Boston Avatar

Volume II, 1968


No. 1: [June 1 - 15]

No. 2: [June 16 - July 3]

No. 3: July 4 - 18

No. 4: July 19 - Aug. 1

No. 5: Aug. 2 - 15

No. 6: Aug. 16 - 29

A section of Michael Kindman's comments on issue No. 24, from My Odyssey through the Underground Press, throws some light on the history of Boston Avatar Vol. II:

Both sides consulted lawyers and the legal situation was worked out in favor of the downtown staff's keeping the rights to the name Avatar, while Fort Hill retained the right to use the word Avatar in other name forms. Between June 1968 and the end of the summer, the downtown staff published, on their own, about half a dozen issues of a completely reconstituted Avatar Vol. II, whose contents were more typical underground newspaper material – antiwar, countercultural stuff, music reviews, commentary on public events. During the same period, Brian Keating's New York Avatar also continued publishing, at least for a while. And, on Fort Hill, after a few months' break, there would soon appear the first of four more-or-less quarterly issues of a newly manifested magazine version of Mel's Avatar, under the name American Avatar. In other words, for a brief period, there were three different Avatars all publishing simultaneously.

Kindman's report may not be completely accurate, however, as issue No. 1 seems to have been a product of the combined efforts of both the "Hill" and the "Valley" groups: it includes references to cooperation, as in Well fans we're back, and Happy Birthday, a letter and poem from Mel, a drawing by Eben Given, and other contributions from the Hill. Valley contributions are not as obvious, but according to Brian Kelly's article Avatar Heist, in Boston Free Press #5, it was a joint issue.
Issue No. 2, however, has a totally different format, and includes the disclaimer, "not connected with any other publication bearing the name Avatar" (reflecting Kindman's comments, above), as well as a small article referring to the "Great Avatar theft", and apparently no contributions from the Hill. The remaining issues were similarly produced as "Valley-only" issues.

Avatar - June 9, 1967 - April 26, 1968 (24 issues)
Avatar 25 - May 9, 1968 (the "lost" issue)
New York Avatar - March 29, 1968 - August 1968 (7 issues)
(Boston) Avatar Volume II - June 1968 - August 1968 (6 issues)
American Avatar - October 1968 - Summer 1969 (4 issues)

No. 1: [June 1 - 15]   (17½"×23" 12pp)
No. 2: [June 16 - July 3]   (11½"×17½" 24pp)
No. 3: July 4 - 18   (11½"×17½" 24pp)
No. 4: July 19 - Aug. 1   (11½"×17½" 24pp)
No. 5: August 2 - 15   (11½"×17½" 24pp)
No. 6: August 16 - 29   (11½"×17½" 24pp)


Mel Lyman