The end of the world as we know it?

My, but there have been quite a few webcomics running guest strips this week – though I suppose more than one cartoonist was exhausted by last week’s Comic-Con.

I missed the con myself, primarily due to living some three thousand miles away. Nevertheless, the many and sundry reports of the con made it seem as though I was actually there, only surrounded by words and pictures instead of, you know, people.

But yeah, the panels sounded like they were crazy awesome, and I’m sad I missed it – though glad that people were kind enough to take notes, as it were, and share the lecture with those of us who missed class.

Anyway, I’ve got a dirty secret. The comic that has, this last week, had me on the edge of my seat, religiously checking the updates every day, and gleefully anticipating the next installment… is Garfield.

I attempt to disbelieve.

Whoa, what? Could this be the end of the strip?

Back when I was a young lad, I was quite the Garfield aficionado. I watched the cartoon, I bought the collections. It wasn’t until I was educated by wiser minds on the internet that I realized the daily Garfield in the paper was… well, bad. It hadn’t always been – once, the jokes had been genuinely interesting, the characters had storylines and weren’t simply stuck in an eternal punchline about mondays and lasagna.

But clearly things had changed, and I went with the flow in mocking Garfield (along with 95% of the other strips in the daily papers), and somewhere along the way I forgot that once upon a time, I actually enjoyed the strip.

So it was quite the surprise to see something of an ongoing storyline in recent weeks. A blog about Garfield brought the matter to my attention – and what can I say? I was riveted. Actually having something happen is a ballsy move in any syndicated strip – especially one as glued to ‘the formula’ as Garfield.

And now we seem to have… well, not just change, but possibly a conclusion. I’m sure we’ll know in a day or two if Garfield has actually wound its way to a happy ending, or if it will return to the standard fare.

One thing I do have to recognize, regardless of where Garfield goes from here – the fat cat has genuinely embraced the web. The website is a bit overloaded – but contains an archive with every single strip of the comic. That is a hell of a lot more than most newspaper strips do, and I must give props for that.

4 responses

  1. Holy *CRAP*. I just went through and browsed the past couple weeks of Garfield, and I got whiplash from how fast it goes from the repetetive disconnected jokes to the suddenly funny continuity!
    That was amazing. The Sunday strip with Jon as the French waiter made me laugh out loud. I think I’m going to have to follow Garfield for a little while, now. Do you really think they could be ending it? Surely not a cash cow giant such as Garfield himself…

  2. Well, it looks like they are continuing on, judging by today’s strip.

    Still, I wonder what this portends – will we just backslide into random formulaic humor?

    Or will they keep up the trends of continuity?

    That was what floored me – it wasn’t just that it had a story back in it, but I actually found myself genuinely enjoying the strips!

  3. Oh, yeah, I loved it. It was really actually *funny*. But for the past few days… I dunno…

  4. Man, I know. The last two strips have been actively painful to read.

    I had such high hopes, and then they came a-crashing down…

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