American Avatar

Third Cycle,
First Edition
(Oct. 1968)

Third Cycle,
Second Issue
(Nov. 1968)

(early 1969)

Fourth Cycle,
First Issue
(Summer 1969)

1 - Third Cycle, First Edition (Oct. 1968)

The first issue of American Avatar came out in October 1968. The cover shows "OCT  50¢" in the upper right corner, and "Photograph by Mel Lyman" at the bottom. (Michael Kindman identifies the woman on the cover as Paula Press.) 10 1/4 x 13 1/2 in. (26.2x34.4 cm), 28 pages, including covers, unnumbered except for pages 24 and 25. No masthead, no table of contents.


Pages 2-3: [unsigned, untitled "diary" by Eben Given of his New York stay]
Page 3: [subscription form]:


[$5 for 12 issues]


Because we are no longer a newspaper, or a magazine, but simply Avatar - which includes the purpose of both and much more - we may not work on any deadline or date of publication. In the future Avatar will be published monthly by the dictates of events we have no choice but to define.

We will accept no classified information unless it is relevent to the order of each issue. We will accept no advertising whose layout can not be brought to the level of our own. We will accept all donations from those who can distinguish the standard which we have set to speak the truth.



Brian [Keating]'s response to Jon
Ray Mungo
daedalus lerner
Mel's letter to Brian [Keating] of the New York Avatar
["We, the old staff of the original AVATAR..."]
Pages 6-7: THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING [by Mel Lyman]
Pages 8-9: [on the Democratic Convention] by Brian Keating
Pages 10-11: "All Kinds of Stuff Passing through your Body All the Time" by Skip Ascheim
Page 11: [Conversation with Hubert Humphrey] by Edward Jordan
Pages 12-17: American Odyssey by Carl Nagin
Page 18: ["Carl brought the storm to Boston..."] by Skip Ascheim
Page 19: "Some Enlightening News" by Mel Lyman
Page 19: "Telling it Like it Is" by Mel Lyman
("Creeping around on this planet in the wee wee hours..." April '66)
Pages 20-21: "Great God, I just looked at a newspaper." by Eben Given
Pages 22-23: Elegies [drawing by Eben Given]
Pages 24-25: For Don McNeil
Page 24: ["I am on a hill..."] by Eben [Given]
Page 25: ["Oh, friends of mine have died before..."] by Wayne [Hansen]
Page 26: [portrait of Mel (drawing) by Eben Given]
Page 27: ["Once I was free of memories..."] by Mel [Lyman]

2 - Third Cycle, Second Issue (Nov. 1968)

The second issue of American Avatar came out in November (?) 1968. The cover shows "1.00" in the upper right corner. (Michael Kindman identifies the woman on the cover as Faith Gude.) 11 7/8 x 14 7/8 in. (30.2 x 38 cm), 36 pages, including covers, unnumbered. No date, No masthead, no table of contents.

A subscription form was stapled into the center:
"A subscription to American Avatar is ten dollars for one year (twelve issues). Be sure to include zip code with your mailing address. A special Editor's Choice collection of back issues is available at ten dollars per set. It includes the best of our past work. Make checks payable to: American Avatar / 5 Fort Avenue Terrace / Roxbury, Massachusetts 02119"


Page 2: Letter from Patti Ramsay and Mel's reply
Page 3: Contemplations ["When, by one experience or another..."] by Mel Lyman
Page 4: "When was there greatness in history?"
Page 5: ["The election of Richard Milhaus Nixon..."] by Owen deLong
Page 6: Contemplations ["The more sensitive the man..."] by M.J. Lyman
Page 7: ["To carry loneliness with grace is dignity..."] [by Mel Lyman]
Page 8: ["There was a wooly season once..."] by Faith [Gude]
Page 9: [dark photo of a man in a garden with a rifle]
Page 10: "Some Enlightening News" by Mel Lyman
Pages 12-13: There are a lot of illusions surrounding any truth
Page 12: ["My friends. I have been among you these few days..."] by John Wayne the Baptist [Wayne Hansen]
Page 13: ["Max Lefcourts on Madison Avenue..."] by Brian [Keating]
Page 14: Patrons & Friends
Page 15: Ad for Jim Kewskin and The Lyman Family etc. at "The Little Theater" (Dec. 14, 1968) and Jordan Hall (Jan. 25, 1969)
Pages 16-19 ads
Page 20: ads for Joey Goldfarb, Eben Given, George Peper, "Autobiography of a World Saviour", letter to readers:

Dear Readers,
Our purpose was stated in last issue, it is created in this one. The widely varied forms of expression in this publication over its first year and a half have brought us this far, the need for expression has only become greater. We are creating a new world. We begin with ourselves, we extend ourselves to the immediate world around us, American Avatar brings us to you. We're not foolin', but we'll not be dismal either. We have nowhere else to go, we have nothing to lose, we want only to talk with you in the best form we know. To speak in a magazine as beautifully as we sing, to make music through these pages, requires the care and exactness of layout Avatar is known for, it requires the highest quality printing, it takes money, it takes continuing expansion of readership. We give up everything we have, and make more of ourselves to give away ---- All toward the same single purpose ---- will you do as much?
We need to have more people know about us, we need more ways to do that, we need contributions, we need a national distribution. And you need these things too, for you need us, just as we need to do what we have to do. Avatar is the compassionate conscience of America. Nobody likes their conscience, but everybody has to deal with it.

We're waiting for you,

American Avatar

Third Cycle - Second Issue - American Avatar is a subsidiary of United Illuminating Incorporated

Page 21: [photo of two women]
Pages 22-33: "The Fort Hill Community" by Mel Lyman [title page painting by Eben Given, seven photos...]
Pages 34-35: ["We have been afloat now for seven months..." by Mel Lyman]

3 - (early 1969)

The third issue of American Avatar came out in early 1969. There is no price or other writing than "American Avatar" on the cover. (see Michael Kindman on this issue.) 14 1/8 x 11 1/4 in. (36 x 28.5 cm), 28 pages, including covers, unnumbered. No date, no masthead, no table of contents.

A subscription form: "Well Folks - right now we are publishing a magazine, but later on anything is possible - whatever it is, we'll send you at least one of it, every time we do it. Please send $10.00 to: American Avatar, 27 Fort Avenue, Roxbury, Massachusetts 02119."


Page 3: Message to Humanity [by Mel Lyman]
Page 5-6: ["As Christ appearing in this modern day and age..." by Mel Lyman]
Page 9: "An on-the-spot report from Les Daniels" [by Les Daniels]
Page 10: [Letter to Mel from Mark Hirschhorn and Mel's reply]
Page 12: [Review of Jacques Sandulescu's Donbas, by Mel Lyman]
Page 13: ["I have written much here that ridicules..." from Autobiography by Mel Lyman]
Page 14: "On Mountains", "Contrary"
Page 17: ["Although it seems that many days have passed..." by Mel Lyman]
Pages 18-19: ["I'll never forget the day my father took me aside..." by Mel Lyman and Wayne Hansen
Page 20: Essay on the New Age ["The more freedom, the more discipline required..." by Mel Lyman]
Page 22: Essay on the New Age ["There is a divine spirit that dwells deep in the heart of man." by Mel Lyman]
Page 24: ["Patience is the test of character..." by Mel Lyman]
Page 26: Contemplations ["The body does not create life..." by Mel Lyman]

4 - Fourth Cycle, First Issue (Summer 1969)

The fourth (last) issue of American Avatar was dated Summer 1969, the first issue to indicate a year. The cover shows "Fourth Cycle, First Issue  Summer, 1969  $1.00" under the title, a photo of David and Faith Gude's daughter Clothilde (see Michael Kindman) and "No Solution to Revolution", "Ted Kennedy's Greatest Speech", "Exclusive Interview with Antonioni's Newest Superstars" at bottom. 11 3/4 x 14 1/4 in. (30 x 36 cm), 44 pages, including covers. This was the only issue with a masthead and table of contents.

Mel LymanEditor-In-Chief
Jessie Benton LymanExecutive Editor
Wayne HansenManaging Editor
Melinda CohanFable Editor
Brian KeatingEditor At Large
Eben GivenArt Director
George PeperDirector of Photography
Kurt FranckAssociate Director of Photography
David GudeProgramming Editor
Richard GuerinCalligrapher
Randall FooteProduction Manager
Marilyn KweskinExecutive Compositor
Albert DavisChief Compositor
Faith GudeCover Production
Production StaffCandy Schoenherr
Wende Sheffield
Ian Franckenstein
Sofia Lucero
Composition StaffJoyce Newmark
Alison Peper
Special CorrespondentsJ. Jeremy Greenwood, London
Jay Litvin, Chicago
Paul Williams, California
Special AdvisorsOwen de Long, Political Advisor
Joseph Goldfarb, Astrological Advisor
James KweskinBusiness Manager
Lynn HillAdvertising Director
Mark SpectorDistribution Director
Elizabeth O'MelvenyCommunications and Subscriptions
Marlena LangstonAssociate to the Advertising Director
Suzanne KarsonDistribution Secretary
Neil McGilveryTreasurer
David LanierDirector of Maintenance

Table of Contents
Editorial 3
No Solution to Revolutionby Wayne Hansen5
Essay on the New Age, Number 12 ["All life is ruled by law..."]by Mel Lyman7
Threatby Melinda Cohan9
Antonioni's Newest SuperstarsPart I of an Interview10
Democracyfrom The Sufi Message17
A Policy of Peace Toward ChinaAn Address By Senator Edward M. Kennedy18
Portrait of Edward Kennedyby Eben Given19
ABM - Nixotic Quest For A Personal Potencyby Owen de Long23
Letters to the Editor 24
The Box Poemswith an Introduction by Eben Given28
Contemplations ["All that really matters in this life is a man's inner worth..."]by Mel Lyman42