Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Garfield Minus Garfield by Jim Davis

Garfield has been a comic sensation for 30 years. I grew up with him thanks to my older brother and now, thanks to Dan Walsh, I have a whole new appreciation for the one supporting cast member - Jon Arbuckle. Walsh felt that he related to Jon and started to erase Garfield from the comic because when you really think about it, Jon is talking to himself because everything Garfield says is a thought bubble (I never thought about that). So Walsh erased everything that Garfield said, leaving Jon to his own devices. What's left is a amazing portrayal of a man trying to make the most of life, a man that many people can relate to and sympathize with. Before these altered comics became a book, Walsh created a website with his alterations ( and received fan mail from people with bipolar disorder who felt that they really understood what Jon was going through. When you stop to think about it, Jon is a bit bipolar. He has his crazy moments when he's manic, and he most definitely has his depressed lows. You don't even need to have an illness, though, to understand what he's going through - I saw myself reflected many times. What's nice about that connection, though, is that it allows you to stop and chuckle at yourself, that maybe life isn't as bad as you think. This book is a hilarious collection of Garfield comics minus Garfield. One nice thing about the book is that it includes the comic in its original form and the altered form. Jon is really the comedic relief to Garfield's sarcastic/cynical personality.

This book was excellent and should definitely be picked up for a quick chuckle. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and now I have a greater appreciation for the underrated character of Jon Arbuckle.

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