Tuesday, February 12, 2008

'Don't Answer the Door it might be burglars'...the genius of Viz

For me, Viz is kinda like South Park, once the media brouhaha kicks over they both quitely get on with producing really funny material under the radar.

I picked up the lastest copy of Viz for the train/plane journey home recently and laughed my ass off at the every page, letterbocks and top tips still do it for me and the random strips with minor celebs such as 'Tony Slattery and His Phoney Cattery' are great. Of course, the stand out is The Drunken Bakers by Barney Farmer and Lee Healey. Healey has a site with selected reprints. It's a surreal strip where time and sense are distorted like no other with a fine line in horrific depression.
It has been getting respectable press too, e.g. Steve Lowe's Why I Love the Drunken Bakers:

The essentials don't vary much: the average black-and-white, page-long episode sees a customer coming in with a simple request for, say, a wedding cake or some buns. With the best of intentions, the sweet-looking, white-haired pair head out back to gather ingredients and mix dough. But soon, one will quietly suggest a little drop of something - Drambuie or gin, perhaps - and the other will stoically agree. Before long, they're both staggering round a smoke-filled bakery surrounded by empty spirits bottles. Again. It's tricky to say what's so appealing about their slide from being worthy citizens to utterly wrecked lost souls.

In the lastest issue the board game called 'waiting for a parcel' and the 'we love eggs' page is genius, with eggs facts like ostrich eggs being perfect for making omlettes for the world's largest man, with the later fact that Calvin Phillips the world's smallest man used to dine on omlettes made from humming bird eggs, before he died from the world's tiniest heart attack.

As much as they were a dirty reposte to stuffy DC Thompson comics like The Beano and The Dandy, Viz does seem quint these days with references to 'grumble mags' like Razzle, but that's part of its charm.

The current Viz Website has a a submit form for top tips and letterbocks adding to the mystery of how much of said features are reader generated or written in house. I will always remember the top tip: 'don't answer the door it might be burglars'.

Here's some I submitted for the laugh:

Knight Rider Fans, whenever Knight Rider isn’t on, try watching Street Hawk twice for the same effect.

Young Twats. Try wearing Trilbies indoors to save people the trouble of talking to you and finding out if you are a cunt or not.

Ryanair Passengers. Recreate the mindset of a serial killer by flying in one of our planes in front of shaven-headed kids called ‘oliver’ that kick the back of the seat repeatedly, and getting offered Baveria at 3.50 and scratch cards from an eastern European air hostess who are exactly two thirds less attractive than you thought they'd be.

Jimmy Carr. If you’re ever stuck for material, just use the Top Tips joke about using smartie tubes on cat’s legs to make him walk like a robot, but remember to do a horrible face and robot arms when saying the line so Viz fans won’t get upset.

Alcoholics. Go to different off-licenses all the time so it doesn’t look like you drink as much as you do.

People. Avoid the pain and misery from the death of loved ones by not making any friends or girlfriends in the first place.

Calvin Harris. Why not just add ‘girls’ to the end of each line you write to give the impression that go can rhyme songs properly, You dayglo fuck.

Klaxons Fans on a Budget. Recreate the effect of dayglo clobber from Topshop by taking a normal hoodie from Primark, they’re only a fiver, rip it apart, sew it back together with neon bootlaces at jizz all over it.

Idiots. Recreate the experience of a lapdancing club by watching soft porn while employing some one to keep your arms by your sides at all times and charging you 10 pounds for a warm can of carling from your own fridge.

Modern People. Why no add insult to injury by having an ostentatious poker or gun belt buckle despite the fact that you jeans are hanging below your arse.

Daily Mail Readers. Why not never leave the house so you don’t have to meet any single parents or people of different ethnic backgrounds.

No comments: