Wow,Garfields so ugly in THE FIRST COMIC EVER MADE!

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Hee-Hawk! That's a Giradonk



Well, it's when Garfield was in the early stages of its development.
It's not so much as it looking ugly as much as it's just a different style the characters are drawn in.


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Sonic Team Junior
The whole first volume of Garfield has that style, IIRC. The second and third volumes sharpened and finalized Garfield's look into what you see today, but you can tell why Garfield has always been characterized as fat and lazy, at any rate.


It's Mr. Computer!
From what I recall, it was more around the sixth volume or so. Around volumes 3 and 4 he had smaller feet, and maybe one or two other things. Don't really remember exactly, since it's been a while, and these days I'd kinda rather be reading Garfield Minus Garfield instead.


Well, what I wanted to say has already been said. That was when the first strip was made. It takes time to refine things, you know? You don't publish the first manuscript of Lord of the Rings, you have to spellcheck it, reread it several times, amke sure everything makes sense, etc. Same goes for comics. They usually evolve in art style.
Also, in the first comics, garfield looks more cat-shaped;
But I'll always picture him like this.

a bee

Ecosystem essential
If you think Garfield's ugly in that, go see his one Famicom game or even the new CGI movies (i.e. Garfield's Fun Fest)


Call me nuts, but I'm actually more fond of Garfield's older design (fatter, smaller head, on fours, ect). Nowadays, he looks more like your typical cartoon animal humanoid mascot, a standard set by the design of Snoopy, Mickey, and earlier characters.

But the artistic change that distresses me the most about Garfield is how friggin' standardized the strip looks now. Looking back at this first strip, there's a number of things that suggest an imperfect, but more organic touch to Jim Davis's art. Jon's clumps of hair, the cross-hatching on Jon's elbow, and even Garfield's proportions from the first to second panels aren't consistant. But (at least personally), I like it better that way. Although technique isn't necessarily indicative of the overall quality of a comic strip, a looser and more organic artistic style often indicates a willingness for the cartoonist to approach writing and storytelling the same way, in a more experimental and (hopefully) funnier fashion. That's why I'm always slightly saddened when a cartoonist finally hammers out a consistant style: It's sometimes indicative that the cartoon's other elements will soon become predictable and stale, and the novelty that made the strip so exciting in the first place will be gone. In all respects, Calvin and Hobbes (look at the inconsistancies Calvin's hair and Hobbes's stripes), Mutts and Cul de Sac are three comics that managed to avoid this trap, in my opinion.

Garfield's current style (I'd say from the mid-80's/early 90's onward) is guilty of blandness on an unprecedented level, to the point where it becomes a major liability for the strip. For instance, not only are all the characters perfectly proportional in all panels, but the lines that compose those characters are exactly the same thickness from panel to panel. This makes Garfield feel suffocatingly clinical and uninspiring, exactly the opposite of what good comic strip art should aim to achieve. I almost think that if Davis still personally drew Garfield himself (instead of delegating that task to an assistant), he'd be more aware of the effects of the strip's art. Then again, he was always more concerned with merchandising than art, and good art cannot cure insipid and uninspired writing, another fairly recent shortcoming of Garfield, so perhaps that wouldn't have made any difference.

And I would like to emphasize that this is just the opinion of one guy with clearly too much time on his hands.
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Well, I would like to note that Garfield was designed as a character to market the hell out of. It's intentionally similar and bland on purpose because by not changing anything he keeps a specific market. Jim Davis even said this himself.

If you're looking for a comic to push boundaries and come up with something new, Garfield is never going to be that comic.


What part of 'RETIRED' don't you understand?
I heartily admire Jim Davis for his ability to work the system. His comic is the wet dream of all newspapers and syndicates (universally appealing, totally unoffensive). This ensures the largest readerbase, meaning the largest # of paper subscriptions, meaning $$$.


My thoughts on your posting
I wasn't aware anyone besides grandparents and such even LIKED Garfield anymore. Except for Garfield Minus Garfield, of course, that's still pretty awesome.


Actually, Garfield's market is more kids than anything else. The repetition and predictable jokes are comforting to younger children. I remember really liking Garfield when I was 7-8.


Now, now, don't even DARE compare Garfield and Friends to the comic. They are two different things altogether.
Remember the episode in which Garfield broke the 4th wall to warn that "animators often make mistakes, so try and find the animation mistake in this cartoon", then the whole cartoon was full of horrible machinations only possible by animation screwups, lazyness or sheer genius. You know, I have to find this episode just now.


Down In It
Now, now, don't even DARE compare Garfield and Friends to the comic. They are two different things altogether.
Indeed. Because the cartoon was, is, and always will be better than the rest of the entire Garfield franchise. Ignore the abominations that are those CGi/Real life movies and the recent direct to DVD movies.


Now loaded with Calcium!
I think it was the Garfield and Friends cartoon that got me interested in reading the news paper just for the comics when I was really little, It's still amusing to take a peek every once in a while and read the latest strip.

a bee

Ecosystem essential
Garfield's still funnier than most webcomics and all sprite comics, that's for sure.


The Tortured Planet guy
I don't think that's what he meant, Shadow Hog.

Anyway...practically all comic strip characters look really primitive in their first stages of development. Look at the Fox family in the very first FoxTrot strip...Calvin and his dad in the very first Calvin and Hobbes...Rat and Pig in the very first Pearls Before Swine...I could go on and on. Bottom line? Yeah, he's ugly, but that's far from unusual in a comic strip.
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