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No. 406: Garfield Minus Garfield Plus Garfield's Dialogue

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Garfield Minus Garfield Plus Garfield's Dialogue

First | Previous | 2010-06-29 | Next | Latest

Strip by: Colin Foster

Jon: I thought Odie was chasing you around the tree out back.
Disembodied thought: He is.
Disembodied thought: I don't think he's caught me yet.

The author writes:

The central idea of Silent Garfield is that if Jon owns a cat named Garfield, the cat isn't thinking or saying anything; he's just sitting there, listening to his owner talk. Garfield Minus Garfield is based on the idea that Jon doesn't own a cat at all (or, by extension, have any interaction with any other living being). The implication in both is that everything Garfield "says" is a figment of Jon's imagination, and we are seeing what is actually happening.

But what about the idea between the two extremes? If Jon doesn't own a cat, but hears the cat talking, where does the dialogue come from? One could argue that Jon is suffering from auditory hallucinations inherent in schizophrenia. But most schizophrenics do not have visual hallucinations. If he only hears Garfield, how is he looking at the cat? Clearly, he must see a cat, and hear it. But in Silent Garfield, we can only see it and can't hear it. Here, we cannot see the cat, but we can hear his hallucinated dialogue.

Incidentally, writing and rereading this author's note makes me think that I've spent way too much time in college.

Original strip: 2001-06-06.