Wednesday, September 27, 2006


I was eating a hamburger at the local Red Robin reading the comics section of the newspaper when something caught my eye: Jon Arbuckle talking to Garfield about his girlfriend, Liz!

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In case you're not a long-time reader of the Garfield comic-strip let me explain. Jon is a world-class geek. He couldn't get a date if his life depended on it. He enjoys playing accordion at yodelling festivals. How can this guy have a girlfriend?! Liz is the vet that Jon takes Garfield to for checkups. She has been a cast member of the strip since the seventies. She has always turned down Jon no matter how many times he asked. Why would she say yes now?

In my early years I was a huge Garfield fan. I had all the books, watched the cartoon and wore the pyjamas. But last decade of the strip has left me quite underwhelmed. Each strip had a cliche gag based on either Jon being a loser or Garfield doing something mean to Jon or Odie. All of the supporting cast member had disappeared, Garfield never went on any trips or had any adventures and there was not anything that really drew me back to the strip day after day.

Here is an example of an average Garfield strip from the last few years:

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Even the artwork, as you can see from the strip above, was boring. Often the first two panels would be exactly the same with no dialogue and then the third panel would be sightly different with a lame joke. Garfield was in a rut.

But now it seems that Garfield creator, Jim Davis, really wants to do something shocking. He's giving Jon a life. I thought this would be a short week-long gag but it's been two months now and they are still dating! At last! Continuity! I love it!

Hopefully this is a new era for Garfield.

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