An incredible story featuring the founder of Viz magazine, an ‘unbelieveable prat’ of an ex-TV producer and the ongoing trademark battle over the rights to one of the most popular and lucrative design legacies in modern popculture.
In 2000, Stuart Manley, the owner of Barter Books of Alnwick, Northumberland, found a folded poster at the bottom of a box of random books he’d bought at auction. (Barter Books is a very famous and beautiful bookstore housed in an old train station. Many features of the original station have been left intact, and there are model trains running around the shop on a high track above the bookshelves.) Mary Manley, Stuart’s wife and partner in the shop, took a liking to the poster. It was framed and displayed behind the till. Right away people started trying to buy it off them: Not For Sale, they were told. But the demand wore the Manleys down, and eventually they ordered 500 reproductions through a local print shop. This was in 2001.