Sim-I is a story about a monkey that has achieved a level of intelligence that allows him to read the morning newspaper and to speak telepathically to his robot rabbit accomplice. Just like any other intelligent monkey and robot rabbit books you’ve read, right? Yeah, this book is not like anything else I’m reading. Right away, the creative team throws the reader into the middle of this monkey’s story, and we learn more about his past as the book progresses.
I love the art in this book. It has a very cartoony style that looks like something that could appear on a Nickolodeon show, but the book’s humor would certainly prevent it from showing up in kids’ programming (recommended for ages 13 and up, by the way). The characters have big, exaggerated reactions and emotions in full Saturday morning cartoon flavor, yet the artist is still able to pack a lot of detail in the character’s designs. Most of the work that I’ve seen that uses the animated style opts for simpler designs with as few lines as possible. Artist Daniel Touchet does not back down at all, instead opting for detailed linework and shading.
Sim-I shows potential, but the story itself jumped around randomly. I’m not sure if it was intended to try to get the reader to identify with the thinking pattern of the monkey or if it was simply a lack of polish. I had to stop several times to make sure I didn’t miss a line of dialogue or a panel that explained the transition between scenes. Since this is an introduction book to the series, the creators were trying to cram a lot of information into 15 pages, and I’m sure it will all make sense in the upcoming months.
I’m interested to see where this book goes once the series officially launches. The creators introduced a lot of potential story threads, and I’m hoping that the storytelling will settle down when the main story gets started.