Saturday, July 15, 2006

Rustle Stover's Chococats


There are few, rare stories in the newspaper that could make a man shake violently, and then look so sick and panic stricken. As you're imagining what crimes Garfield must have committed, remember Jon is already aware of his friend's history of destruction of property, assault, theft, and animal-murder. So this must be something worse. Consider, given the state of our world, war-torn and blood-soaked, how serious the antics of a single cat would have to be to make even Page Eight of the paper. Whatever the offense, Garfield is not only remorseless but proud. Combined with his sarcastic wit, and obesity, Garfield may be the late 20th century's Oscar Wilde.

To be less ominous - or more?- Jon's response is partially because the story must include an eye-witness identification of Garfield.

The photo revealed when Jon lowers the paper is what draws the attention of any Garfield obsessive: is it a blurry silhouette of Garfield captured on film by a witness? The twin lumps depicted could be Garfield's rounded ears... or could be the same kind of non-specific-indicator-of-a-photograph that is the Three Lump front-page news.

While Garfield frequently mentally chastises Jon for being boring, at the opening of today's strip the cat is sitting at the table staring off into space, doing absolutely nothing. It's important that the story is about Garfield doing something unspeakably exciting and scandalous, but all that occurs within the narrative space of the strip is Garfield staring off blankly while Jon reads. That's the Garfield way: it may be a universe of horrors and those long, long stretches of nothing, those are the worst of all.

10 comments:

Big Wang Glick said...

Perhaps Jon forgot to feed Garfield for a couple of days. Seeking sustenance Garfield then proceeded to break into what appeared to be an abandoned house in search of sustenance. Unfortunately the home's refridgerator was nearly empty (Fig Newtons, Prune Juice, Grapefruit, Vodka and Tab) so he was forced to seek other forms of nutrition. Luckily for him the home's elderly occupant had recently become deceased and rather (due to his legendary laziness) than bother to break into other homes to find a more reputable meal he decided to chow down on the carcass. Unfortunately he was discovered and photographed before he could finish and was forced to flee the scene.

Josh Millard said...

That is a dead-eyed stare if I've ever seen one, in panel three. John isn't shaken, he is dead. Massive, unforeshadowed coronary event.

Nik said...

When Garfield sits there, staring blankly ahead, perhaps he is engaged in deep zen meditation. It's quite possible that, given his incredible effect on the universe, he occasionally needs to recharge his batteries. A further sign of his hightened level of awareness is his ignoring the traditional meditation requirements, such as a mat to sit on.

Clearly Garfield is an enlightened cat. A Buddha, of sorts. And that's why his antics appear in the paper. He is a force to be reckoned with. Sadly, he doesn't always use his powers for good -- but who are we unenlightened shlubs to question Garfield's great wisdom?

flatlander said...

I have always suspected Garfield of being a sociopath.

Sarah said...

Oh, come on. It's a lot simpler than all this. Jon has turned to the comics page and read today's Garfield. Then the Jon in that comic was reading the comic, and the Jon in that comic . . . you get where I'm going with this. It's like the Truman Show, but with more lasagna.

Josh Millard said...

You're suggesting an ARH (Arbuckle-Hasslehoff Recursion) event?

Steve said...

Speaking of long, long stretches of nothing, where did you go?! Four days is entirely too long to go without an update! Some of us need the diversion badly!

Anonymous said...

I like glick's explanation here, but I doubt Garfield actually fled the scene. It would be out of character. I'm guessing someone came upon Garfield and slowly backed away in horror, while Garfield continued to nonchalantly tear off the flesh. Finally the police were summoned, and Garfield was only forced to leave when enough people entered the room. With cameras.

Just found this blog, by the way. I absolutely love it. Chris, you put to words what's always in the back of my mind when I read Garfield, but that I've never actually formed into a coherent thought. Please don't ever stop doing this.

Anonymous said...

I'm late leaving this comment, I don't suppose anyone will see it now, but I just found this blog (thanks to the Comics Curmudgeon mentioning you).

Now what I thought was odd about this strip was that it appeared just shortly after this bizarre story called "Theo the Cat" was in the paper...at least it was in one paper. I don't know how to make a link work here, but here's the address: http//www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/07/09/CMG1QJ911F1.DTL

The story is a thinly-veiled (not at all veiled, more like) parody of Garfield, and in it the cat character becomes a heroin addict and dies. Could this be the story the Garf is referring to?! Eek!

Anonymous said...

The only thing that would make this better is if Jon's skin was tinted a slight pastel green in the 3rd panel.