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Viz is a popular British comic magazine which has been running since 1979.
Viz's style parodies the strait-laced British comics of the post-war period, notably The Beano and The Dandy, but with incongruous language, toilet humour, black comedy, surreal humour and either sexual or violent storylines. It also sends up tabloid newspapers, with mockeries of articles and letters pages. It features competitions and advertisements for overpriced 'limited edition' tat, such as a cat which 'shits its own weight in gold', as well as obsessions with half-forgotten celebrities from the 1970s and 1980s such as Shakin' Stevens and Rodney Bewes. Occasionally, it satirises current events and politicians, but has no particular political standpoint. Its success has led to the appearance of numerous rivals crudely copying the format Viz pioneered; none of them has managed seriously to challenge its popularity.
Some of Viz's comedic devices, for example, generating the illusion of an entire comic-strip 'universe' with a 'one-off' strip, often based on a surrealistic pun, were widely employed in the earlier and now-defunct American humour magazine National Lampoon, which was itself more or less a sophisticated version of Mad Magazine.
In a recently released coffee table book celebrating 25 years of Viz, cartoonist Graham Dury is quoted as saying: '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'.
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Anyone who enjoys the occasional blast from the past and a good joke or two may want to subscribe to Viz magazine.
This classic publication has been running for decades and is a humorous take on the more serious titles that were released around the time of the second world war.
Full of memorable characters many readers may already know and love, Viz magazine combines black comedy with touches of surrealism and quirky comic strip cartoons.
There is no escaping for tabloid newspapers, as these are often mocked by the publication, while 70s and 80s celebrities are not allowed to become too complacent either.
A Viz magazine subscription really will give fans of comic books an entertaining and enjoyable read, but introduce them to a more grown-up style of humour in a clever combination of the two.
Many of the storylines are slightly explicit, but this is what makes it such a unique and popular read.
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