Rude Kids: The Unfeasible Story of Viz by Chris Donald. Hardcover book published by Harper Collins 2004, 378 pages with colour and black and white photographs, one colour illustration and some black and white illustrations. SIGNED COPY
“This is the fascinating rag-mag-to-riches story of Viz, as told by its creator Chris Donald, who started the magazine in 1979 and remained its editor for 20 years. Chris tells how the tasty fanzine he threw together in his Newcastle bedroom became one of the UK’s bestselling magazines. He explains the origins of comic characters like Roger Mellie, Biffa Bacon and the Fat Slags. As Viz flourished and those characters became household names, Chris’s life changed dramatically. He was invited to St James’s Palace for dinner by Prince Charles, and to New Scotland Yard for questioning by the Anti-Terrorist Branch. He wined and dined the lovely Catherine Zeta-Jones, played celebrity football with, erm... Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards and caught his wife up to no good with Keith Richards in Peter Cook’s attic. But it’s not all celebrities, sex and drugs. Chris also gives a unique insight into how Viz affected himself, his family and friends, and tells of the fall-outs and controversy that came with the magazine’s phenomenal success.”
...and who hasn't had a chortle at Viz at some stage in their lives. I mean, it's not the sort of thing one want's to read everyday or over an extended period of time*, but you haven't lived unless you've read at least one issue of Viz from cover to cover**. Fat Slags, Finbarr Saunders and his double entendres, Johnny Fartpants etc, hilarious... well... at least interesting and they are all part of the phenomena which has something of a cult following here in Australia, unlike in the UK where it is so much more than a quaint, crude/rude, politically incorrect, offensive and out there magazine.
This book was written by the founder of this phenomenon and very kindly he even managed to scribble his name on it (...it's signed). To think that a man who could dream up a character with oversized testicles, has touched this book. Amazing. He mostly retired from the magazine in 1999 which is not really that surprising... If you look up Viz on line there have been many court cases and controversies over the years and i'm sure that by the time anyone, in this case Chris Donald, gets to the age of 39, fart jokes just aren't as funny as they once were*. What I am most impressed about is that his wife was “up to no good with Keith Richards in Peter Cook’s attic.” Now there's a story that's worth telling and I guess that's what Chris has done in this book.
**A bit like Moby Dick.