was arguably the first character in Viz
magazine to achieve UK
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...
-wide notoriety, and was certainly on a lot of teenagers' T-shirts in the late 1980s. He is, on the face of it, an ordinary boy; except that he suffers from extreme, excessive flatulence
Flatulence is the expulsion through the rectum of a mixture of gases that are byproducts of the digestion process of mammals and other animals. The medical term for the mixture of gases is flatus, informally known as a fart, or simply gas...
which is not only offensive to the nose and ears, but destructive to those around him. His gaseous emissions have been known to destroy houses and other hard-surfaced articles, as well as injure people. He is always apologetic, and constantly reminds people that his colonic expulsions are beyond his control -- despite his insistence on "keeping to a strict pump diet," which often includes beans and "cabbage water."
A similar device was used in the cartoon strip "Little Sammy Sneeze", where the disruption is caused by the character's sudden explosive sneeze rather than flatulence, by cartoonist Winsor McCay
Winsor McCay was an American cartoonist and animator.A prolific artist, McCay's pioneering early animated films far outshone the work of his contemporaries, and set a standard followed by Walt Disney and others in later decades...
The strip was seemingly retired after creator Simon Donald
Simon Donald is a co-founder and was co-editor of the British comic magazine Viz until 2003.He set up the magazine in 1979 with his brother Chris from a bedroom in Newcastle. His most famous creation for the magazine is probably Sid the Sexist....
left Viz at the end of 2003; between then and 2007, he only made two, brief appearances in the comic. However, in the March 2007 issue he reappeared in a topical strip where he was hired by "Matthew Bernards
Bernard Matthews Farms Ltd is a British farming and food products business, which specialises in the farming of turkeys. Founded by Bernard Matthews in 1950, as Bernard Matthews Foods Ltd, the company is headquartered in Norwich, Norfolk, England, and has 56 farms throughout Norfolk, Suffolk and...
," first to use his farts to flavour the company's products, then to gas their turkeys after an outbreak of avian influenza was discovered. He also made an appearance the following month.
Johnny also has a French pen-friend with a similar flatulence problem, appropriately named Pierre Pumpytrousers, as well as a German named Hans Honkyhosen.
In Viz 166 (June/July 2007), Johnny was forced by his father to attend a lecture on global warming, presented by none other than Al Gore
Albert Arnold "Al" Gore, Jr. served as the 45th Vice President of the United States , under President Bill Clinton. He was the Democratic Party's nominee for President in the 2000 U.S. presidential election....
, so that he would learn about the impact his farting was having on the environment. When Johnny intentionally farted during the applause for Gore (so that nobody would hear it), the former Vice President became violently ill, causing Johnny to observe that Gore was now "greener" than his environmental message.