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No. 4090: Five-Minute Garfield

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Five-Minute Garfield

First | Previous | 2020-07-30 | Next | Latest

Permanent URL: https://mezzacotta.net/garfield/?comic=4090

Strip by: Sloublues

Jon: The first thing you should know is that I'm a cartoonist, even though it will only matter about three times over the next forty years.
Garfield: I'm hungry.

Lyman: I'm a new main character!
Odie: Yip! Yip!
Garfield: I'm annoyed.

Jon: You are one foxy hot babe mama, Doc. Will you go out with me?
Liz: No.

Jon: Doc, will you go out wi--
Liz: No.

Jon: Doc--
Liz: No.

Garfield: To be successful, a long-running comic strip needs a lot of recurring setups.
Mail Carrier: Hang on, I thought I'd just have to deal with the dog!
Irma: I scraped this hamburger off the floor, but turns out it was actually dried coffee. You want it anyway?
Fence: I'm right here whenever you need a shoe thrown at you.
Chained Dog: Five cents, please!
Chained Dog: Wait, what was my line?

Liz: Fiiine.
(A disastrous date occurs.)
Liz: Well, I'm never doing that again for a while.

Jon: Garfield, there are mice in the house! Catch them!
Garfield: Ew. I'd rather eat your goldfish, houseplants, and dinner.
Jon: I could have picked the gerbil named Roosevelt, but noooo . . .

Garfield's Mom: Oh, son, I've missed you so much!
Garfield: Oh, Mom, I love you too! Let's never lose touch again! I'll visit every day and--
Garfield's Grandfather: If you want to stick around, get ready to eat your weight in mice, whippersnapper.
Garfield: On second thought, I volunteer to be the orange-and-black sheep of the family.

Nermal: I'm super-cute and you're ugly!
Garfield: Actually, as the art gets rounder, we won't look much different.
Nermal: Okay, but you're still fat!
Garfield: I'll look less grotesquely obese, too.
Nermal: This isn't fair. Can I at least pick on Odie?
Garfield: Odie isn't available. Say, do you want to stay for dinner? I'm making chili.

Jon's Family: We're hicks.
Garfield: Ugh. I'm bored.
Jon's Mom: Will fourteen courses be enough for dinner, or should I make a few more potato dishes?
Garfield: I could grow to like this farm life.

Jon: C'mon, Garfield, let's exercise!
Garfield: It's adorable that he still thinks he can change me.

King of All Cosmos: Oh, what a nice window blind. But now that you've come this far, We would love to have a much bigger, nicer window blind.
Garfield: Mondays are getting aggressively strange.

Jon: Liz, you've got to help. Garfield's suffering from the Hawaiian cat flu!
Liz: The what?
Jon: No, wait, now he has amnesia!
Liz: Look, Jon, whatever drama is going on in your little life, calm down. I guarantee it'll resolve itself in a week or two. That's just how the world works.
Jon: If you say so, Liz. By the way, keep an eye out for Garfield. He walked out the door three weeks ago and I haven't seen him since.

Garfield: Now that I've run away from home, I'll join the circus! It beats living on the streets or in a pet shop.
Garfield: Pet shop it is.

Pet Shop Owner: Of all the pet shops in all the towns in all the world, you had to walk into mine.
Garfield: Hooray, it's Jon! Get me out of here, Jon!
Jon: So much for my dream of becoming a traveling one-man banjo-and-accordion band.

Garfield: Is this the real life? Is it just fantasy?
Garfield: Have I been abandoned? Are you my escape from reality?
Jon: Boy, the internet will flip out over this one.

Garfield: You know you're the only one I love.
Arlene: Garfield! This is all so sudden--
Garfield: I was talking to Pooky.

Garfield: Jon, have I mentioned lately what a total loser you are?
Jon: Forty-six times in the last fifty strips.
Jon: Have I complained lately about how fat and lazy you are?
Garfield: Just thirty-three times. I'm winning!
Jon: *shifts his resigned gaze to the reader*

Jon: Lizwillyougooutwithmepleeeease?
Liz: Arbuckle, a woman would have to be raised by wolves to date you! Or be a total amnesiac, or a desperate prison inmate!
Jon: Hang on, let me write those ideas down.

Jon: Say, whatever happened to Lyman, anyway?
Garfield: I was still hungry.

Jon: *is weird or boring*
Garfield: *snarks about it*
Jim Davis: My, that was fun. We must do it again sometime.

Jon: Have you ever made a simple observation while reading the paper, only to have a sinking feeling that a bunch of nerds will revisit it endlessly?
Garfield: No, but do you know what I could really go for right now? A Dippin' Dots.

Liz: I know I've got a hunky guy sitting beside me, but I guess I find your stalkery weirdness charming at this point? Let's go steady.
Jon: Wow, I bet this will change my life completely!

Jon: Now that I finally have the girlfriend I've so desperately wanted, let's revel in living like I'm single.
Garfield: It beats watching you sort your sock drawer for the umpteenth time.

Jon: As our little comic strip celebrates the big 4-0, we remember the past with pride and look to the future with brave anticipation.
Jon: How will my relationship with Liz develop? What fresh new locales will I blunder through? What new characters will Garfield terrorize? Who--
Jon: Oh, who am I kidding. We've been in a death spiral for years now. When was the last time anyone even saw the mail carrier?
Garfield: Hey, when you're hungry, you're hungry.

(The strip coasts along at apathetic speed.)

THE END . . . for now

The author writes:

Ah, the marvels of modern society! And perhaps the greatest of these marvels is speed. Satellites orbit the Earth at Mach 25. Passenger airplanes break the sound barrier. Burritos take a mere sixty seconds to cook. Our society has no time for slowpokes; to make a difference, you've got to live life in the fast lane.

But in the middle of all this speed, we find the one thing that refuses to increase its snail-like pace: the comic strip. To enjoy an ordinary comic, you must spend hours staring at your computer screen, browsing the archives panel by panel. In that same amount of time, satellites orbit the Earth thousands of times, Concordes outrace the sound of their own engines, and someone, somewhere, is cooking sixty burritos an hour, one right after another. Imagine what you could do with that kind of time!

What's needed is a revolution, and the perfect comic to begin it is Garfield. This SRoMG is a submission with a mission: to begin the acceleration of comic strips by shortening the entirety of Garfield to just three hundred seconds. Everything about the original work is retained, but the new, streamlined version takes a mere five minutes to read instead of days. You, the reader, stand at the forefront of the speed revolution. Welcome to the future. Welcome to Five-Minute Garfield!


So, this was an interesting challenge. Typically, a fiver parodies an episode, movie, or reasonably linear video game, where events happen in a particular order. But a lot of Garfield is the same, non-plot-advancing gags over and over again: Garfield is lazy, Jon can't get a date. So that made it easier to condense, while giving me flexibility to move a few of the scenes around to optimize the flow of the text.

At the same time, I had to find art that matched both the dialogue and the point at which I wanted to insert the scene. The art style change in the Nermal scene was deliberate, and Garfield listing a few running gags I considered fair game to pull headshots from any period in the strip's art evolution -- the point of a running gag is that it keeps coming up, after all. Any other trifling art inconsistencies are just your imagination and also totally covered by artistic license so there.

Jim Davis comes from Indianapolis Monthly and is used for parody purposes. Just look at that satisfied smirk on his face. The King of All Cosmos comes from his fandom wiki and is likewise.

(I and those like me are just having a little fun in the world Jim Davis created. I don't think he'd mind. And I got Zeke's permission to use his format, so we're all clear.)

Original strips: 1978-06-19, 1978-08-10, 1979-06-30, 1979-07-25, 1979-10-05, 1980-01-16, 1980-05-16, 1980-09-22, 1980-09-29, 1980-10-04, 1984-02-03, 1984-12-11, 1984-12-13, 1984-12-14, 1986-04-15, 1986-04-17, 1986-04-19, 1986-05-23, 1986-06-10, 1986-06-23, 1986-08-20, 1986-08-21, 1986-09-16, 1986-09-19, 1986-09-22, 1986-09-23, 1986-09-26, 1986-12-16, 1987-02-03, 1987-02-11, 1987-07-18, 1988-04-05, 1989-05-05, 1989-10-25, 1989-10-28, 1989-11-02, 1990-12-02, 1991-10-08, 1991-10-09, 1991-10-13, 1995-03-05, 1996-01-13, 1996-11-08, 1996-11-09, 1998-04-27, 1998-05-01, 2001-11-28, 2006-07-26, 2007-09-03, 2007-11-09, 2009-10-19, 2017-07-27, 2017-10-07.