I bet you know who Garfield is, right?
Garfield is the most popular cat in history. Created by animator Jim Davis back in the late seventies, Garfield’s almost four decades of existence had resulted to a regular cartoon series, comic atrips and comic books, not a few movies, and loads and loads of print ads.
But how well do you really know Garfield? Here are ten of the most interesting facts that you probably did not know about the world’s most intelligent and most popular cat.
10. Jon was supposed to be the star and not Garfield
The original idea of the creator of the comic strip was to make Jon, Garfield’s owner, as the main protagonist in the strip. He already had a whole storyline intended for Jon. However, when he showed the comic strip to T.K. Ryan, who created Tumbleweeds, Ryan thought that Jon was not as fascinating a comic strip character compared to his pet cat – Garfield. Hence, Garfield was cast as lead actor and Jon as the ever supportive owner.
9. Does Jon ever make a living?
A lot of people actually find it rather puzzling that Jon seems to never do anything. Yes, everybody knows that he is Garfield’s owner, but all he ever seems to do is lounge around his house with his cat – who seems to be the real owner of the house! According to Davis, Jon is a cartoonist like himself. In truth, he never thought it’d be an interesting idea to expound on what Jon does for a living.
8. Garfield can get really scary, too
During a Halloween episode, ghost pirates were created to enter Jon’s house and to confront Garfield. This memorable episode proved to be so scary that kids who saw it screamed in terror and fright. For Davis, this was one of Garfield’s most memorable experiences – and one of Davis’ most cherished creations as well.
7. The Ghost Pirates episode was one of the most difficult to make
Davis’ most cherished episode was the one with the ghost pirates. This was shown during Halloween night. Now, it can be told that the animation featuring the ghost pirates were one of the most difficult to make. As a matter of fact, the animators of Garfield even had to resort overexposure and burning of film to render a “scary glow” on the ghost pirates.
6. Where did the name of the cat come from?
Davis gave the name Garfield to the world’s most lovable cat as a tribute to his grandfather whose name was James Garfield. His grandfather, on the other hand, was named after the president of the United States. Hence, the name given to Garfield the cat has sentimental and even political overtones to it.
5. Where does Garfield live?
Davis is from Indiana – an American state located in the midwest. So is Garfield also from Indiana? Not really. Davis wanted to create Garfield with a certain kind of universal appeal. He wanted Garfield to be very personable, relatable, humanlike, and ubiquitous such that people would get the impression that Garfield just lives in the neighborhood.
4. Garfield has changed looks over the years
The Garfield of 1978 does not look exactly like Garfield of 2008. Over the years, Garfield had also undergone some physical changes – like a face lift or a contouring job, if you will. However, Davis retained certain qualities of the cat – like he will always be fat, he will always have that wry and scheming smile, and that he would always be one hell of an intelligent cat.
3. Does Davis still draw the Garfield comic strips up to now?
Not anymore. However, Davis has maintained total control of all final outputs regarding Garfield. Garfield may have new animators now and he may look quite different from 1978. Nevertheless, it is still Davis who gives final approval when it comes to the destiny of the world’s most beloved cat.
2. Does Davis regret anything about Garfield?
The Garfield merchandise has made so much money all over the world – attesting to the fact that indeed, Garfield is the world’s most favorite cat. However, Davis regrets the zombified Garfield merchandise. He thought that that particular creation was not very lovable. Nevertheless, it still did sell well.
1. Garfield is the most syndicated comic strip ever
Garfield has been bought for syndication by over 250 broadsheets all over the world. This is a Guinness world record! Way to go, Garfield!