RepositoryLJMU Special Collections & Archives
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TitleJeff Nuttall: My Own Mag Archive
DescriptionComplete run of 'My Own Mag' and 'George: Son of My Own Mag'.
The most significant of the British ‘mimeo revolution’ magazines of the early and mid-sixties, and possibly the most important avant garde magazine in Britain since Blast, My Own Mag was a precursor of the underground press and embodied many of the ideas that grew to prominence in the latter part of the decade. It was playful, confrontational, erotic, political, anti-war, it challenged the norm in presentation and readability: surely only William Burroughs would not object to find that one of his texts had been turned into a barely intelligible comic strip. Sometimes Nuttall would cut a hole right in the middle of an article, something that even the later psychedelic magazines never did. It represented the non-Trocchi side of Sigma – Trocchi himself made only one appearance though many of the people surrounding Sigma were featured. Nuttall’s own sTigma installation at Better Books was featured and Sigma itself was discussed editorially. It introduced the British avant garde to Burroughs latest thoughts and experiments: cut-ups, experiments in format, three column newspaper layouts and grids. Nuttall then often used these ideas in his imaginative layout of other contributors’ work as well as his own. With the exception of his paid-for column in Mayfair magazine, Burroughs had more pieces in My Own Mag than in any other magazine (32 appearances over 11 issues). Among the many other contributors of note in My Own Mag are: Martin Bax (1); Bill Butler (4); Robert Creeley (1); Allen Ginsberg (1); B.S.Johnson (3); John Latham (1); George Macbeth (1); Charles Marowitz (1); Tom McGrath (6); Miles (1!); Brian Patten (11); Alexander Trocchi (1); and Jeff Nuttall himself (81). In later issues, Burroughs’ contributions attracted members of the international cut-up movement and he began publishing work by Claude Pelieu and Carl Weissner, their first appearances in Britain. In every issue Nuttall provided hand lettering, drawings, cartoons, his cartoon strip “Perfume Jack” and perhaps, at this stage of his career, he saw himself more as an artist than as a writer as each issue is like an Artist’s Book, with carefully selected paper colours contrasted against each other by the use of different paper sizes or by treatment of the paper by burning, slashing, pouring coloured dye over it, stapling additional small magazines to it, tipping in pages from other, usually pre-war, magazines or, in one issue, by cutting the pages into eight differently coloured sections and stapling them onto the back of the magazine. Mimeo is totally unsympathetic to drawing and cross hatching is impossible as it tears the skin, so Nuttall devised an entirely new way of drawing and lettering for the mag for the hundreds of drawings he included in it. He drew cartoons, hand lettered articles and made mimeo his own medium.

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