Sunday, May 28, 2006

Think I'll Go for a Nap Outside Now

Title panel: What's the gag here? Garfield has a giant pen with his name on it, but that doesn't stop his leg from being incompletely drawn. If this is some kind of meta Duck Amok joke, I can make neither heads nor tails of it.

Garfield's sudden attachment to a little pink rug is cute, but the entire substance of the gag today relies on his need to nap on this carpet. Otherwise, it's just a strip about how Garfield was sleeping indoors, then he went outdoors to sleep. The idea may have been that we'll be fooled into thinking Garfield is going to go outside and play in the sun, rather than wasting his day sleeping, but it barely comes off that way. Indeed, I had to read the strip three times before realizing that the punchline isn't "Garfield goes back inside, and dreams about being outside."

It is a strange nuance that the drapes indoors mirror the flowers and lawn outside, but I fail to draw any conclusions as to the significance of this visual echo. A conclusion I can draw is that since Garfield's established height is around three feet and change, that butterfly's wingspan must be just shy of twelve inches. Gross.


Anonymous said...

Duck amok? I took the pen in panel to mean that Garfield, master-of-his-own universe that he is, was again undone by his own laziness. Note the unhappy scowl as he seems to peer down and note the job he's done on his legs. And how about the arm holding that pen? That must be in the running (missing leg not-withstanding)for one of the longest arms ever drawn on Garfield.

John said...

I know this is a serious necropost, but it has to be said. In the next day's strip, Garfield is suddenly huge. I mean, he covers the entire frame. I think that instead of suddenly expanding, though, he is getting closer to the reader. In the same way, I am willing to assume this is a normal one inch butterfly 12 times closer to the reader than Garfield.

Mark Jake said...

I thought the joke was just that as the sun moves to the right of the window (so the door is on the west side of the house if they live in the Northern Hemisphere, but anyway) Garfield eventually has to go outside to remain in the sun. But then, creature of the inside that he is, Garfield isn't comfortable on the grass so he has to bring a piece of the inside outside. This would've been funnier if he had been napping in his box in the sun and dragged that outside though. Or if he had dragged the table outside. But when you (CS) said you thought the joke was he goes back in and dreams he's out (which explains the giant butterfly) I thought that's really quite in character for Garfield - laying in the grass is beneath him so he goes back in and just imagines he's outside, or he's too lazy to actually move the rug... really, it's just as good a gag.