“ Author: Simon Tofield / Format: Hardback / Date of publication: 01 October 2009 / Genre: Humour / Subcategory: Cartoons & Comic Strips / Publisher: Canongate Books Ltd / Title: Simon's Cat / ISBN 13: 9781847674814 / ISBN 10: 1847674814 „
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I have recently discovered 'Simon's Cat'... for those of you who don't know, Simon's Cat is an animated cartoon series, drawn by Simon Tofield. It follows a young man's cat that gets up into all sorts of trouble whilst on a quest for food. Pointing towards his open mouth being his trademark signal!
Simon's Cat started off on YouTube and 25 million hits later became a word-of-mouth phenomenon. Its remarkable how I have managed to miss it, since my boyfriend showed it to me about a month back! I really like the simplistic nature of the drawings, which I try to apply on my course in graphic design. They feature simple black or white lines on a plain background. The absence of colour is not missed... in my opinion it would ruin the look completely! The animations and drawings themselves remind me of another cartoon series: the Bunny Suicides. Although the humour in Simon's Cat is much less controversial!
'Simon's Cat... In his very own book' is a picture book featuring drawings of Simon's Cat getting up to usual cat antics. I have never had a cat, but I imagine Simon's Cat acting just as a pet cat would. He catches birds, claws the sofa and is constantly curious! Simon's Cat is the type of character that would be easy to relate to if you are a cat lover! Tofield also draws other characters, including a bird and hedgehog. All three are really cute and drawn brilliantly.
This edition is a hardback with dust jacket, which makes it look like a really professional art book and keeps it in good condition. The book does not take long to "read" cover to cover... but it is great to flick through from time to time. I don't think the book version lost its appeal by coming from animation to illustration. Fans of the series would not be disappointed.
The book would make a great gift for someone, and they are really cheap to pick up nowadays. Amazon offers it for £6.97, which offers great value for money, but I'm sure you could probably find it cheaper on Ebay. Tofield has since released 'Simon's Cat over the fence' which is the follow-up book, released last year. I am yet to buy the new one, but it would definitely be something to put on my wish-list!
There's nothing to fault with this book. It is great for cartoon and cat lovers alike... which is why I give this book 5 out of 5.
[Review may also appear on Ciao under the username Strawberry_123]
This is the book based on the Youtube videos that went viral, of a sketched cat behaving - well - as cats do! Simon Tofeld is obviously a long standing cat owner and without doubt he has an incredible handle on cat behaviour and the funny little quirks these animals have.
I laughed out loud on many occasions while reading this book, something almost unheard of for me as I tend to be quite reserved, but this book is funny enough to exhort a chuckle even in the most public of places.
A huge variety of cartoons with various recurring characters (including the hedgehog, the birds and the hapless owner) taking every little behavioural quirk and comical moment you could ever imagine a cat doing or living, and turning it into a simple but hilarious series of cartoons.
Such a simple idea, but completely genius and anyone who loves cats or who has ever had a cat will find themselves crying with laughter while nodding along in recognition.
I was a bit slow on the uptake of the hugely popular phenomenon which is Simon's Cat, and only discovered the YouTube animation series, shortly before I received this book as a Christmas present.
For those who dont have a clue what Im talking about, Simon's Cat started life when animator Simon Tofield made a couple of cartoons based on the antics of his cat, and put it on You Tube. Within a year more than 25 million people had viewed the videos turning the whole thing into a worldwide hit.
Later, Simon's cat Hugh had the opportunity to star in his very own book which is printed in glossy hardcover, with an illustrated removable dust jacket.
Across the pages Hughs adventures really come to life in fascinating detail. Although presented as simple line drawings, the realism is astonishing. Any cat owner will easily be able to relate to the lengths Hugh goes to in order to get what he wants. He well and truly wraps his owner firmly around his paw!
Without giving too much away the illustrations depict Simon's cat in a manner of compromising situations, which he nearly always manages to escape from, leaving a trail of chaos in his wake.
Where this book wins out is in not only its humour, but also its warmth. Its funny but also endearing, particularly for cat owners who will know exactly how these little creatures manage to charm you and get away with blue murder.
Even though this book is essentially just a series of basic illustrations, you can imagine the author having a fantastic relationship with his pet to the point where they are almost equals.
Ok so its not an intelligent read - in fact there's no reading to be done at all here apart from the authors note and acknowledgements, but it is a great book to own and takes pride of place amongst my toilet collection of equally obscure books.
It is available for around £6 on amazon, which makes it a perfectly priced pressie for the person who has everything else.
"Simon's Cat....in his very own book" is the published extension of Simon Tofield's highly successfuly eponymous You Tube animation series, also viewable via its own website - www.simonscat.com. If you have not seen them before you really must. Essentially they are simple animate sketches of a cat who is completely in control of his owner. Although simplistic line drawings in nature, they are perfectly observed, true to life and so relatable for many cat owners.
This book is in hardback with a glossy loose leaf removable cover. Any concerns that this might be a shoddily put together cash-in are happily quickly expelled. There are over 200 cartoons in this book - some just the duration of one page, some continuing a story over a few. There is not text in them, all reliant on the skills of the illustrator to accurately display the situation and expressions of the protagonists.
Even without the seeming advantage of the moving animation, these work really well and are highly amusing, satirising so many uniquely special aspects of cat ownership; the wilful destruction they can cause, their inexhaustible energy to pester you when you need attention or to be fed, their ability to sleep anywhere regardless of how inconvenient it may be anyone else, their stubborness when you want them to do something they do not want to do! This is where the drawings are at their best - when they are most closely based in reality and showing the cat permanently on top.
However, a nice touch is that it shows several aspects where the cat is not the winner, generally in encounters with its 'prey' ie the birds in the garden who endlessly foil his best laid plans.
This is really an entertaining book and I would not hesitate in recommending it if you are already a fan of Simon's Cat or if you have a cat lover in your life that may like this as a present.
Obviously, it probably falls into the book you would "dip in and out of" or if you are so inclined - "toilet book"; rather than something you will read cover to cover, but the sheer number of cartoons within means that it will more that stand up to repeat readings/viewings.
One thing I will say however is that it is the type of book that will inevitably annoy anybody who happens to be in the same room as you whilst you are flicking through; as you are likely to interrupt them every few seconds to say to them "look at this, how true is this!!"
In conclusion, this is a very well done, good value (available for about a fiver on the web), very humorous book that I would recommend to any cat lover.