June 19, 2008

Horse 887 - 30 Years Later

It was 30 years ago today that the small orange cat Garfield, broke cover and into our daily newspapers. That's 30 years of slightly inane marketing genius aimed at exploiting the wallets of people everywhere.

It is true that Jim Davis did want to create a marketable character, and the proof of this was that within 5 years, the product saw sydication in world-wide newspapers and already a sizeable stack of merchandise.

The comic strip itself is no longer drawn by Davis, who at the age of 57 didn't want the quality of the work to "age" like Schultz' Peanuts did. In fact this shows in that the quality remains quite consistent. Also, like Peanuts the ages of the characters never change.

One of the funnest things I ever found was this:
Garfield Minus Garfield which is the strip minus the titular character. What we're lift with is described on the site as "an even better comic about schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and the empty desperation of modern life" through the eyes of Jon Arbuckle. "Let’s laugh and learn with him on a journey deep into the tortured mind of an isolated young everyman as he fights a losing battle against loneliness in a quiet American suburb."

Davis has created 10,950 comic strips, two movies, 133 television shows and specials, and sold 135 million books. Something that big can not be ignored very easily.

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