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Garfield Minus Garfield Paperback – October 28, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
In an act that should qualify him for the brilliant editors hall of fame, Dan Walsh discovered that if all traces of Jim Davis's lazy, lasagna-scarfing cat were expunged from his own comic strip, Garfield became a funnier, much darker series, about a desperately lonely, self-loathing man's existential despair. Walsh started posting his altered strips at garfieldminusgarfield.net. And in an act that definitely qualifies him for the good sport hall of fame, Davis not only didn't sue him but approved of the project. This collection of the best de-Garfielded strips prints Walsh's altered cartoons next to Davis's originals; Davis even throws in a couple dozen Garfield-minus-Garfield strips he's done himself. Interestingly, Davis's stabs at the concept are mostly just gags about Garfield's owner, Jon Arbuckle. The gist of Walsh's approach, on the other hand, is to completely alter Davis's jokes—a strip in which Garfield displays a single hair, announces this is all I'll be shedding today and marches off before Jon delivers a punch line, after Walsh gets through with it, becomes two panels of Jon silently glancing around before haplessly declaring, I dread tomorrow. If Samuel Beckett had been a strip cartoonist, he might've produced something like this. (Nov.)
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About the Author
Jim Davis was born on July 28, 1945, in Marion, Indiana. He later attended Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, where he distinguished himself by earning one of the lowest cumulative grade point averages in the history of the university. (Incidentally, a fellow classmate named David Letterman earned the other). The Garfield strip was born on June 19, 1978, syndicated in forty-one U.S. newspapers. Today it’s syndicated in more than 2,100 newspapers worldwide with more than 200 million readers, leading Guinness World Records to name Garfield The Most Widely Syndicated Comic Strip in the World. Davis has had many successes with Garfield, including four Emmy Awards for Outstanding Animated Program and induction into the Licensing Hall of Fame (1998), but his most prized awards are from his peers in the National Cartoonist Society: Best Humor Strip (1981 and 1985), the Elzie Segar Award (1990), and the coveted Reuben Award (1990) for overall excellence in cartooning.
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Top customer reviews
Another interesting thing was the forward by the "editor" of the Garfield comics, and how he received fan mail from people who suffered from things like depression and other mental issues, and how they identified with Jon. I initially read through the book without having read the forward, but then after reading said forward...I read the book again, and from an entirely different set of eyes and enjoyed it on a whole 'nother dimension.
You do really have to feel sorry for Jon by the end of the book, though. That guy's so sad. *laughs*
Nope, not a single word.
If you haven't read Garfield Minus Garfield, and you either enjoy comics, or reading about a depressed, single bachelor, whether you actually like Garfield or not you should find this enjoyable. In each strip, Garfield has been removed, leaving Jon alone, with no reassuring fat cat to back his behavior up. All you see is unadulterated crazy coming out of Jon's daily, and even more lonely life. In some ways it's not even comedic - without Garfield in these strips, Jon just seems different, and sad, making it a hugely different way to read 'Garfield' strips. I would definitely recommend it if you are a comic fan, a Garfield fan, or especially so if you aren't.
I was a bit surprised getting the book - I knew there was a foreword by "Garfield Minus Garfield"'s creator, but having purchased many other comic books before (including Garfield books, in the distant past) I was rather pleased to find that the comics themselves featured in the book were not only in full Sunday color, but had the original strips below them, as well. Having this context is something I missed every once and a while when reading it from the website - sometimes Jon is just a little too crazy.
I finished this very quickly, so if you are looking for something that will take time to read, this is not it.
Overall, if you like the Garfield comics, I would recommend this. You can sample some of the comics by googling garfield minus garfied.