Garfield the cat turns 37 today (the first “Garfield” comic was printed on June 19, 1978). It’s already been documented here that this lasagna-loving, overweight orange kitty holds a special place in my heart. “Peanuts,” “Calvin and Hobbes” and the like are the more critically-acclaimed comic strips, but to me, Garfield’s contempt for Mondays and ability to say exactly what he thinks makes us kindred spirits and, ultimately, makes “Garfield” my favorite comic. If you’re a fan like me, you may already know some of these fun facts, but for the casual reader, here are some gems you may not know about the fat cat:
- Garfield is named for James Garfield—but not that one. “Garfield” creator Jim Davis chose the name for his title character based on that of his uncle, James A. Garfield Davis, “a large, cantankerous man” who owned many cats. That James Garfield was named after the President, however.
- Garfield has gotten a makeover. Originally, Garfield was much larger and walked on all fours. Over his long life span, Garfield has learned to walk on two legs and also has a more exaggerated, cartoon-like appearance. See below.
- “Garfield” is the most-syndicated comic strip in the world. “Garfield” is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as having the highest readership of any comic strip ever, appearing in over 2,500 newspapers and journals. Maybe the whole world just loves cats.
- Garfield lives in the Hoosier State. Though rarely mentioned, Garfield, Jon, Odie and the rest of the gang live in Muncie, Indiana, which is Jim Davis’ home state. Davis’ objective is to make “Garfield” feel relatable to all readers, thus he rarely mentions their location.
- Jim Davis does not work alone. While Davis still puts together the general doodles and sketches of the “Garfield” comic, a team of artists assemble the final product at Davis’ home in Indiana, as part of his company Paws Inc.
Happy Birthday, Garfield! Here’s to many more years…and many more lasagnas.
What’s your favorite “Garfield” moment?