In an act that should qualify him for the brilliant editors hall of fame, Dan Walsh discovered that if all traces of Jim Davis's lazy, lasagna-scarfing cat were expunged from his own comic strip,Garfield
became a funnier, much darker series, about a desperately lonely, self-loathing man's existential despair. Walsh started posting his altered strips at garfieldminusgarfield.net
. And in an act that definitely qualifies him for the good sport hall of fame, Davis not only didn't sue him but approved of the project. This collection of the best de-Garfielded strips prints Walsh's altered cartoons next to Davis's originals; Davis even throws in a couple dozen Garfield-minus-Garfield strips he's done himself. Interestingly, Davis's stabs at the concept are mostly just gags about Garfield's owner, Jon Arbuckle. The gist of Walsh's approach, on the other hand, is to completely alter Davis's jokes—a strip in which Garfield displays a single hair, announces this is all I'll be shedding today and marches off before Jon delivers a punch line, after Walsh gets through with it, becomes two panels of Jon silently glancing around before haplessly declaring, I dread tomorrow. If Samuel Beckett had been a strip cartoonist, he might've produced something like this.(Nov.)
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