Garfield 40so: 12 Curiosities at the World's Most Zoological Cat Birthday
On June 19, 1978, cartoonist Jim Davis introduced the world to one of the funniest cats of all time: Garfield. The first comic strip of the plump yellow feline, who is a fan of lasagna and hates Mondays, brought Jon and Garfield performing to the public. Jon is a cartoonist who introduces his cat, while Garfield is a cat who introduces his cartoonist - never owner! - and ask for food, food. Check out:
Now, so, Garfield accumulates a series of curiosities throughout its history. Check out 12 of them:
1. Garfield protagonist?
Jim Davis created a series of comic strips based on Jon, with his cat as a supporting role. However, when presenting the proposal to his boss, TK Ryan of Tumbleweeds, he suggested that the cat had more potential and that Davis should focus on him. So, while initially not the protagonist, Garfield stole the spotlight before it was even released!
2. Jon's Profession
As you saw in the first comic strip, Jon is a cartoonist. However, this information only appears in this comic! Jim Davis, the real creator and cartoonist, thought this would be a good creative solution for the character, as he didn't intend to delve deep into Jon's professional life.
3. Garfield's Name
Jim Davis says he named his grumpy cat after James A. Garfield Davis, his grandfather. As a child, the cartoonist spent a lot of time on Garfield's farm, which had several cats, but none were as grumpy as himself. And most curious, Davis's grandfather was named after the 20th US President James A. Garfield, who ruled from March to September 1881 when he was assassinated.
4. Forgotten Character
The first comic strips also featured a recurring character named Lyman, who was the first owner of the Odie dog and Jon's roomate . This was necessary for the human to interact, as the dog and the cat "just thought." Gradually, Davis noted that even through thought it was possible to create interactions, eventually excluding Lyman from the stories.
5. From quadruped to biped
In the first few comic strips, Jim Davis wanted to keep the most feline features in Garfield. This included, for example, that he only walked on all four legs. It was cartoonist Charles M. Schulz, the creator of Snoopy, who suggested to Davis that he draw larger back paws on Garfield and allow him to become bipedal.
6. Cancellation? Not!
In recent weeks, we've seen a flurry of people asking to save the Lucifer series on Twitter - and finally getting it. In the past, this was through letters and phone calls: The Chicago Sun Times newspaper canceled Garfield's comic strip as soon as the cartoon began to hit, receiving an avalanche of phone calls and mail to return. The request was granted, of course.
7. Comic with greater repercussion
In 2002, Garfield entered the Guinness Book as the most widely republished comic strip in the world: no less than 2, 570 newspapers simultaneously featured the baggy cat comic.
8. Undefined gender
Although we call it “O” Garfield, the idea of starring in the comic strips with a dog and a cat was not to have to specify a genre for the characters. Since Davis's grandfather's farm cats were inspirational, the cartoonist says he never thought of a specific age, gender, or breed for Garfield.
9. Design Evolution
The main feature of Garfield's face has never changed: he is a plump cat. However, over 4 decades, there were several transformations in the character's layout.
10. Billions in product and one regret
The Garfield brand generates an average of $ 1 billion a year in licensed products. Movies, animated series, toys etc: everything goes when it is to profit from the big guy. But Jim Davis only regrets a permit, which was when they created a zombie version of Garfield. At first he thought it would be funny, but today he thinks it added nothing to the development of his main character.
11. Car trim
In the 1980s and 1990s, a very successful Garfield toy with suction cups on its feet was used to hang it in the car. This arose from a miscommunication, since the toy was supposed to come with velcros, which was the fashion of some dolls of the time. When the prototype arrived, Davis decided to stick it in a glass and wait to see if it would not fall. How it worked, he authorized production that way. The rest is history - and $$$$.
12. Names around the world
The name "Garfield" is used almost everywhere publishing the comic, but not three: in Finland it's called Karvinen, in Norway it's Pusur and in Sweden it was named Gustaf.
Do you know the Mega Curioso newsletter? Weekly, we produce exclusive content for lovers of the biggest curiosities and bizarres of this big world! Register your email and do not miss this way to keep in touch!