Friday, July 21, 2006

Ellen Vs. Predators

Ladies and gentlemen -- or more accurately, those in the audience who are not gentlemen -- I think we all know we're not looking at a hot fudge sundae. We're looking at the promise of easy Ellen-sex manifested in the form of a three-scoop ice cream dessert nightmare. And that, folks, is not a bad metaphor. It's so smart to provide a physical temptation for Garfield that puts him in the same dilemma as Jon, because otherwise his disinterest in human sex lives would render him useless as a foil for Jon in this story. Setting two characters with opposite moral genetic structures into similar moral conflicts, you have a great chance to illustrate something profound about humanity. It's the Garfield equivalent of Crimes and Misdemeanors.

Despite the unease created by the necessary middle-distance staging (gotta fit in those massive dialog balloons), I love the Jon pose in panel two, both for what he's articulating about his conflict and a brutal self-realization. Yes, A) does he take advantage of a sexy amnesiac?, but also B) the reason Jon realizes the situation is wrong, is because someone likes him. What a shattering moment, when we realize the default setting of the world is loneliness. So shattering it makes Jon grab his own eyeball.

And I'm going to lay it on the line, and say that though the Horoscope keeps prodding Jon to increasingly awful behavior, and though he's lapsed enough to get a date with Ellen under false pretenses, Jon will locate his scruples somewhere in the pocket of that plaid jacket, directly over his boring, miserable heart.

Jon's Horoscope: Day Four
In the gene pool of cool, you've been swimming in the shallow end, but at least you have your trusty water wings. Shape up, sailor! There's land ahoy! Today's lucky number: banana

God bless you, Jim Davis, for what looks to me like confirmation that the "lucky numbers" are just "fucking with you numbers".

That opening sentence is so baroque in metaphor that it's not worth breeching; is coolness genetic? What might be meant by one's water wings in a pool of cool? What support devices exist for maintaining a level of untrained cool?


catastrophile said...

Does she actually like him? It seems more like she's being polite, possibly hoping that if she tolerates his goofiness long enough he'll let slip some clue as to her past . . .

Anonymous said...

I'm also concerned with her "whoever you are" comment. Surely she knows who he is at this point. This seems like it goes far beyond amnesia. I suspect she has some major brain damage and total loss of short term memory. Of course, she could be some sort of crack head...this could be the beginning of a story arc about addiction.

It could be that she's also a Leo, that she's the one lying, and she intends to go home with Jon and then take everything he owns and pawn it. The addiction story could be followed by Jon's quest for vengeance.

But, anyway, sunglasses are a floatation device for coolness.

mrh said...

Also: lucky number "banana"? If that fruit were any lower-hanging, it would be on the ground.

catastrophile said...

AHA! The amnesia was a red herring! Just a distraction to lead us into today's shocking revelation.

New prediction: the life-altering event will have something to do with Jon getting beaten to a pulp by Smarmy McChinCleft.

Okay, probably not, but I've got my fingers crossed.

Mark Jake said...

"...that she's the one lying, and she intends to go home with Jon and then take everything he owns and pawn it."

What does Jon own? 2 sets of clothes, a never-worn salmon blazer, a 4x6 checkerboard with no checkers, Garfield, Odie, a table, a phone, and a dead fern? Is she going to steal the house?

The good thing for Jon who is, I assume, of limited sexual experience, is that with amnesia, Ellen will have no standard of comparison. Whereas looking like that she'd normally be out of his league and I am guessing more experienced than he is, thus too intimidating for dating.

Anonymous said...