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Simon Tofield's new book takes Web video hit 'Simon's Cat' offline, into bookstores

December 4, 2009 |  7:00 pm

We're big fans of the online video phenomenon that is Simon's Cat, an animated series that follows a troublesome-but-lovable kitty who bears a striking resemblance to some real-life cats we know.  Our colleague Charles Solomon has the details on the recently released book by the series' creator, Simon Tofield (hint: like the videos, it also features a certain feline); here's an excerpt:

Simon's Cat is the new kitty du jour, following in the paw prints of Garfield, Morris, B. Kliban's cats and other media felines. The creation of British animator-director Simon Tofield, the simply drawn character is the star of five online videos that have racked up more than 36 million hits (they can be seen at simonscat.com). Tofield's first book brings his popular character to the printed page.

Tofield is a perceptive observer: He understands how cats move and the poses they assume when they sleep, wash, eat and stalk real or imaginary prey. He combines his observations with a sense of caricature that pushes the exaggerations just far enough to reveal what the cat is thinking. And he does it solely through his drawings: Neither the cartoons in the book nor the films contain any words (only meows, purrs and human grunts in the videos), which makes their subject seem that much more believable and cat-like.

Although he began as a recognizable cat, Garfield quickly turned into a crabby little man in a cat suit, complaining about Mondays in a strip designed to be pinned up by the office water cooler -- replacing the previous week's strip complaining about Mondays. Tofield knows a cat doesn't care about Mondays: It eats from the same dish, sleeps on the same pillow and gets into the same mischief, regardless of the day of the week.


Video: The Simon's Cat episode "TV Dinner."  Credit: simonscat via YouTube

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