Garfield minus Garfield 2

Posted by Dan on Jun 5th, 2008
Jun 5



The New York Times comments on the Garfield Minus Garfield cartoons:


Jim Davis, the cartoonist who created “Garfield,” calls himself an occasional reader of the site, which he calls “fascinating.” He says he is flattered rather than peeved by the imitation.


“Some of them really work, and some of them work better,” Mr. Davis said in a telephone interview.


The article got me to thinking about why subtracting Garfield works so well.  Cats are aloof, they observe.  In the comic, everything is exaggerated, so Jon Arbuckle is pathetically needy, and Garfield is contemptuous.


Meanwhile, in the real world, cat’s don’t talk.  This means that Jon’s conversations with Garfield are mostly in Jon’s mind.  Jon is really talking to himself.  Subtracting Garfield from the comic makes this clear.  Jon is not only talking to himself, he’s being insulted by his imaginary friend.