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All About Garfield Comics
Launched in 1978, the world was introduced to the laziest cat with wits that's enough to mock someone or something, making remarks that's great for laughs. Garfield very much defined part of my childhood, remembering how adorable, yet hilarious, the famous orange cat was, along with his friend, whom he often toys around with, Odie. Owned and adopted by Jon, Garfield and his somewhat snarky responses/reactions are a neat recipe for comedy that's enough to get you going. Fast forward over forty years, and the "darn cat" hasn't stopped one bit, nor will he ever. Along the way, we were also introduced to other various characters, some of whom stayed and went, while others stuck around.
What was it about Garfield that stood out?
Like most kids, Garfield and his somewhat "blank" facial expressions appealed to me. Looking back, a lot of animated characters often spoke with their mouths and lips moving. Garfield didn't portray such thing, but the cat stood out to me as being different from most animated characters you'd watch and enjoy as a kid. Granted, his owner Jon showed the same facial expressions, as do the rest of the characters, but Garfield's counterpart, Odie, was always the happy, yet dumb, one. It was a great balance of what I interpreted as a "bored" character and a happy one. It wasn't until one grows older where you finally pay attention to the dialogue and what situation(s) the characters encounter. Now that I understood it, I couldn't stop laughing. For the punchlines, it's seen as "basic," almost in contrast with "dad," humor, but I really like it. Garfield's come-backs are also a treat. No matter what, Garfield will answer back, and while we were kids, that's often what our parents would yell at us for (perhaps, it's just my parents, as I was told never to answer back). However, when Garfield does so, it's blunt and hilarious, as we all eventually do some sort of answering back as we've gotten into our teenage years (not that I advocate such behavior, but if there's anything I learned in high school, it's that some people just never shut up). Oh, and because my father often bought Sunday newspapers on a weekly basis, I'd always jump onto the daily Garfield Comics, in addition to the Charlie Brown series as well. While I admittedly would confess that the books that we were forced to read and study in school never appealed to me as much, the Garfield Comics surely did. Sadly, having been swamped by rigorous studying in college, I didn't find out about the continuous production of Garfield Comics until I noticed a section on Yahoo!'s front page dedicated to various strips, including ones from Gilbert. That front page discovery was as late as 2009. Up until today, I've been keeping up from time to time.
Besides that brief history, the simple illustrations and its overall entertainment value is what I uphold about the Garfield series. Since the area of nostalgia continues to be a hot trend on the internet, I'd mark this article, along with the comic series itself, to be included in such conversation.
However, the internet has advanced and often would joke and over-exaggerate some of the stuff we grew up with, adding an extension of truths and memes that are/were relatable to the series we knew and loved. This included the fan comic Without Garfield, which is a funny take on the situational punchlines that occur on each comic strip, only without the appearance of Garfield.
In all respect, I'd consider myself a modest fan of Garfield, and because of the current situation going on right now, it's a treat to know what the snarky, lazy cat is up to. It wasn't long that Nickelodeon added Garfield into their family, thus their official website Garfield.com displays just...a profile page for the series. I remember how disappointed I was seeing that, having to run over to Google, searching for the daily comics, and bookmarking the website that posted new, daily comic strips of Garfield. Yeah, it was recently that Nickelodeon finally included both links to their profile page of Garfield and the link to GoComics.com to properly direct fans where the daily comics are. I remember how long it took them to add the link to the daily comics, and I was frustrated. Don't get me wrong, I used to binge on Spongebob Squarepants, Rugrats and CatDog, in addition to staying up late and watching old sitcoms per Nick At Nite. However, it would've been nice if they attended to the update urgently without having me do the digging on where to get the daily Garfield comics. (On the sports side of things, did you ever think, despite the TV contracts made, that you had to tune in to Nickelodeon to watch an NFL game? I ought to tune in to The Weather Channel to watch Formula 1 Racing.)
Anyway, GoComics became the place to be, and included options to create a profile and/or pay to read the daily Garfield comics without ads. For each comic strip, dating way back to 1978, GoComics also allows users to leave comments. Even better, I find it unique that you can purchase an archive-quality print of a particular comic strip you like, properly framed for display. Along with their own online shop, via CafePress, and a YouTube channel, there's plenty of Garfield to go around (currently, their recent YouTube video was uploaded back in November 28, 2019).
Garfield met his old self, dated back in June 15, 2003. Credits to Jim Davis, PAWS, Inc., Universal Press Syndicate and GoComics.
Featured on the front page was Garfield meeting his old self. The power of comics, and bending the laws of time and physics, was the main reason this was able to happen. Like most creative artists, beginning illustrations are a great piece to go back to, seeing how the characters have "matured," if you will. This goes the same with nearly all animated comics, successful enough to reach a milestone and reminding fans, old and new, how much the comics have changed and the transformations they've underwent. In Garfield's case, he became more "improved" having to attend to things close to what us humans can do (i.e. use a cell phone). This improvement and growth also included Jon and Odie, along with the other characters whom we see stop by frequently, such as Liz and Arlene.
That's cute, Kris. But bro, how big a fan are you?
(Note: Mind you, I have no biological brother, but I do have a younger sister.)
I wouldn't say I'm super-obsessive, but I budge in some bread to own some Garfield stuff in my collection. My most recent addition is this fun cookbook:
It's funny to think that a comic strip character brought me to enjoy and love lasagna. It's one of the rare dishes I'd actually eat before my time is up. I don't mind talking about this book, but it will be saved for review on The Seeds of Books section soon. Nevertheless, to think that a comic book character introduced me, and find a taste for lasagna, is something I look back to and laugh.
That's all? Not quite. Behold:
I'm ashamed to admit it, but it took me nearly a year to finish and complete my Garfield and Friends DVD collection. Why was that? I'm not sure if it was my timing, or there was an insatiable demand for the DVD series, but I had to wait for a very long time until third-party sellers showed up and listed some volumes for sale. This included both eBay and Amazon. Nowadays, these DVDs, including the feature film, aren't too difficult to find, but for some reason back then, I had to wait a long while (also depends on the condition of the DVDs, and whether it was a complete set with inserts and original packaging). There were even times I'd drive over to stores like Target to see if they carried some of these titles in stock. For our longtime readers and fans of this website, yes, we will review all of them.
Well, with the power of online streaming, I then received an email from Pluto TV on September 7, 2021, notifying me of three new channels added to their streaming app. The very first one they featured on the email? This:
Isn't it funny, yet creepy, how you think about something and then you see an ad for it? I doubt that's all coincidence given all the sneaky technology we can't live without, now 'lo and behold, Pluto TV adds a 24/7 channel to everything Garfield. I checked out the channel myself and it looks good. Given that it was originally a 4:3 aspect ratio, the episodes are presented in widescreen. Besides that, fellow comics and cartoon nostalgia fans ought to get a kick out of that. You can tune in to the channel, on the Pluto TV app, on Channel 1019 under the Kids category.
As for my collection, those are just a handful of Garfield stuff I own, but check back on this article every now and then in the case I obtained any new additions for me to share here.
Speaking of collection, I want to give a big shout-out to Kathy and Robert Kothe: The biggest Garfield collectors in the world! You can check out Yahoo!'s article and their collection by clicking here. What a fantastic collection, and couple!
To close this article respectfully, I grew up surrounded by people who find it mundane to mock and criticize the things you love and are a fan of (I'm not lying about that, as it was a bunch of close-minded individuals). Thanks to the internet, and the launch of this website many years later, I can feel my stress levels plunge, and my blood pressure drop, knowing that I can share the things I love and enjoy without any fear. With that said, Garfield is one of them and I'm a proud fan. Some do feel it's necessary to mock and criticize me for loving something I grew up with, as corny as Garfield, and nowadays, that's okay because being yourself isn't considered a felony, while those individuals are imprisoned with their own unhappiness that they hold other people accountable in bailing them out without reciprocating the courtesy of doing so.
Have no shame: I love Garfield, and I hope you're a big fan too. Let's all enjoy and celebrate the world's laziest cat with a delicious plate of lasagna. (I'll need to run out and buy one...or seven.)
HUGE thank you to Jim Davis, Universal Press Syndicate, PAWS Inc., GoComics, Nickelodeon and Pluto TV!