One of only 150 copies of Viz No1 created by Chris Donald from his parents’ house, with its free gift ice-cream (a red sketch of an ice-cream stapled inside the back cover), is estimated at £700-900 in Comic Book Auctions’ timed online sale closing on November 22. Two further printings were made of 250 copies each.
Malcolm Phillips of CBA says: “Our vendor was a student at Newcastle Polytechnic at the time and he frequented the Jesmond pub [The Gosforth Hotel] where early Viz copies were intermittently offered for sale. Having got hold of most of the issues from No 4 onwards, he finally found No 1 in 1995 at North Shields Books where it was advertised in Book and Magazine Collector for £40.
“He tells us they even sent it to him ‘on approval’ so he could check its authenticity. He then ‘reluctantly’ sent them the money as he thought it such a high price in those days.
“As a long-time buyer at our auctions he finally decided to offer his Viz collection for sale this November.”
The vendor bought Viz No 4 (also offered in this CBA auction, estimate £500-700) at the Jesmond pub from a popular punk rocker called Arthur 2 Stroke who, along with his band The Chart Commandos, had their ad on the front cover. CBA has sold three Viz No 1s since 1999, with the latest one making £425 in 2004.
The first printing of the ‘Free Ice Cream’ in Viz No 1 was in red and the rarer second printing in black. Newcastle auction house Anderson & Garland holds the world record for the latter at nearly £1000 hammer. A&G sold a Viz No 2 (dated April 1980) for £1400 in July 2018 (see ATG No 2352) and a Viz No 4 (October 1980) took £900 in 2016.
In September 2017 a comprehensive complete collection of Viz comics, publications and ephemera, including Viz No 1 with red-ink ‘Free Ice Cream’ and the rare nos 2, 3 and 4, sold for £2900.