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12 February, 2006

Shock: Garfield interesting!

I don't know who noticed it first, but someone's realised that if one removes all the animal comments (i.e. Garfield's lines) from 'Garfield' cartoon strips, an entirely different, somewhat darker interpretation often emerges.  As Neil Gaiman says, each is "transformed into a perfectly paced, rather sad strip about a man whose life is wasted and a cat who says nothing."

I don't think it works in all the examples provided at Truth and Beauty Bombs (especially not the first six, which were chosen to demonstrate a different point), but those in which Garfield doesn't react visibly either, in which it seems Jon is talking to a normal cat, are excellent.
To paraphrase a comment at T&BB, sharing conversations with a sentient, witty person who happens to occupy a feline body is one thing, and a comic strip that's rather too bland for my taste. However, if it's just an ordinary cat, there's a whole new level of pathos, and a bleaker atmosphere. Many of Jon's comments become rhetorical and self-reflexive, even despairing.

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