the features in The Avatar revolved around Lyman's Messiah complex, and, superficially at least, early issues of the paper resemble many other underground papers of the day. Other articles, for example, look at the Drop City commune, Vietnam protest and draft resistance, the Diggers and the Haight, Black Power, the Dialectics of Liberation Congress in London, and the San Francisco Mime Troupe, alongside the usual pieces on dope and sex, and ads. for local head shops and boutiques. Concert ads., mostly for the Boston Tea Party, also appear regularly, including for The Velvet Underground, The Paupers, The Doors, Country Joe & The Fish, The Beacon Street Union, Canned Heat and Sun Ra. Record companies placed ads. as well, including a full back-page Tom Weller-designed photo-illustrated Vanguard ad. for John Fahey. From the outset The Avatar was graphically one of the more sophisticated of the underground newspapers, with use of red, green, blue and orange inks on its cover and centre pages.

All the inserts in issues #19-21 are present, as issued, with both cover variants included with issue #21. Central horizontal folds to tabloids. Condition ranges from Very Good (issue #6 slightly worn; biro scribble to front cover of #11) to Near Fine. Individual issues of The Avatar are not common, runs such as this one even less so.

(16 issues).

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