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No. 1199: Garfield's Character

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Garfield's Character

First | Previous | 2012-08-30 | Next | Latest

Strip by: Andrew Kepple

Garfield: {in bed} Oh goody, it's Monday morning.
Garfield: I love Monday mornings. You know why?
Garfield: {out of bed} Stay in character, Garfield.

The author writes:

The original comic from which the 3rd panel was taken contains disturbing implications about Garfield's personality, not the least of which is that his unimpressed boredom is an act that he is forcing himself to perform for the purpose of "character". Perhaps Garfield's stoic exterior masks a vulnerable, loving pet who secretly longs for the days before the responsibility of keeping up appearances, when he could love Monday mornings, walk on four legs, and occasionally break into a big ol' happy smile without incurring whatever consequences forced him into his tragic charade. Were these consequences "in-universe" - perhaps doled out by Jon, who wanted an apathetic cat instead of a fun-loving one? Or did the consequences come from us, the readers, of whom Garfield is shown to be very well aware? Was it our expectations of an ever-hipper, increasingly-detached character that drove the playful kitty to this grim, false life devoid of smiles? And if so, does this comic hint at some dissent from Garfield? By mocking his "character", which is a product of our expectations, is he in fact mocking us, out of spite? Has the monster that we created decided to use his monstrosity against us? Updates at eleven!

Original strips: 1979-05-28, 2002-10-12.