Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Garfield and Garfield minus Garfield

I am not a daily reader of newspaper or online comics. I prefer to read them after they are collected in books or alternatively do an archive binge every few months. While that method of reading is sometimes convenient, in that you can read an entire story arcs at once, sometimes it is better to read them daily (occasionally a webcomic you follow may go under and you'll have missed some of the strips). If you read them all at once your less likely to spend your time thinking about individual comics. The strips of Garfield Minus Garfield are the type in which it is probably better for you to take a little time and think about the strip, rather than just go to the next strip (which is something I do very frequently, particularly in engaging storylines, to the point that I'll occasionally miss a few details on first read through).

I rather enjoy the Garfield comics, though it is not my favorite newspaper comic (my favorite newspaper comic that is still running is Foxtrot, though it only has new strips on Sunday's now). I recently read the 46th book Garfield Spills the Beans and the 47th book Garfield Gets His Just Desserts. The strips contained in these books were not the best Garfield strips. The best strip in these books is the one in which Odie attempts to push Garfield off the side of the table but is not physically strong enough to do so. Considering that the title of one of the books was Garfield Gets his Just Desserts, I was kind of hoping it would have strips in which Odie and the other beings Garfield generally bothers get some type of revenge, but that didn't really happen in the book.

While I do have a few things in common with Garfield. Namely, my favorite food is Lasagna (which only came up twice total in both these books), I am lazy (while not sloth like to the extent Garfield is sometimes portrayed as being, I am more so than is probably healthy) and I am overweight. I do not have all that much in common with him. I do not hate Mondays (which I don't remember being mentioned in either of these books), I like dogs (more than cats even), I do not like eating birds (I dislike chicken), don't drink coffee, etc. I probably have more in common with Jon, made more obvious by the book Garfield Minus Garfield (I do not feel like stating in what ways).

Garfield Minus Garfield is actually pretty interesting. It was always pretty obvious that Jon had a lonely and pretty sad life, what with his only friend being a cat (he had a friend in the very early strips, gave him Odie, but he wasn't in the strips much and then was wrote out entirely), but it is far more obvious without Garfield's thought bubbles giving the illusion that it is a two way communication (after all Jim Davis has stated, both in strips "what I wouldn't give to know what your thinking" type lines and in interviews/comments about the strip, that Jon can not hear Garfield). With Garfield making comments, Jon's actions were more humorous. Without Garfield they become much sadder and I at least find myself sympathizing with him in a way I didn't when Garfield was in the strips.

Both Garfield and Garfield minus Garfield can be read online.

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