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Lyn Chevli (December 24, 1931 – October 8, 2016) also credited as Lyn Chevely and Chin Lyvely. was an American cartoonist who participated in the underground comix movement. With Joyce Farmer, she created the feminist comic-book anthology series Tits & Clits Comix and the 1973 one-shot Abortion Eve, an educational comic book about women's newly-guaranteed reproductive rights.

Biography Edit

Lyn Chevli was born in Milford, Connecticut, on December 31, 1931, as Marilyn Keith.[1] She graduated from Skidmore College in New York[2] and exhibited at the International Festival of Arts and Sawdust Festival as a silversmith and then sculptor.[2] In 1951, she married her first husband, taking the Chevli surname, and moved to Mumbai, India for a brief time; both of their daughters, Shanta and Neela Chevli, were born in the United States.[1]

By 1961 she had divorced her first husband and moved to California with her mother.[1] She ran Fahrenheit 451 Books with her second husband Dennis Madison in Dana Point, and then from Laguna Beach from 1968. The store specialized in new age literature.[1] Chevli was the designated owner of the store because she already had a reseller license in California.[citation needed]

Fahrenheit 451 carried the new underground comix, which impressed Chevli with their anarchic spirit, but she was concerned with their male-centered content. She sold the book store in 1972,[1] and she and Joyce Farmer founded Nanny Goat Productions as a feminist publishing company, with the goal of giving a voice to female creators in the male-dominated and often misogynist underground comix movement.[3] They published all-female Tits & Clits Comix in July 1972, preceding Wimmen's Comix by a few weeks. Its first printing of 20,000 copies sold out by the next year. Because the series' title limited its exposure, the second issue appeared in 1973 under the title Pandora's Box Comix. Around this time, sellers of underground comix faced prosecution for selling obscene material, and the new owners of Fahrenheit 451 were arrested, though the charges were later dropped with help from the American Civil Liberties Union. The series returned to its original title in 1976, with a new issue 2, and continued until its seventh issue in 1987; Chevli stopped contributing after the third issue, but continued as co-editor through the sixth.[1]

In June 1973, following the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision striking down abortion bans in the United States, Chevli and Farmer published Abortion Eve, an educational comic begun the year before about women's reproductive rights.[3] Drawing upon their experiences as birth control and pregnancy counselors[1] at Laguna's Free Clinic,[3] the one-shot comic book presented the stories of five women – all of them named variations on Eve, each in differing circumstances – going the process of obtaining abortions.[4]

Chevli turned to prose in 1981 when she published an erotic book for women titled Alida. She wrote pieces for a number of publications, including local gay magazine The Blade. She wrote two unpublished memoirs, one about her time in underground comix and another about her life in the 1950s, when she married and moved to India. Chevli died in Laguna Beach on October 8, 2016, of age-related causes.[1] As a secular humanist and environmentalist, she did not want a funeral service or burial; instead, she donated her body to UCI Medical School.[5]

SourcesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Farmer, Joyce. "Lyn Chevli, Co-Founder of Tits & Clits, Dies at 84", The Comics Journal. Published 26 Oct 2016. Accessed 8 Oct 2017.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Frazier, Cindy "Humor from the underground", Los Angeles Times. Published 2 Dec 2010. Accessed 8 Oct 2017.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 McCabe, Caitlin. "She Changed Comics: Golden Age, Silver Age, & Undergrounds", Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. Published 11 Mar 2016. Accessed 8 Oct 2017.
  4. Meier, Sam. "The Comic Book That Guided Women Through Abortion Months After 'Roe'", Rewire. Published 8 Jun 2016. Accessed 8 Oct 2017.
  5. Laguna Beach Indy obituary. Published 22 Dec 2016. Accessed 8 Dec 2017.
FAG-icon View Lyn Chevli's memorial at Find-A-Grave.
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