On Sunday, I was lucky enough to be one of only a few local media members to get a private interview with Simon Tofield, the creator of Simon’s Cat, before his public event at Politics and Prose, an independent bookstore in Washington, DC. Even though Simon, who was in the middle of a US book tour, had just arrived from Miami, he made time to chat with me for an hour.
Simon Tofield's animations have taken YouTube by storm. This book based on the popular animated series. SIMON'S CAT depicts and exaggerates the hilarious relationship between a man and his cat. The daily escapades of this adorable pet, which always involve demanding more food, and his exasperated but doting owner come to life through Tofield's charming and hilarious illustrations.
The origins of Simon’s Cat are typical story of internet success: Simon Tofield was an animator learning the programming language Adobe Flash. He set himself a challenge to encourage him to learn it - Tofield is severely dyslexic - and came up with the idea of a short animation about a cat waking up his owner, based on his own cat, Hugh. ‘Cat Man Do’ languished on a showreel for a year, until a company asked him if they could put it online. They did, and its 35,000 almost immediate views crashed their server. Tofield was both delighted and infuriated: within minutes, pirate copies were on YouTube garnering millions of views and depriving him of both the credit and the income.