"It's Not As Funny As It Used To Be"
The stand out series of the British adult humour comics,the one that and the longest running. Often coppied but never beat.
Viz was started by teenage brothers Chris and Simon Donald and their friend Jim Brownlow in December 1979 out of the Donald brothers bed room at the faimly home in Newcastle Upon Tyne, England.
The first twelve page issue had a run of just 150 and went on sale at a local pub during a punk gig. The boys took their shot at students by selling it at 10p more than the non student price of 20p.
The content has always been an anarchic varing from Beano style strips with decidedly adult themes to mock news items and features such as "Top Tips" where readers are given the chance to submit humurous advice to the magazine. Often the tips are a sneaky sarcastic way of poking fun at a group of people.
"Why waste money on expensive binoculars? Simply stand closer to the object you wish to observe."
"Old people – are you worried that people in a hurry might be able to get past you on the pavement? Why not try stumbling aimlessly from side to side? That should stop them".
Top Tips have proven so popular they have been adopted by newspapers and even borrowed with out permison by McDonalds leading to an out of court settlement of an undisclosed amount which the magazine donated to charity.
No sacred cow is imune to being pushed over by Viz. Mocking right-wing believes in strips like "Victorian Dad
" and left-wing believes in others such as "Modern Parents
" Viz displays no obvious political alegiance.
Religion too has been swung at with Viz's funny stick. One memorable strip being "Christ On A Bike
" in which the son of God get's into various misadventures on the wooden bike made for him by his carpenter step father. Viz has made fun of several Celebraties ranging from Bob Hope to Elton John and Russel Brand. Sting and Bono being some of the more regular stars to grace the pages.
As well as one off strips mocking our favourite celebrities Viz's has many returning character who've enjoyed continued misadventures over the years. Some even finding mixed success in other medias.
More memorable long running characters include:
Roger Mellie The Man On The Telly
Roger a badly behaved, hard drinking, woamnising TV presenter. Regularly fire for his several misdeeds and constantly rescued by his put up ton manager Tom.
As well as his an animated TV series Roger's been placed in charge of one of Viz's newer features, "profanasaurus". A thesaurus style collection of dirty words and profanity.
Sid The Sexist
Geordie lad Sid still lives at home with his mother and spends most of his time in the pub with his friends trying to find a woman willing to sleep with him. How ever his misogenistic ways usually just earn him a slap or get a drink thrown in his face.
Sid has also enjoyed animated success.
The Fat Slags
Two curvaceous Geordie ladies with a taste for the boys. Any thing in trousers will do. San and Tracy can usually be found down the chippie or at the pub trying to seduce local philanderer Barry.
The ladys represent Viz's only illadvised foray into live action so. The movie was disouned by the editors who even considerd discontinuing the strip to remove them selfs from the waste of celluloid it ended up.
Billy the Fish
Billy Thompson was born half man half fish but over came great diversity to play for Fulchester United FC.
Often parody big events in the world of football Billy has also gone on to enjoy animated success.
Biffa Bacon is a working class lad from a rough home life. Regularly in fights with his dear old Mutha and Fatha and at once even a giant mouse who evaded the family home.
Family bonding for the Bcon involves Mutha and Fatha easing up on Biffa so that the whole clan can take out their aggresion on some one else.
The name says it all.
British Adult Humour
There is no area of the magazine in which viz takes it self seriously. Weather it's spoof adverts or a competition to win a plasma TV and Freddy V's Jason to watch on it in which it is openly admitted the DVD prize as "frankly worhtless
Advertisements over the years have ranged from teapot and mattress banking to keep your savings protected to an advert for army recruiting suggesting people sign up because "all the birds are gagging for a squaddie"
Viz has come to represent a very British sense of humour where nothing is sacred and the reader is rarely offended. Often making light of very serious issues but making sure that no one is left out or safe.
Despite it's apart childish nature look deep enough and there's a certain sophistication to Viz.