Williamson County Public Library Blog

Happy Birthday, Garfield!

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By Lindsay Roseberry, Reference Department

Garfield, the fat marmalade cat we all love, sauntered into our lives on June 19, 1978. Little did we know that he would be even more popular after thirty-seven years!

Jim Davis, Garfield’s creator if you didn’t know, studied art in college and went straight to work for the creator of Tumbleweeds comic strip. He actually started out with a gnat character, but soon realized that there were no comic strips about cats. Enter Garfield. He named the cat after his grandfather (who in turn was named after President Garfield), and based the cynical cat on all the cats he’d ever met, all rolled into one. (Makes you wonder if he ever knew a cat that liked lasagna as much as Garfield does.) It debuted in 41 newspapers. After several months, it was pulled by at least one newspaper; the readers raised such a hue and cry that it was reinstated and was never pulled again.

Garfield so quickly became a sensation that Jim Davis stated Paws, Inc., to manage the worldwide rights of the character. As we all know, there have been books, movies, merchandise and more sold with the famous Garfield grin on them. His company Paws, Inc., has started a philanthropic arm helping with restoring wetlands, forests and prairies. He has won an award from the National Arbor Day foundation for building the first all-natural wastewater plant for commercial use.

So now when you read your daily Garfield carton/comic (and let’s be honest, you always read it) you can enjoy it more now know that Jim Davis is sharing his wealth with the world. And many readers are truly happy that John finally has a girlfriend.

FAQs:
• The Garfield comic strip is read in over 2100 newspapers by at least 200 million people
• Jim Davis does have one cat, named Nermal, and a dog named Pooky
• He enjoys gardening, golf, fishing and being with his family, including grandchildren
• Garfield is the most widely syndicated comic strip in the world, according to Guinness World Records
• Garfield was born at Mama Leoni’s Italian Restaurant, where he developed his love of lasagna
• In 1982, Garfield was on the cover of People Magazine
• John Arbuckle, Garfield’s caretaker, has a job at a Lexus dealership in Tulsa
• Garfield.com is the strip’s official website, containing archives of past strips along with games and an online store (also apps for Android and iOS)


Sources:

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