‘This autobiography is quite candid. It bares its breast at most things…. Actually I’ve shed a tear or two… A wonderful book’
Terry Jones, him off the Monty Python
Simon Donald, an under-achieving schoolboy of fifteen, made history alongside his brother Chris, by turning their playground antics into the notorious sales phenomenon of the late 20th century, Viz Comic. With an unprecedented talent for shoehorning the brutal reality of Northern England into the cosy world of British comics, the haphazardly assembled team, consisting of awkward, inept misfits, unknowingly went on to reinvent the Great British sense of humour.
HIM OFF THE VIZ is the story of the comic’s staggering rise from a modest fanzine selling to a hundred and fifty people at punk gigs in Newcastle pubs to outselling all but two magazines in Britain’s newsagents – and all in a period of just ten years. Simon Donald’s story is one of a colourful life with amazing highs and lows as well as the many private challenges of growing up in a rocky family home torn by hardship, illness and loss. His twenty-four years on Viz’s editorial team opened many doors for him, and through a series of low-rent TV appearances, he became a household name as HIM OFF THE VIZ.
HIM OFF THE VIZ is available now from Go Faster Stripe.
Donald toured a number of unique, intimate venues to record live readings from the five-star rated book. These shows will form part of the audiobook, to be released later in the year. An e-book will also follow.
Here’s what some of the funniest men alive have said about HIM OFF THE VIZ:
‘In a small way, Simon Donald changed the way the world laughs, for ever. We had a sneaking suspicion that flatulence was funny, but it took this Geordie visionary, this Giotto of flatus, to free us from the shackles of our sensibilities’
Stewart Lee, mainstream comedian
‘For me Viz remains as cherished as Down With Skool. Naughty, silly, mucky and extraordinarily true to life’
Michael Palin, him off the Monty Python as well
‘Brilliant. I haven’t laughed so much in ages. Donald is clearly Newcastle’s second funniest man’
Ross Noble, possibly Cramlington’s finest surrealist
‘He’s the cock of the North’
Vic Reeves, Darlington’s favourite mental idiot
Below is a gallery of chapter images from the book, available now from Go Faster Stripe.