Monday, November 15, 2010


The spontaneous outbreak of good taste by the American public regarding Garfield provides an ample opportunity to bring renewed attention to internet anti-Garfield humor. These are all fairly well-known, but I believe it would be a public service to bring them all together.

First there is the Garfield Random Panel Generator, which operates on both the Kuleshov Theory and the Garfield is Funnier Out of Sequence Theory, both of which are true and well-documented.

Next is the Garfield silencing. It's pretty self-explanatory; by removing Garfield's thought bubbles the strip becomes "an oddly surrealist comic."

Along these same lines is Realfield, which turns Garfield into a realistic looking pussy cat, and Garfield Minus Garfield, in which he is removed entirely. This latter approach warps the increased focus on Jon, taking him from just a lonely guy that talks to his cat to a desperate sack that holds disjuointed discourse with himself.

Interestingly, Garfield creator Jim Davis approves of the treatment, going so far as to allow G-G's "creator" to publish a book collection of his alterations. More money in the bank, I'm sure.

Finally there is Lasagna Cat, which must have required an absurd level of time and resources to realize. The concept is brilliant in its simplicity: re-enact Garfield strips with live-action performers and a laugh track and rimshot for the "funny" parts, followed by a surreal music video remix and a potshot at Jim Davis. One of my favorites:

The effect is really quite astounding. As one of the silenced Garfield commenters notes, "Garfield, traditionally one of the worst comics ever, has become the greatest comic ever." The only other comic strip perversion I can think of that achieves a similar level of realized-humor-by-degradation is the Nietzsche Family Circus.

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