Literature

Garfield minus Garfield

Dan Walsh and Jim Davis, Ballantine, $12

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J. Caleb Mozzocco

Jim Davis’ comic strip cat/licensing cash cow Garfield famously hates Mondays and, less famously, birthdays. So how’s he coping with turning 30 this year? The same way most of us do—coming to grips with an existential crisis.

The Details

Garfield Minus Garfield
Three stars
Beyond the Weekly
Garfield
Garfield Minus Garfield

On garfieldminusgarfield.com, Dan Walsh has been taking Davis’ Garfield strips, stripping out Garfield’s image and dialogue and posting the results. Suddenly human straight man Jon Arbuckle isn’t a pathetic loser whose only friend is a house cat. Now he seems severely (yet amusingly) mentally ill. Jon’s life may be a lot worse without Garfield, but the strip itself sure is better.

Davis’ many detractors may find it hard to believe, but the man does have a sense of humor, which is probably why there’s now a Garfield Minus Garfield book, collecting about 100 Garfield-less strips by Walsh, plus a few by Davis himself.

Well, that or Davis simply saw an opportunity to squeeze a few more bucks out of Garfield. But let’s give him the benefit of the doubt; we can consider it a birthday present for Garfield.

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