10 June 2012

Garfield, Garfield Everywhere...

Favourite fat cat Garfield, creation of American cartoonist Jim Davis, first appeared as a comic strip, syndicated in 41 US newspapers, on 19/6/1978. The illustration above, showing Garfield and Jon Arbuckle, is a panel from that first outing. Didn't they look different?! Especially Garfield. Gradually, the characters evolved. By the early 1980s, Garfield was recognisable as the Garfield we know today, but it still took some years before he stood up on two legs. Studying pictures of Garfield over the years is fascinating.

Garfield is greedy, cynical and lazy. He has a passion for lasagna, a love/hate relationship with Odie, the dog, and is pretty loyal to his not-terribly-bright owner, Jon Arbuckle, all things considered.

This advertisement appeared in a Cambridge, England, newspaper in December 1983. The local branch of Clinton Cards was introducing the city to a flood of Garfield merchandising. 

I have had several queries about the "1978" copyright label on some Garfield merchandise. This refers to the year the character was first copyrighted. If you have an early Garfield toy, mug etc, it will have been manufactured in the 1980s. As can be seen in the illustration at the top of this post, Garfield looked rather different in 1978! 

Garfield creator Jim Davis’ company, Paws, Inc, was founded in 1981 to take care of the creative side of the Garfield licensing business.
This girly, wearing a "Frankie Say Relax" T-shirt with very fancy lettering indeed, nipped out to her local Bejam's one morning. On her way home, she spotted this major celebrity presiding over the re-opening of her local Post Office, which had been closed for a refit. 

Swoon, swoon!

Well, it seemed to be love at first sight, but in reality the celebrity had simply spotted the frozen lasagna in her shopping bag. We tried to warn her that it was only cupboard love - but would she listen?!

This card was received by me on my 21st birthday in 1986 and originally had a plastic "key to the door" stuck to the top right hand corner. I was quite a fan of Garfield back then and still enjoy reading the comic strip today. In the 1980s, Garfield posters adorned my bedroom wall, my tea was drunk from a Garfield mug and a Garfield cuddly toy lived under my bed. 

And sometimes in my bed, if I had nobody else to cuddle.

Did you take Garfield for a ride in your motor?!

A Christmas card from 1988.

The wit inside the card!

This Garfield phone was available in the Index catalogue from September 1989 onwards.


Kevin Hall said...

That phone is about £105 in today's money!

Drew said...

Good heavens! I've still got one of them!! :)