Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Pathetic Sharks return for the Summer
The latest issue of Viz is out now and features the return of The Pathetic Sharks. Originated by Chris Donald 30 years ago the five feeble and rather fey sharks have been occasional visitors to Viz comic numerous times ever since. I was invited to take over the art and script duties around 20 years ago and we produced a Pathetic Sharks Bumper Special for the younger market in June 1991.
Since then however the Sharks have remained aimed at the adult age group, along with their fellow Viz co-stars, where a more mature satirical edge can benefit the humour. In the current issue (No.188) the Sharks arrive on a British beach on a typical summer's day (except it's not raining) and proceed to irritate any holidaymaker within earshot.
For those readers who complain that British comics today have too few panels per page, check out Viz where 20 panels or more a page is the norm. Originally designed like that for Viz to spoof old comics, the format has now become the established style of Viz itself as most modern readers would be unfamiliar with the 1950s style of comics it lampoons. Not that parodying bygone comic formulas is Viz's only aim of course. Far from it, as its humour is always topical, so topical in fact that the comic's deadline is usually just two weeks before it hits the shelves!
With Viz being 30 years old this year, an exhibition of original artwork will be shown at the Cartoon Museum, Little Russell Street, London from 4th November 2009 to 24th January 2010 ( http://www.cartoonmuseum.org ).
Viz No.188, which also features favourites such as Roger Mellie, Eight Ace, Millie Tant, and Meddlesome Ratbag is £3 and on sale in all good newsagents, supermarkets, and even some bad ones.
Viz website: http://www.viz.co.uk/