Garfield is perhaps one of the most renowned cats in pop culture history and has entertained millions of fans since his debut in 1976. The comic book series is said to be worth over $800 million at over $1 billion just for licensing and merchandising deals.
While the original comic book series was called Jon, it was renamed after the titular 1977 cat. Iconic creator and writer Jim Davis first portrayed legendary orange cat owner Jonathan ‘Jon’ Arbuckle as main character; however, Garfield took the lead in later strips.
In 2013, the feline comic book character broke the Guinness World Record with more than 2,580 syndicated appearances in newspapers, journals and magazines around the world.
Garfield’s type and comic origin explored
Garfield is said to be an orange Persian tabby cat, renowned for his laziness, his love of lasagna and his hatred of Mondays. According to the comics, the oversized cat was born on June 19, 1978, in the kitchen of Mamma Leoni’s Italian restaurant.
The restaurant owner then sold the orange tabby the same day he was born. He was sold to a pet store, where he was later purchased by his current owner, Jon Arbuckle.
The cat rarely misses an opportunity to make fun of Jon and his slow-witted dog, Odie. Garfield makes fun of Jon’s socially awkward nature, his fashion choices, or his nerdy behavior at times. However, the famous orange cat secretly likes Arbuckle and Odie.
Garfield was not always anthropomorphic and saw a massive change in his design after 1978. While he was initially depicted as an ordinary feline, comics after the 1980s featured the character with human-like features.
Throughout the franchise, Garfield communicates with readers using thought bubbles. Additionally, the meta character breaks the “fourth wall” to address the audience in nearly every appearance.
The most common running gags of the Garfield franchise
1) He gets stuck in the trees
Like most ordinary cats, Garfield often gets stuck in trees. He seems afraid of heights because often the iconic tabby cat is too afraid to climb down the branches even if he is at lower heights.
2) He is very sarcastic and arrogant
According to the comics, the cat has a lot of arrogance and considers himself smarter than Jon and Odie. He frequently insults several characters in his thought bubbles.
3) Eat Jon’s pet fish
Throughout the franchise, the orange tabby has eaten Jon’s pet fish. Likewise, he also consumed plants and birds that Jon brings home.
4) Troll the postman
The cat apparently likes to play with the postman by stealing his letters and packages. His pranks often cause physical harm to the postman, causing the postman to dislike the cat.
5) His hatred of Mondays
Perhaps one of the franchise’s most common “running gags” is the legendary cat’s extreme dislike of Mondays. He would have considered the day an unlucky day, and the day itself was often presented as the manifestation of a monstrous form.
The famous comic has had three animated television series, with three animated films and two live-action films. In the previous live-action movie, Garfield was voiced by Bill Murray, while in an upcoming movie, he will be voiced by Chris Pratt.