Rude Britannia TV - BuzzFeed News online -
A counter-culture: house-journal of this underground movement was Oz which first surfaced in the Summer of Love 1967. Rude Britannia III: You’ve Never Had It So Rude, BBC 2010
Inside School Kid’s Issue: Oz was a comic strip featuring the head of the much loved children’s character Rupert Bear superimposed on an X-rated cartoon by American Robert Crumb. Words and pictures were a rude provocation. ibid.
The Oz Three... were found guilty and sent down with harsh sentences ... A successful appeal. ibid.
Neville was one of three men behind the infamous magazine Oz, which published a controversial ‘schoolkids’ edition in 1970, put together by 20 high school students in the UK.
The publication prompted Britain’s ‘Obscene Publications Squad’ to raid the Oz office. The publishers were charged with producing a magazine that would ‘debauch and corrupt the morals of children and other young persons within the realm and to arouse and implant in the minds of those young people lustful and perverted desires’.
At the centre of the highly publicised trial was this parody comic in which children's character Rupert Bear was pasted into a cartoon series by artist Robert Crumb …
Wendy Bacon, an activist, journalist, and Australian contemporary of Neville, told BuzzFeed News there were things published in Oz that would shock people now.
‘Looking back on it, Neville had an approach to children and sexuality that would be disapproved of in 2016,’ she said.
‘It raises interesting questions. Maybe looking back it was sexist and maybe on the other hand it was just more open, and right now we are living through a puritanical era with the internet.’
Neville, Jim Anderson, and Felix Dennis were found guilty and sent to prison. Officers cut their hair, prompting the men to show up at an appeal wearing women’s wigs.
Speaking to the ABC years later, Neville said the hair-cutting was a turning point that saw them win the support of the British public.
‘That changed everything. [Lawyer] Geoffrey Robertson arrived, he saw the situation straight away, gave it to the tabloids. The British public changed sides overnight. They really lost the case there and then.’
The men had their convictions overturned. Bacon said Neville had a profound impact on underground publishing in the UK, the US, and Australia.
‘We felt like we were breaking through a repressive culture,’ said Bacon. ‘People have to remember this is when books like Lady Chatterley's Lover were still banned.
‘[Oz] did it with a huge amount of flair and it was stunning.’ BuzzFeed News online article, ‘The Old Cartoon That Would Have Outraged the Internet in 2016