“Are you your own master? Or are there forces beyond reason that shape your actions?”
This full-page ad appeared in issue 72 of International Times, Jan 28, 1970. The part-work encyclopedia, Man, Myth & Magic, was launched at the best possible moment, capitalising on the late-60s’ resurgence of interest in the occult and unorthodox spirituality. That bold declaration—”The most unusual magazine ever published”—might have seemed unconvincing to readers of the undergrounds, many of which made “unusual” their starting point, but there certainly hadn’t been a magazine/encyclopedia like MMM before, and none of the titles that followed could match its scope and authority. The ad also promises “From Adam and Eve to LSD, from lucky numbers to human sacrifice…” which its 112 issues went on to deliver.
This is the first press ad I’ve seen for MMM. A TV ad for the later American reprinting turned up recently, 30 seconds of film that sent Austin Osman Spare’s sinister goat-faced elemental into millions of Christian households in 1974. I keep hoping we might get to see the UK equivalent one day.