Saturday, July 29, 2006

KISS Asleep!


We rarely glimpse the nightly (?) ritual of Jon and Garfield saying goodnight to each other. No one says goodnight to Odie, and no one knows or cares where he sleeps. No one is concerned when he disappears for weeks at a time. Instead Jon funnels his energy into making sure Garfield witnesses every landmark moment of his life. Not only did Garfield see the kiss, but he was staring creepily at the young lovers. Not only did Garfield see the kiss, but he saw the entire date. He has borne silent witness to Jon's entire life. So in panel three, as Garfield tries to get momentary relief from being Jon's flesh-and-blood diary, we all feel the exhausted frustration: we paid strict attention all week, and yeah, yeah we saw the kiss.

Doc Wilson should've been less concerned with Garfield's French busboy outfit last week than his atrocious beanbag physique. Panel Two helps emphasize the horror, which is usually minimized by the visual counterpoint of his absurdly long legs. Vertical stripes make fat orange men look thinner after all.

Usually Davis writes Jon's "dialog" in a way that works as one-sided conversation. It's great that Jon is not only asking this question over and over because he can't get his mind off the kiss, but because in his frenzy he half-expects an answer, and can't understand why Garfield doesn't answer. It's a fine critique of anyone babbling about their love lives to our friends: they may start out indulgently half-listening in the first panel, but by the end, you're a dope pestering a speechless animal trapped in a box, pinned under a blanket.

5 comments:

catastrophile said...

A few days ago, there was some discussion here about Odie's owner, a long-vanished roommate of Jon's named Lyman.

I'm wondering if Lyman didn't wind up moving into a place in the same neighborhood. Perhaps Odie considers both places "home" and comes and goes as he pleases? It would explain what happened to the roommate, and why Odie can vanish for so long and then simply reappear without anyone finding it odd.

Amanda said...

When I turn my lights out at bedtime, my wall changes from pink to blue, too! I thought I was the only one.

little homie said...

WHERE DID THEY GO!?!?

Mark Jake said...

Did you see the kiss?

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