Webcomic Wednesday: Garfield Minus Garfield
Review by Ben Z
Created by Dan Walsh (using material created by Jim Davis)
In the words of Dubliner Dan Walsh ‘Garfield Minus Garfield is a site dedicated to removing Garfield from the Garfield comic strips in order to reveal the existential angst of a certain young Mr. Jon Arbuckle. It is a journey deep into the mind of an isolated young everyman as he fights a losing battle against loneliness and depression in a quiet American suburb’ and boy does Dan Walsh succeed admirably.
A friend of mine who read this said it was the most accurate example of mental illness she had ever seen in a comic book and I’m inclined to agree with her. Simply by removing the protagonist in a flimsy funnie newspaper strip Walsh has managed to subvert what should be a chuckle inducing 3 panel gag into something entirely different. And while Walsh acknowledges that he wasn’t the first person to do this he is the one who has being the most successful in creating something unique that could be considered a successful piece of art in it’s own state.
Garfield artist Jim Davis has commented himself on the webcomic, stating that he finds it “fascinating” . This was at one stage one of the most popular webcomics on the internet with 300,000 hits per day. Walsh also got a book deal out it which was released in 2008 with Jim Davis collaborating on it which is pretty impressive and while the zenith of it’s popularity has probably gone by Walsh is still cranking out the sadness and lunacy of John Arbuckles life.
If you fancy something different. Then give Garfield minus Garfield a try. It’s dark comedy and weird voyeurism isn’t for everyone but obviously a lot of people out there like it.