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Viz was initially a self produced zine/comic, mixing music and outrageous comic strips (not unlike the earlier Surrey Vomit). Self produced and distributed from 1979-1984, it went on to become (briefly in the late 80s) the best selling magazine in Britain.

The history of Viz, from Zine to national institution, is documented in editor Chis Donald's excellent book, Rude Kids. The book discusses at length the practicalities of producing and distributing the zine, acquiring distribution and legal issues - as well as relationships with other music zines and indie comics of the early 80s.