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Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Garfield minus Garfield

Writer and Illustrator: Jim Davis
Garfield removed by Dan Walsh

What's it about? 
Garfield is a fat orange tabby cat, who likes pizzas and being sarcastic.  He hates Mondays, diets and doing things.  As a cat, he naturally knows he's better than everyone else, particularly his owner Jon and the dog, Odie.  Garfield has been running as a comic strip since the late 70s and is beloved by many people the world over.  There's been a film, TV shows, toys, mugs, t-shirts, all sorts of merchandise.

What Dan Walsh has done, is take Garfield strips and remove Garfield from them.  This invariably leaves Jon looking, well, decidedly odd.

What's good about it?
This is such a simple idea, but so good.

The original strips generally had Garfield providing the punchline, and since they tend to be only 3 panels long do not have a whole lot of action in them.  Usually it would be Jon and Garfield having a chat. Or Garfield staring at Odie doing something stupid.  Or similar.  The thing is, as the reader we see Jon talking and Garfield's speech bubbles.  This gives the impression of a conversation, but really Jon is talking to himself.

Garfield minus Garfield makes this solitariness clear.  The results are funny, to say the least.


Ah, the life of a crazy cat man.  Or as the blurb puts it:
"It is a journey deep into the mind of an isolated young everyman as he fights a losing battle against loneliness and depression in a quiet American suburb"

Reading these strips, it probably helps if you've read some original Garfield strips, but I reckon they stand up by themselves pretty well.

What's bad about it?
I can't write anything bad about this - it's a 3 panel comic strip poking fun at an institutional comic strip!  You can't start thinking seriously enough about it to provide critical commentary, it's just fun!
What's the art like?
Cartoony.  This isn't the sort of thing you need to describe the style of to describe to readers - every strip is the same, you can clearly see the style from the samples posted here.

Other information
ISBN: 0345513878
Price: £7.99
Website: http://garfieldminusgarfield.net/
Read what Jim Davis, the creator of Garfield thinks of it.
For other Garfield parodies, check out Square Root of Minus Garfield.
For regular Garfield books, Amazon has a list.  Any of them will be good.

1 comment:

  1. BwaHahaha!
    This is such a...genius idea!
    Kinda silly, but it's the kinda silly I love, looks like a fun concept!