Sunday, September 03, 2006

Pudd'nhead and Dr. Wilson


Jon rolls out the front door, and back in again after his date. The creepy part is not that Garfield has not moved over the course of several hours (he's barely moved over several years, after all), but that Jon is sliding around the house in a blissed-out love trance. Garfield can always tell how Jon's date went, because Jon is so expressive he either looks happy or like he's been hit by a train.

So again, the unsettling thing is that Garfield can normally count on Jon sharing all sundry details of his date, but Jon, driven to distraction, isn't speaking. In a way, he doesn't have to: the onset of twitterpation is one of the times the world can not only read you like a Denny's menu, but the world doesn't probably care to. Here is probably where Garfield's world will "change forever" (as we were promised by ballyhoo on garfield.com when Jon and Liz started dating. Garfield, rather than being glad for Jon, is disgusted with his idiotic, face-mutating grin. But do we sense something else? I think that undercurrent is not simple jealousy that Liz is taking up Jon's time, but not wanting Jon to be happy. Because Garfield likes to make jokes about Jon being a loser. Because Garfield has a perception of his friend that he wants Jon to live up to. Because Garfield needs a victim, an abuse object. And Garfield needs someone who needs him. That may be so he has the opportunity to withhold or dole out affection as he wishes, but it is endearing nonetheless.

Fan Edit Suggestion: The same story could have been told using only Panel One, and the last two frames. This would have preserved Garfield's determined lack of scenery, but robbed us of knowing how much Jon and Liz love seeing ill-attended movies after filling up on twin helpings of meatloaf.

Arbuckle Fashion Watch '06: It's great to see at least the blazer from the old Ugly Date Outfit back in action, after its recent banishment in favor of more dignified threads.

10 comments:

Allen said...

It's nice to see that the leering old lady in the theater from Jon & Liz's previous date found somebody.
BTW, is that a hamburger on Jon's tie?

Anonymous said...

A little strange that Liz came to Jon's to pick him up, but then he's driving. Does she work around the corner? Is she an avid speed walker to keep her figure so thin after all the meatloaf? Is Jon just so out of touch with the dating scene that he engineered her to come to him, despite his apparent whipped nature? Hmmm?

Josh Millard said...

It occurs to me that (1) Jon and Liz will, eventually at least, have sex, and that (2) there is almost no concievable way that Garfield could address this fact, and that (3) I can't stop trying to figure out how they'd pull it off anyway.

Anonymous said...

JM,
I suspect Mr. Davis could pull it off by simply having Liz in the cast for an "I NEED my morning coffee" strip.
She could just be wearing one of Jon's awful shirts and let us connect the dots. Since people only get pictured from the waist up, it wouldn't be too randy.

v. shklovsky said...

Am I alone in finding John's facial mutation in the final panel somewhat disturbing? His expressions in many of these Liz-and-John strips surely
violate the visual integrity of the Garfield universe.

amanda said...

re: first anonymous post:

maybe they're on a date.....in England?

Anonymous said...

I think the picture on Jon's tie is either a smiley face or an easter egg.

Ryan Ferneau said...

A smiley face would make sense... But Easter eggs are so nice!

Murgatroid said...

Did anyone else notice how the one person in the movie theater who was without a date was the only one chowing down on a human-sized bucket of movie-food?
I'd like to think that this brand of "isolation/compulsive-overeating" is a subtle parable at how Garfield himself spends his days.

Mark said...

Also notice the similar poses of the old couple in the background at the movie. Foreshadow, much?