Simon’s Cat in Kitten Chaos

Simon Tofield, Illustrator
Simon Tofield. Akashic Books, $15.95 trade paper (240p) ISBN 978-1-61775-158-5
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Cat cartoons have been a familiar publishing staple from B. Kliban’s 1975 bestseller Cat to The Oatmeal. Despite its many copycats, however, there’s still plenty of room for fine feline humor on the bookshelf. Among all the Garfields and LOLcats and dead cats (and their 101 uses) , Tofield’s cartoons stand tall—hilarious, loving observations of a privileged and bossy house cat. Star of a series of books and YouTube cartoons, Simon’s Cat has now an antagonist and partner in crime: a mischievous kitten invading his space, eating his food, and taking away his spotlight of attention. What elevates Tofield’s simple but expressive line drawings above the large litter of competing kitties is his keen grasp of cartoon physics and comedy cat antics. With a pitch-perfect pen, he captures the simple, realistic acrobatics of cats tumbling with toys or gracefully stretching out in the sun, and chronicles their adventures in pantomime strips that pit them against household objects, their owner, and each other. Cat owners and aficionados will have several delighted “Yes, cats really do that!” reactions reading this. (Apr.)
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