Sunday, July 02, 2006


Sometimes this dog has a bad rash, sometimes "he's fine." Also he looks like a brown cousin of Dennis the Menace's dog, Ruff, but I wouldn't worry about that... too much. I will be awake all night worrying about it for you.

For those not nerdy enough to know, the strip is a swipe of the hysterical ending of the 1945 Bugs Bunny cartoon "Hare Tonic", in which Bugs convinces Elmer he's come down with "Rabbititis", for no more reason than tormenting the poor bastard. "Hare Tonic" holds a special place in my heart because it disproves the older Chuck Jones' misguided theory that Bugs only reacts to those who have wronged him, and is never an aggressor: in "Hare Tonic", Bugs tortures Elmer for no offense at all. The young Jones and Jim Davis know that pure impish meanness is funnier than just desserts.

The title panel shows similar nasty Garfield behavior: he's either too lazy to move the pillows off the couch, or too arrogant to obstruct a view of his name, even for physical comfort.

Weird Three Stooges reference in final panel adds little besides making me retroactively give the dog a Curly Howard voice.


hal said...

I am just off the top of my head here, but I think that Hair Tonic opens with Elmer bringing Bugsy home in a basket [singing 'Mammy's Lil Baby'] to turn him into rabbit stew. So yeah, there's _some_ antagonism intrinsic to the intention to boil and eat someone.

If I'm thinking of the right toon.

also, i like your blog a lot.

Chris Stangl said...

Elmer does intend to murder Bugs at the opening of Hare Tonic, but then tries to set Bugs free, as his uncle's will demands he not harm any animals.

I imagine if Garfield were in a similar situation, he would crawl into Elmer's sock drawer and fall asleep.

Kiru Banzai said...

Garfield looks unusually catlike in the first panel here. From the standing, to the sitting upright, to the eating cat food with his hands (his opposeable-thumbed paws, I mean), it's rare that we see Garfield expressing his felinity.

C. Sandy Cyst said...

He was never an aggressor in Chuck Jones/Friz Freleng/Bob McKimson's day, was what Chuck meant.

Flu-Bird said...

We used to have a small dog that sat on our cat has odie ever sat on garfield?