One of the highlights of the Lakes International Comic Art Festival for me was the “MAD Vs. Viz” panel featuring the one and only Sergio Aragonés and myself representing MAD, and the very funny Graham Dury and Simon Thorp from the British humor magazine Viz, moderated by John McShane.
Viz is a hilarious publication featuring a compilation of short comics by various creators, fake ads, parodies of tabloids and letters pages, and other features. It was founded in 1979, and at one time was the third biggest selling magazine in all of Britain. Its humor is often raunchy and politically incorrect, and always a riot. Some of the comics feature long-running characters like Johnny Fartpants, Buster Gonad, Sid the Sexist, and The Fat Slags, among others. Other features are one-offs. There is also some very biting satire and parody of everything from politics to life in the UK to pop culture. It’s laugh out loud funny.
John would have one of us from each magazine at a drawing pad or Cintiq projected on a screen doing some quick drawing assignment, while he asked the other two questions about the history of MAD or Viz, our influences, etc. It was a lot of fun. Luckily I had Sergio on my side or Graham and Simon would have wiped the floor with me.
Anyway it was great to get to spend some time with these terrific British cartoonists. They are extremely talented and Viz is a great comic. It’s a shame it’s almost impossible to find in the U.S.
BTW, John declared it a “draw”… >groan<.
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