Mittwoch, 22. Oktober 2008

Garfield Minus Garfield

As a kid I was a huge fan of Garfield. I really dug his dry sense of humor, and also loved the whackier physical comedy of the strips. As I got older I kind of outgrew the fat cat a bit, since the strips are a bit repetitive and comics like Calvin and Hobbes or Peanuts are much more thought through, deeper and eventually more beautiful. I haven't really read any Garfield in the last couple of years, until a friend of mine asked me last night: ever heard of that website When I said I had not, he showed it to me and... man it's genius. A guy named Dan Walsh came up with the idea of how the Garfield strips would be like if you would eliminate the main element in it: Garfield. The result is a depressing, sometimes disturbing and always hilarious look at Jon Arbuckle's life, which is in fact so sad, that his talking/thinking cat is the only being that really interacts with him. So what would Jon do without him? Go visit the website to check it out. I'm posting my ten favourite strips right here. Copyright lies with Paws Inc. Jim Davis is the creator and Dan Walsh the man behind the alternated strips.


This one gives a perfect example of how sad Jon's life really is. You gotta love the innocent, almost boyish smile in the last panel. He is so pleased with himself.


Uhhh, this one is hard. Allowedly, it is way more depressing than it is funny, but hey, the fact that it is a portrait of an isolated, lonely, pathetic man put into a three-panel-strip deserves some kind of price.


I love this one. What happens here? Is Jon too dumb to figure out how the telephone works? Is it ringing for the first time in his life and he just doesn't know how to handle the situation aka. the phone? Glorious.


Ah, and here is the physical comedy. I love, how much better it is delivered without a sarcastic comment by Garfield. This shows the brutal truth. A picture of a man, who has nothing going for him. A man who's day is over before even having a breakfast! Yes!


This is a completely new style of comedy for a Garfield comic that Walsh creates. This one doesn't make the slightest bit of sense. What is Jon thinking in the last panel? Is the content of the bowl his girlfriend? Is he catatonic? Or just crazy?


This one might be the best strip to show how weird Jon really is. There is nobody in the whole house, yet he forces himself to sit in the cat bed. Why on earth would he do that? Also we learn that Jon might be mildly schizophrenic.


Hmmm... Jon seems to talk to his coffee mug in this one. I love how it seems as if in Jon's head the coffee mug knows "what it means." Jon looks pleased.


Dan Walsh managed to create a new joke out of this strip, that fits perfectly with the depiction of Jon in the other strips. In his progressing isolation, Jon even starts talking to salad and enquires about its well being. Awesome!


There are many more like this one, but I like this best. It features Jon talking to nobody in the first panel, a classic grimace in the second one (for no apparent reason too) and an empty third panel. If you don't find this funny, I cannot help you.


Ah, number one. Given, this strip is pretty funny even without cutting Garfield from it. But leaving out the initiator for Jon's egg and bacon face catapults this strip into a whole new level of hilarious. We have to assume that Jon put the eggs and bacon on his own face, and know after reading the whole thing, that behind that newspaper it's there already from the first panel on. For me, this takes the cake. Now go and check out the website.

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