Monday, July 31, 2006

Ah Choo Baby


Garfield Storytelling Devices 101: Something mysterious happens in Panel One as Character A sits at table with nonchalant expression. In Panel Two Character B, to whom something bizarre has happened, walks past silently. In Panel Three Character A explains what has occurred off-panel.

It's a useful structure, because it allows a medium-strength sight gag to be coupled with a semi-funny life-around-the-house-is-boring joke, and both are bolstered in the process. Though silly, I slightly prefer these strips to simple Garfield put-down gags, because they're harder to write, and gently nudge against the boundaries of the Garfield universe's reality. There's a quiet absurdity to the strip that actually augments the cynicism.

For example, today Garfield watches intently as in the adjacent room Jon opens the caraway seed canister (why?). Jon sneezes into the spice (why?), and promptly exits the room (why?). Garfield lets us know Jon has done this before. It's our job to understand: Jon goes out of his way to make sure it happens again.

5 comments:

Gwen said...

Caraway seeds are probably what John calls his marijuana seeds after he's finished sorting them out on his little tray. And he sneezes above the tray sometimes. That makes more sense to me. In fact, it explains a lot.

Murgatroid said...

Jon hardly seems the type to grow his own marijuana.
As a matter of fact, he seems like a Teetotaler.
I've never once seen Jon Arbuckle engage in heavy substance abuse of any sort. Which is kind of disappointing, now that I think about it...

Flu-Bird said...

Call jon seedy now

Nyperold said...

He's trying to "claim" the caraway seeds much as Garfield once did with a roast chicken. Why such a paltry prize? Because if it were a poultry prize, Garfield wouldn't care about Jon's germs. He once ate a coughing bird, after all.

Alpha Skua said...

Its time to Seeds the day