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June 27, 2017 1 min read
There was a time, eons ago, where the comic strip known as Garfield was okay. Nay, it was good. Back in the late '70s and '80s, the daily dalliances of Garfield, Odie, Jon, and, for a brief time, Lyman was decent shit in the funny pages of this nation’s newspapers, becoming the most widely syndicated comic strip in history. Suck on that, corpse of Charles M. Schulz.
Side note: if you are too young to know what a newspaper is, ask an older person, preferably one who drives around elementary schools in a panel van.
It wasn’t long before the cat leapt off the pages of the Sunday funnies and into the car windows of the nation’s mini-vans. Creator Jim Davis told the Washington Post in 1982 Garfield was created to be a marketable character. It wasn’t about being particularly funny nor relevant to the zeitgeist and social events, it was about making money. Bill Watterson, creator of Calvin & Hobbes, called another Davis creation, U.S. Acres, an abomination, saying Davis’ whole process is “an insult to the intelligence.” Garfield merch has brought in more than one billion dollars to Paws, Inc., the company tasked with licensing out the original Grumpy Cat. For fuck's sake, Davis has been inducted into the Licensing Merchandiser’s Hall of Fame, as if that’s a hall that should even exist.
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