Monday, September 04, 2006

Cat Bites Lip


Biting his lip, presumably that he does not laugh or say (read: "think) a rude rebuttal. Jon obviously understands the signal anyway, and is hurt and angered, so if this were an attempt by Garfield to save Jon's feelings, it's backfired. In the instant karmic/insano-cosmic retribution of the Garfield-verse, your internal negative thoughts and judgment are going to shine through half-hearted attempts to be nice anyway, so why bother?

Or does Garfield really try to hold his tongue? Normally, snappy answers to Jon's stupid questions are Garfield's stock-in-trade, so why would he censor himself today? The cat is unable to speak, and in strip production considerations, having him laugh at Jon out loud was a gag used last week, but the requirements of the scene are that Jon lose his cool because he understands Garfield's thought. Garfield is able to convey skepticism and condescension through expressions normally signifying an attempt not to communicate, here the lip-biting ironically reveals more than Garfield could express without it (i.e. - he can't talk). And this, we may suspect, and surely Jon does as well, is a calculated move to have it both ways: Garfield gets to look like he didn't want to burst Jon's bubble, and gets to insult him by implication.

Bonus Funny: Man plagued by self-doubt even after new girlfriend gives him first confirmation of basic human worth in years, takes this problem to the source of most of his self-esteem issues.

8 comments:

Murgatroid said...

In response to the "bonus funny" statement, I have only this to say; Jon is a masochist. Given everything we've seen him put up with, he has to be. And I hardly think it's a coincidence that the great love of his life just happens to be as quick with an ego shattering one-liner as Garfield himself.
Maybe subconsciously, Jon likes the attention, and he thinks that encouraging abuse is just the easiest way to earn it.

Elliot said...

Jon is a masochist? I disagree very strongly. One of the things this blog has taught me to appreciate is Jon's complete and utter ordinariness.

People are confused and lonely, and we'll do anything we can to sabotage ourselves. But we take joy in folding laundry. That's the big paradox of life.

Unlike American Beauty, The Truman Show, or [insert other crappy self-pity movie here], Garfield presents the human condition plainly, without trappings of drama.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if live-action recreations of Garfield strips somewhat like these fun David Lynchian live-action Mary Worth recreations would work at all:

http://www.zerotv.com/content/info.cfm?ContentID=1017

"Please don't bang your head on the counter, it contains a very rare Mary Worth in which she advises a friend to commit suicide." - Comic Book Guy in some Simpsons episode

Luke said...

Anonymous-
I would LOVE to see a Garfield movie like that. Not like the dippy versions that already came out, but something that painstakingly captures every detail of the Garfield universe, such as Jon's black hole of a house, and the endless field that Garfield occasionally wanders into (Garfield would of course be a REAL obese orange cat, none of this CGI crap).
The question is, who could play Jon? Who could bring that character to life and make him believable? Is there any actor that talented??

Anonymous said...

Not long after my first post, I remembered that there actually were a couple of movies and a cartoon show, but I'm thinking of a more "literal" visual translation of the strips. I can definitely imagine something like that having this kind of weird minimalist Noh theater-like quality.

Anonymous said...

Am I the only one who sees a refugee of the Wallace & Grommet shorts in panel three?

Chris Stangl said...

Q: Who should have played Jon in an ideal Garfield movie?

A: John Ritter or Mark Linn-Baker

Nyperold said...

How about a movie in which the wallpaper, table, and telephone colors change between scenes, or even between shots? Ooh, and how would they simulate the changing halftone?