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excellent writing
exceptional art
historical 5
score 10
not scanned _ not scanned _ not scanned _ not scanned _ eastvillageother
EVO Vol. 1 #4
EVO Vol. 1 #5
EVO Vol. 1 #22
EVO Extra Be-In
EVO Vol. 2 #11
SCORE: 9
SCORE: 9
SCORE: 9
SCORE: 10
SCORE: 9
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EVO Vol. 2 #13
EVO Vol. 2 #16
EVO Vol. 3 #15
EVO Vol. 3 #17
EVO Vol. 3 #26
SCORE: 9
SCORE: 9
SCORE: 9
SCORE: 9
SCORE: 9
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keyline
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The East Village Other
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1965-1972
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In 1965, the term underground comix had yet to be coined and the L.A. Free Press, which had launched in July 1964, was the only countercultural newspaper of any significance in America (with a circulation of just a few thousand). But in October of that year the East Village Other (EVO) was co-founded in New York City by writer/artist Walter Bowart, Sherry Needham, journalist Allan Katzman, former Village Voice columnist John Wilcock, and free newspaper pioneer Dan Rattiner. From the beginning, EVO was a wry, abstract and anti-establishment tabloid, with nonsensical headlines and mocking articles that scarcely even qualified as journalism.

The rapid emergence of the hippie subculture in the mid '60s led to EVO publishing work by cartoonists who were hip to the culture, a trend which steadily expanded and soon became central to the newspaper's enterprise. By 1967, EVO was publishing works by future underground comic book creators Trina Robbins, Spain Rodriguez, Kim Deitch and Robert Crumb, among others. EVO also became one of the founding members of the Underground Press Syndicate, a nationwide network that allowed publishers to reprint articles and artwork from a large pool of content, which led to wider exposure for underground comics.

For a couple of years, prior to the revolution unleashed in San Francisco by Zap Comix #1, EVO was really the center of the underground comic world. It tapped into the vibe of college humor magazines, fanzines, surfer chic, hot rod culture, Help! magazine and other groundswells and coalesced them into one place and one time. From 1966 to 1968, EVO was the most recognized publisher of underground comics and like-minded artists and writers clamored to make it into the paper. Nobody ever got rich from cartooning for EVO, but there was virtually no censorship and the tabloid provided the biggest stage available for counterculture ranting and shocking.

EVO's popularity grew even after the heart and soul of the underground comic era moved to San Francisico, peaking in 1969 as it established a weekly publishing schedule with a circulation of over 60,000 and showing signs that it might become a permanent voice on the American landscape. It branched out in 1969 with the publication of Gothic Blimp Works, an all-underground comic tabloid, and Kiss, an all-sex paper designed to compete with Al Goldstein's enormously popular tabloid Screw.

Alas, there had been trouble brewing in the Second Avenue offices of EVO long before its peak of popularity, as co-founding members Bowart and Wilcock both left the paper after fighting about covering Andy Warhol. Sherry Needham later left when she felt the original goals of the paper were no longer being served. That left Allan Katzman as editor and Joel Fabricant as the office demagogue. Fabricant was widely viewed as a money-grubbing blowhard and Robert Crumb once smashed him in the face with a cream pie in the midst of a staff meeting, an act of condemnation that Fabricant never quite recovered from.

By the early '70s, the turnover in the staff escalated and the paper's financial stability grew ever more untenable. Ironically, its own success led to its downfall, as better-capitalized competitors sprang up, leveraged the freedoms won by EVO, and put out even more outrageous publications (Screw chief among them). In 1971, EVO's publication schedule became sporadic and the gash in the hull of the mother ship could no longer be ignored. EVO published its last issue in March, 1972.

The East Village Other, like underground comics themselves, conducted a short-lived but highly influential campaign against conventional media and mainstream society that reverberates to this day. It gave birth to several successful careers for underground comic creators and helped open the doors for alternative newspapers throughout the country. EVO may have been overwhelmed by the realities of budgets, deadlines and office politics, but the ideology that inspired it grows stronger with each generation that follows.
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EVO Vol. 3 #28
EVO Vol. 4 #16
EVO Vol. 4 #18
EVO Vol. 4 #52
EVO Vol. 5 #15
SCORE: 9
SCORE: 9
SCORE: 9
SCORE: 9
SCORE: 9
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EVO Vol. 5 #20
EVO Vol. 6 #15
EVO Vol. 6 #18
EVO Vol. 6 #21
EVO Vol. 6 #27
SCORE: 9
SCORE: 9
SCORE: 9
SCORE: 9
SCORE: 9