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30 Years of Viz



See Johnny Fartpants, Roger Mellie, The Fat Slags and all your Viz favourites at this 30th birthday bash.

30 Years of Viz celebrates the art, irreverence and brilliant bad taste of Viz Comic. The exhibition of over 80 original drawings features all the key characters, many of whom have become ‘icons’ in their own right: Roger Mellie The Man on the Telly, Sid the Sexist, The Bottom Inspectors, The Fat Slags, Finbarr Saunders and his Double Entendres, Johnny Fartpants, Spoilt Bastard, Suicidal Syd, Mrs Brady Old Lady and The Modern Parents. Some characters such as Drunken Bakers and Billy the Fish - the goalkeeping half-man, half-fish - are both loved and hated by readers in equal measure.

Viz remains one of Newcastle’s most famous exports. Many of the characters are obviously Geordie as revealed in the way they speak, sometimes requiring readers to write in for translations. Much of the comic’s humour involves lampooning earnest features from classic British comics - strips with obligatory rhyming titles (Roger Mellie - The Man on the Telly), spoof photo-romance stories, surreal send-ups and bogus advertisements. There is nothing Viz enjoys more than taking a tilt at the ‘sacred cows’ of British culture like the Royal Family and celebrities such as Sting and Bono, and this talent for mockery has always delighted its fans and outraged its critics.

Since the time of Hogarth, satirists have been drawn to the human capacity for squalor, self-destruction and self-delusion. Unlike Hogarth, the Viz artists profess no higher moral purpose: their aim is to entertain not educate. As Graham Dury, one of the longstanding artist/editors admits, “We pride ourselves on the fact that you’re no cleverer when you’ve read Viz. You might have had a few laughs, but you’ve not learnt anything”. More…

Tickets: £5.50, concs £4, students/under-18s £3
Where: The Cartoon Museum, 35 Little Russell Street, London
When: November 4 to January 24, 2010

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"Imagine one of the world's greatest cities hosting a series of events starring the world's greatest cartoonists, put together by one of the world's greatest comics scholars. That's London's Comica."
The Beat

"I arrived to find a queue for the sold-out event stretching out of the building."
Paul Tierney

"...he's a natural storyteller. He can't seem to stop."
Paul Tierney

"I was about to fall off my chair from overstimulation."
Sarah McIntyre

"...vastly informative and entertaining."
Kevin Fitzsimmons

"Every time I go to these events I come back inspired to do more work."
Sylvia Libedinsky

"I went in a casual fan, and came out an undisputed Kirbyphile."
Comic Book Resources

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The Guardian

"...packed out..."
Tony Venezia

"Thank you, Paul Gravett, for another wonderful season of Comica!"
Sarah McIntyre