Graphic Content – Garfield

List Item:  Read half of the 1001 Comics You Must Read Before You Die
15/501Title: Garfield
Author & Illustrator: Jim Davis
Year: 1978 onwards
Country: USA

I am happy to say that with some of the comics on the 1001 list we have found their archives online. This is the case with Garfield whose official website contains every issue is available right here. I might have spent a good few hours in the evening browsing this on my iPad (the touchscreen controls are so handy when you have a fucked up wrist).

As much as I enjoyed this comic it is probably not a good idea to read a year’s worth of these (1990 in my case) in an evening. In one year there were 3-4 bunches of comics about how much Garfield did not want to be put on a diet by his hapless owner John. I identify a lot with Garfield on this point… anyway.

I think that’s why Garfield works so well. We can all relate to either Garfield or to his owner. Less so with Odie, Nermal or Arlene as they are pretty one note. I don’t think there is anyone who cannot relate to Garfield’s sloth and gluttony on some level or, conversely, John’s exasperation.

Also, this hits the soft spot as I used to watch the children’s series Garfield and Friends many years ago. I never liked the farm sections as much, but Garfield was spot on. Especially the voice, he IS Garfield (sorry Billy Murray fans). I never got around to seeing the second Garfield film… and I don’t think I will be planning to.

Just to finish on. One of the greatest things about the Garfield comic strip is that it was able to inspire something so bizarre as Garfield Minus Garfield. Once you know about this it is hard to read the regular strip without imagining


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