I have no problems with the commercial juggernaut of Garfield. My home obviously stores a fair amount of PAWS-licensed paraphernalia, and any accusations that Jim Davis has whored his kitten on the marketplace will fall on deaf ears. No matter how garish the ancillary merch gets, it doesn't effect the spiritual despair of the strip. If a Garfield pillowcase makes a some 6-year-old happy, I say no harm done in this case. In fact, I love that Davis' calculated attempt to capture America's imagination on a Snoopy-level involved morbid obesity, anger and relentless unhappiness, and the nation couldn't get enough.
And I don't doubt that when I'm done typing this, I'm going to download the daily Garfield-delivery application to my phone.
But for real, advertising it in the Sunday strip title panel!? Brilliant.
The structural effort of an explanatory punchline after six pantomimed panels is admirable, but honestly I think the art in the very first frame is too explicit to expect any reader to be confused about what is happening. What is disorienting is that the weather is such that a 27-pound cat is blown across the lawn but the wind does not cause a ripple across the surface of the birdbath. That and Jon's activity for the day, which seems to be standing around the living room wearing a red cap.
Negative interior decoration points for the poor attempts at Southwestern style. It always looks silly in Midwestern homes, and worse when it extends no further than one sub-roadside-truck-sale landscape painting.