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Simon's Cat Paperback – September 24, 2009
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About the Author
Simon Tofield is an award-winning animator who lives in London.
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In hundreds of small comics, a neckless cat of indeterminate age or breed does the things cats do. Destroys. Yearns. Yearns to destroy. The images are simple pen-and-inks. No color. That's about the long and short of it, really.
The reason the book version of "Simon's Cat" works is twofold. First, Tofield doesn't caption his images. There's a webseries out there (now also a book) called "Garfield Minus Garfield" which highlights how unfunny that particular cartoon cat is by removing him from comic strips, leaving only his owner. It's a definite improvement. "Simon's Cat", in contrast, uses visual gags entirely and it works so much better. It's like watching a sitcom without an annoying laugh track. You don't need words for certain kinds of visual storytelling.
That's one. The second reason this book works is that it's kid friendly. It hasn't been specifically marketed to children, but kids will get a definite kick out of Tofield's small stories. And as you read through it you begin to recognize reoccurring characters. The garden gnome that the cat befriends. The hedgehogs (betraying Mr. Tofield's homeland) in the garden or the birds and mice bent on torturing the poor kitty. It all builds to a kind of conclusion.
A lot of the time the gags are just one panel standing on their own. Other times they go for several "scenes". Strangely, you can never know when a gag will be one or another. There's no rhyme or reason to how they're broken up. Sometimes a gag will begin on a right-hand page and then you'll have to turn the page to get the rest. Other times you feel like there should be more to the joke, but instead you're just left hanging. It would have been nice if there was more consistency to the layout. Still, I appreciated that the panels (which are never enclosed in boxes) shift from full-page spreads to eclectic sections of one page or another. Your eyes are constantly moving and roving all over these pages. It means that you don't get stuck in the same static way of reading each page.
As for his art itself, you are never in doubt that this is a book created by a cat owner. It's not so much the animal's body itself that tells you this. Tofield's cats tend to have stocky little builds, resembling koalas or small panda bears rather than sleek handsome felines. But in terms of movement he is dead on. He's particularly good at drawing a cat mere moments before the pounce. Those slicked back ears. The way the pupils grow large. You can practically see its little rump wiggling as it gets ready for a lethal leap upon some unsuspecting leaf or piece of fluff.
As cat books go, this one's pretty much superior to the usual fare. In terms of comics for kids, it reads like a collection of comic strips rather than a straight out graphic novel. There's stuff I would have changed about it, but if you happen to know a kid or adult that thinks cats are the bees' knees AND they have a thing for comics, this is plain good stuff. And maybe it's the first of its kind. Maybe in the future it's all gonna be webvideos turned into collected comics. Dunno. One thing's for certain. The cream usually rises to the top. And "Simon's Cat", whatever else you might call it, is the best of its kind I've seen.
Ages 8 and up.
I fail to understand why Amazon believes its customers are too stupid to hold the Kindle Landscape for a book that is published landscape. Instead it has taken these drawings and minimized them to large, fuzzy postage stamps. If I am going to pay a couple of dollars short of the full price I want a book as good as the hard-copy. Glad I opted on the side of caution and bought just ONE of the set. Amazon you lost selling me the rest of the set!
This is the third book released featuring Simon's Cat. The focus of this book, as the title suggests, is the addition of a new kitten to the household and how exactly Simon's cat feels about all of that.
Simon's cat started out as a web comic. For those who have followed the web comic, you know there are no words in the cartoons. So there are no words in this book, just the whole series of cartoons. The cartoons start from the acquisition of the new kitten, to later in the year when Simon's Cat and the kitten are finally working together more.
All ages of cat lovers will find this book hilarious. My family and I just got a new kitten a few months ago and so we could relate, first hand, to a lot of the kitten antics that were in here. My six year old son laughed so hard he was almost in tears and my husband and I also found the book to be incredibly funny.
As you can imagine this book explore how a kitten can make an older cat's life very difficult. It also looks out how a kitten and cat can work together to make a human's life very hectic. As the book goes on there are even dogs, birds, bunnies, and hedgehogs involved.
The first portion of the book was the funniest. As the bunnies and hedgehogs got involved my family had a harder time relating to the comics and didn't find them quite as funny.
The final part of the book gives instructions on how you too can draw all of the animals in this book.
Overall a very cute and funny read. Highly recommended to all fans of cat humor. The drawings are cute and the antics of the kitten and cat are pretty darn accurate. I really enjoyed this book, it will make a great book to sit on the coffee table to make people laugh.
Whether through the animated toons or the books, every cat owner will find a behavior that will make you think to yourself "That's my cat! My cat dives me nuts with that! How did they capture the behavior so perfectly??" Animator/creator Simon Tofield brings so many kitty quirks to his drawings (animated on YouTube and still on paper) it's really hard not to enjoy them. What can I say? Simon's Cat just makes me happy. I got this ebook on sale for $1.99 and that's about what I want to pay for it. I have a very hard time wrapping my mind around spending 8 or 9 bucks for ANY book, much less one that can be read in about ten minutes, (even if that book is REALLY cute!) but my beef with the rising cost of e-books is for some other place. If you just want to giggle at some cute cat drawings, you'd be hard pressed to do better than the little fatty known as "Simon's Cat".