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Garfield hates the troops
November 11, 2010 12:00 PM   Subscribe

A comic strip has caused a political uproar by making a bold, controversial statement on Veteran's Day, considered by some to be an insult to our nation's fighting men and women. The strip that has spit on the work of our country's bravest veterans is, as you would expect, that anti-American bastion of subversive vitriolic societal commentary, Garfield.
posted by XQUZYPHYR (146 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
Hah. I saw that this morning (what can I do, I coast over the strip in my morning reading because it's between Doonesbury and Pearls Before Swine). I thought it was remarkably bad timing and was vaguely amused.
posted by dlugoczaj at 12:03 PM on November 11, 2010


Actual full comic is here (if you can spot it among the 10,000 ads on the page)
posted by mathowie at 12:03 PM on November 11, 2010


Ouch.
posted by jquinby at 12:04 PM on November 11, 2010


Unfortunate coincidence, nothing more.

Mmmm... lasagna.
posted by bondcliff at 12:06 PM on November 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


Davis explains “in what appears to be the worst timing ever, the strip that runs in today’s paper seems to be making a statement about Veteran’s Day. It absolutely, positively has nothing to do with this important day of remembrance.” The author continues to explain the strip had been written over a year ago, and the date in which it would appear was chosen at random.

The 11-11 in the bottom left hand corner of the frame begs to differ.
posted by Talez at 12:06 PM on November 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


Maybe Jim Davis finally listened to this advice
posted by auto-correct at 12:06 PM on November 11, 2010 [7 favorites]


So vets are spiders and defeated by newspaper wielding cats?

What are centipedes?
posted by nomadicink at 12:07 PM on November 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


this is what it must have been like during perestroika, just before the wheels fell off the Soviet Union....
posted by ennui.bz at 12:07 PM on November 11, 2010 [8 favorites]


Assuming that he is responsible for writing the date on the strip (which I realize is a huge assumption), I think Jim Davis will be investing in a page-a-day calendar to track not the real date but the one for the comic he is working on.

I wonder which one he'll get for next year..
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:08 PM on November 11, 2010


an odd and unintentional bit of timing causes those looking for something to be upset about something to be upset about, the person who really can't be blamed for the odd bit of timing offers a sincere apology and states he'll make an effort to not let that happen again..

Now, what about this are we supposed to talk about?
posted by HuronBob at 12:08 PM on November 11, 2010 [9 favorites]


Jim Davis' statement is pretty awesome: "I do not use a calendar that lists holidays and other notable days."

BREAKING: Garfield creator's hatred of freedom extends beyond troops; Jim Davis opposes all holidays, kills Christmas, refuses to even acknowledge Yom Kippur, Kwanzaa, Independenc Day
posted by gompa at 12:08 PM on November 11, 2010 [20 favorites]


You know if Davis (or the hordes of underfed orphan robot Cambodian children who manufacture Garfield) had actually written this strip to mock Veteran's Day, I think it would get me to start reading Garfield.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:09 PM on November 11, 2010 [15 favorites]


Here's Jim Davis' complete statement, from Garfield.com:

Dear Friends, Fans, and Veterans:

In what has to be the worst timing ever, the strip that runs in today's paper seems to be making a statement about Veteran's Day. It absolutely, positively has nothing to do with this important day of remembrance.

Regarding today's Garfield comic strip, it was written almost a year ago and I have no idea when writing it that it would appear today -- of all days. I do not us a calendar that lists holidays and other notable days, so when this strip was put in the queue, I had no idea id would run on Veteran's Day. What are the odds? You can bet I'll have a calendar that lists EVERYTHING by my side in the future.

My brother Dave served in Vietnam. My son James is a Marine who has had two tours of duty, both in Iraq and Afghanistan. You'd have to go a long way to find someone who was more proud and grateful for what our Veterans have done for all of us.

Please accept my sincere apologies for an offense today's Garfield may have created. It was unintentional and regrettable.

posted by TurkishGolds at 12:09 PM on November 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


There will be huge bonfires tonight all across America - that's a LOT of merchandise to have to burn.
posted by Xoebe at 12:09 PM on November 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


Seems like a non-story to me. Jim Davis stated in his apology that it's a really unfortunate coincidence with a strip that was written a long time ago, and several close family members of his have served in the military and he's very proud of them. The only thing that vaguely interests me is how nobody at the syndicate noticed this ahead of time, or newspaper editors for that matter (I would've assumed at least a few of them would have pulled the strip).
posted by Gator at 12:10 PM on November 11, 2010


The 11-11 in the bottom left hand corner of the frame begs to differ.

I took Davis' statement to mean that he did not realize that 11/11 is Veteran's Day.
posted by gyc at 12:10 PM on November 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


This actually seems pretty tame compared to the Garfield and Friends animated series, Episode 03-14: "Nermal Versus King NObama"
posted by Greg Nog at 12:11 PM on November 11, 2010 [25 favorites]


Tomorrow's Heathcliff will feature a drawing of Mohamed.
posted by bondcliff at 12:12 PM on November 11, 2010 [24 favorites]


I think it's great satire and a great point.

I asked a couple of dead soldiers and you know, they didn't disagree with me.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 12:12 PM on November 11, 2010 [8 favorites]


(Seriously, though, does he get his Daytimers from some special store called Don't-Give-A-Fuck R Us? Made-Millions-Off-Lasagna-References-And-Live-In-Gold-Plated-Bubble Depot? My calendar doesn't list holidays - how the fuck does that work?)
posted by gompa at 12:12 PM on November 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


Jim's explanation is essentially correct. Strips, ideally, are written, drawn, and submitted a long time in advance. Normally, a few month ahead. Given the factory-like manner in which Garfield strips are created, it's entirely possible the strip was done far enough ahead (and dated far ahead) that no one actually realized it was going to run on Veterans Day. Hell, I didn't realize today was Vet's Day until yesterday.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:12 PM on November 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


As a former us marine, i laughed.

Why?

Because i have the freedom of laughter (and speech).

And of course because i'm alive, unlike many from echo company.
posted by hal_c_on at 12:13 PM on November 11, 2010 [34 favorites]


This is something I'd expect from those mudslingers Hi and Lois and the Wizard of Id. Not Garfield.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 12:13 PM on November 11, 2010 [5 favorites]


Jihad! Jihad! Jihad!
Aaaaaaack!
posted by Senor Cardgage at 12:13 PM on November 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


11/11 - never for cat!
posted by newdaddy at 12:13 PM on November 11, 2010 [40 favorites]


Yeah, newspaper strips are done 6 months to a year in advance and Garfield is the work of many people (Jim, i believe, largely runs PAWS INC) so yah, bad timing
posted by The Whelk at 12:13 PM on November 11, 2010


Today's Marmaduke was a stunning one-panel summary of Errol Morris's Standard Operating Procedure.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:14 PM on November 11, 2010 [10 favorites]


> The 11-11 in the bottom left hand corner of the frame begs to differ.

That is an instruction to the syndicate, newspaper publisher, and newspaper production crew about which date it's supposed to run.

The comic strip artist can choose the sequences of his strips at random, or he may have a narrative in mind, but he's still got to datestamp every strip before he kicks it upstairs to the syndicate. Or else an editor at the syndicate will make up their own dates. Because if somebody doesn't do it, the same freaking cartoon is going to appear eight times in three weeks, followed by angry letters to the editor from hundreds of people who are already CLOSE TO THEIR BREAKING POINT now that Cathy is ending.

If anything, it makes more sense that if the comic was drawn a year in advance, nobody at Paws, Inc. had bothered to check the calendar to see if it might conflict with a bank holiday's official premise.
posted by ardgedee at 12:15 PM on November 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


The author continues to explain the strip had been written over a year ago, and the date in which it would appear was chosen at random.

He added that he creates hundreds of the strips over a three-day period once a year and e-mails them to his syndicate from his yacht "Fat Cat."
posted by longsleeves at 12:15 PM on November 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


Garfield has always been some of the most underrated social commentary of our time. For my money garfield is second only to ziggy for cutting satirical wit. I'm surprised the lamestream media never caught on to the message Garfield has been laying down.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:15 PM on November 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


Jim Davis issued a heartfelt apology. End of story.
posted by blucevalo at 12:15 PM on November 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


What's even more interesting about this is ... the dirty little secret of the Garfield brand is that Jim Davis stopped writing and drawing Garfield decades ago. He's apologizing for something he literally had nothing to do with.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 12:15 PM on November 11, 2010 [7 favorites]


Tomorrow's Heathcliff will feature a drawing of Mohamed.

And then on Christmas Eve, Marmaduke's gonna hump Jesus' leg.
posted by gompa at 12:15 PM on November 11, 2010 [4 favorites]




Allison Hillaker is a good reporter and i think she wrapped up this liitle bruhaha pretty well.
hats off allison.

!
posted by clavdivs at 12:17 PM on November 11, 2010


Honestly, I had no idea today was Veteran's day either since I don't get off work or anything. Sorry vets, I appreciate you every day.
posted by ghharr at 12:23 PM on November 11, 2010


Wait, Jim Davis is still alive? And writing Garfield? I thought he'd been replaced with the Mild Humortron 2000 years ago.
posted by Nelson at 12:24 PM on November 11, 2010 [5 favorites]


Jim Davis, typical of a "grateful nation", does not know when Veterans day is? Does he miss his birthday and Christmas? Is New Years noted on is calendar?
posted by Cranberry at 12:24 PM on November 11, 2010


sigh, HIS calendar
posted by Cranberry at 12:25 PM on November 11, 2010


Is New Years noted on is calendar?

I heard it's on the first this year.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:25 PM on November 11, 2010 [13 favorites]


Uhm. So what is the comic actually about, if not Veteran's Day? Easter? Obi-wan Kenobi?

Just askin' -
posted by newdaddy at 12:27 PM on November 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


Jim Davis, typical of a "grateful nation", does not know when Veterans day is? Does he miss his birthday and Christmas? Is New Years noted on is calendar?

If it was traditional to get hella tipsy on Veteran's Day, I would probably be able to remember the date much more easily.
posted by Greg Nog at 12:30 PM on November 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


So are the critics concerned that Jim Davis has revealed that our veterans were stupidly standing up against superior forces for no other reason than vain pride? Or something like that? I read that strip and didn't for a second think it had anything to do with our veterans, because our soldiers are generally pretty well educated and rarely outdone in battle. The spider, on the other hand, was pretty stupid.
posted by Mental Wimp at 12:30 PM on November 11, 2010


Meanwhile, noted anti-Semite Wolverine steadfastly refuses to recant or apologize for his vile slur. Ignorant fuckin' mutie.

Today's Marmaduke was a stunning one-panel summary of Errol Morris's Standard Operating Procedure.

"A dog with a human on a leash? Aw, he thinks he's people!"
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:31 PM on November 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


Uhm. So what is the comic actually about, if not Veteran's Day? Easter? Obi-wan Kenobi?

Just askin' -


Dude, it's spiders...
posted by Mental Wimp at 12:31 PM on November 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


(Seriously, though, does he get his Daytimers from some special store called Don't-Give-A-Fuck R Us? Made-Millions-Off-Lasagna-References-And-Live-In-Gold-Plated-Bubble Depot? My calendar doesn't list holidays - how the fuck does that work?)

I use a desk calendar where you have to write the dates in yourself every month, so naturally no holidays are listed.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 12:32 PM on November 11, 2010


Also amusing: Islamophobes freak out over Google's Veteran's Day logo. Apparently the flag obscures the top of the "e," turning the most common letter in the English language into CREEPING SHARIA LAW.
posted by Rhaomi at 12:34 PM on November 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


jim davis doesn't owe anyone a goddam apology. if an apology is in order it should come from the assholes in washington who can't let a single fucking generation of our population grow old without being sent to fight a goddam war.
posted by kitchenrat at 12:34 PM on November 11, 2010 [26 favorites]


Uhm. So what is the comic actually about, if not Veteran's Day? Easter? Obi-wan Kenobi?

If you look at the previous strips for this week, you'll see that it's part of an ongoing "storyline" involving Garfield swatting spiders. Can't speak for anybody else, but this whole mytharc has certainly had ME on the edge of my seat.
posted by Gator at 12:35 PM on November 11, 2010 [8 favorites]


Davis is, among all things, a businessman. He is a genius at marketing and brand-building. He pulls merchandise for selling too well, because he doesn't want his consumers to get sick of Garfield. He's very careful with his brand, and unfathomably rich because of it. I don't think for a second he'd do this intentionally, to rile things up.
posted by kafziel at 12:35 PM on November 11, 2010


Jim Davis still writes the Garfield strips? I had assumed he was just collecting paychecks at this point in his career.
posted by Hydrophage at 12:37 PM on November 11, 2010


The only thing that vaguely interests me is how nobody at the syndicate noticed this ahead of time, or newspaper editors for that matter (I would've assumed at least a few of them would have pulled the strip).

Happened twice to the Far Side, if my memory serves me correctly. Once with a dog humping a car, the other titled "Teathercat".
posted by Old'n'Busted at 12:37 PM on November 11, 2010


Oh for crappsakes. Add it to the list of classic accidental blunders, like trying to sell the Chevy Nova in Spanish-speaking countries, and move on.
posted by Mike D at 12:38 PM on November 11, 2010


The only offensive thing about this strip is how terrible it is. Why does Jim Davis hate laughter?
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:39 PM on November 11, 2010 [9 favorites]


Surely this will be the end of the Garfield era. I just hope Heathcliff tries him for war crimes.
posted by allen.spaulding at 12:40 PM on November 11, 2010


How has Comics Curmudgeon not addressed this?!
posted by maryr at 12:41 PM on November 11, 2010


Um, what "uproar"? What "controversy"? The article linked doesn't cite a single person or group who was offended by the cartoon. Bullshit outrage is one thing--this isn't even that.
posted by neroli at 12:42 PM on November 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


"Jim Davis, typical of a "grateful nation", does not know when Veterans day is? Does he miss his birthday and Christmas? Is New Years noted on is calendar?"

To be fair, it was called Armistice Day when he served.

{OLDBURGER.}
posted by Eideteker at 12:44 PM on November 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


it would be a lot funnier without the cat.
posted by artof.mulata at 12:44 PM on November 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


When a bear shits in the woods, people get offended.

Everyone needs to chillax and not think that every goddamn thing in life has some ulterior motive of being un-PC, conspiracy, or someone is an asshole.

Shit happens move on.
posted by stormpooper at 12:44 PM on November 11, 2010


Happened twice to the Far Side, if my memory serves me correctly. Once with a dog humping a car, the other titled "Teathercat".

Oh yeah, you're right (it wasn't really humping the car, it just looked that way). But tethercat, that was real. I don't have my copy of Prehistory of the Far Side anymore, but I also remember the one with the cat that was tied up and hung by its tail and a man saying, "The dog ain't goin' for the new cat," which was supposed to mean the dog had tied up the cat as a way of sending a message to the owners, but newspaper subscribers all over the country thought the man had tied up the cat as bait for the dog. Sigh. It was such a simpler time, back in the eighties. We had standards for flipping our lids over comic strips back then.
posted by Gator at 12:44 PM on November 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


god DAMN, people have too much time on their hands.

1. Personally I wish Veterans day was still Armistice day.

2. Well... I can't really say what number two is because I'll totally get ripped to shreds, get angry and ruin my day, so lets just leave it at #1.
posted by edgeways at 12:45 PM on November 11, 2010


Happened twice to the Far Side, if my memory serves me correctly. Once with a dog humping a car, the other titled "Teathercat".

As well as the one where the folks boarded up the pet door from the inside, then started calling for their dog out the window and you see him bounding up the sidewalk...
posted by edgeways at 12:46 PM on November 11, 2010


A chilling metaphor for the remove and isolation of modern war, with it's video-game drones completely alienated from their actions.

So today's Garfield strip, then.
posted by clarknova at 12:47 PM on November 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Calvin & Hobbes was also held from several papers for the Sunday strip when Calvin imagines bombing his school from an airplane.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:47 PM on November 11, 2010


I can't really say what number two is because I'll totally get ripped to shreds

is it garfield slashfic
posted by Greg Nog at 12:47 PM on November 11, 2010 [6 favorites]


As well as the one where the folks boarded up the pet door from the inside, then started calling for their dog out the window and you see him bounding up the sidewalk...

But nary a peep out of folks with granny living in a glass house and cawing "but you should see the birds smack it".
posted by Old'n'Busted at 12:48 PM on November 11, 2010



is it garfield slashfic

That is simultaneously horrific and the funniest thing I hear/read today.

Garfield and...

Marmaduke?
Heacliff?
.
.
.
Cathy?
posted by edgeways at 12:49 PM on November 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


But nary a peep out of folks with granny living in a glass house and cawing "but you should see the birds smack it".

At least they aren't throwing stones.
posted by maryr at 12:51 PM on November 11, 2010


It is a well known fact that people who dot their 'i's with a loop are genuine patriots. Or cheerleaders.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 12:51 PM on November 11, 2010


Garfield notwithstanding I wonder if MetaFilter is an appropriate venue for a discussion of America's deification of war and the people who fight them. I'm one of those people who believes that every war we've fought since 1945 has been of a political nature and the sacrifice of young lives in these wars also unnecessary. Because we can't have a honest discussion of this topic we glorify war to make it seem like the sacrifice these people made was worth it when maybe it wasn't. And if it appears that anyone challenges this thinking we immediately jump all over them just like poor Jim Davis
posted by Xurando at 12:51 PM on November 11, 2010 [12 favorites]


Calvin & Hobbes was also held from several papers for the Sunday strip when Calvin imagines bombing his school from an airplane.

Or like that one time in The Family Circus when Billy and P.J. put Jeffy in the box and called him The Gimp.
posted by bondcliff at 12:55 PM on November 11, 2010


Garfield and...

Marmaduke?
Heacliff?
.
.
.
Cathy?


Jon and Lyman.
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:58 PM on November 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


I wasn't joking.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:59 PM on November 11, 2010


Because we can't have a honest discussion of this topic we glorify war to make it seem like the sacrifice these people made was worth it when maybe it wasn't.

Define "honest discussion".
posted by nomadicink at 1:01 PM on November 11, 2010


edgeways, I went looking for Garfield Slash on the blue a few years ago and came up empty. There's more now on the FanFiction site, but nothing you could really fap to. Although I have to give garfield and his life! credit for creative grammar.
posted by Nelson at 1:03 PM on November 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Xurando, I can only speak for myself, but while I agree with your thesis—that every war since WWII was purely political and not a noble one at all (if there can be a noble war)—the fact of the matter is that soldiers/sailors/marines/airmen do not get to pick their battles, the civilian Commander-in-Chief does. I'm not sure what you do for a living, but I'm pretty sure that your chance of dying at it is pretty slim, and it's also unlikely that you have to carry 90-lb loads wherever you go. I agree that glorifying war helps no one. I agree that war is a bad thing that should be avoided, and if possible, eradicated from the earth. That said, these young people have a job to do, and until we as a planet make their job unnecessary, I'm more than willing to venerate them for stepping up to do it.
posted by Xoder at 1:03 PM on November 11, 2010 [6 favorites]


I'm wondering if the story here is a disgruntled work-for-hire cartoonist deliberately embarrassing Davis.
posted by Zed at 1:04 PM on November 11, 2010


Because we can't have a honest discussion of this topic we glorify war to make it seem like the sacrifice these people made was worth it when maybe it wasn't.

Hey, remember that other Far Side cartoon with the generals all sitting around and one of them chirps, "On the other hand, gentlemen, what if we gave a war and EVERYBODY came?" with this wide-eyed "Gee, that'd sure be neat" look on his face?
posted by Gator at 1:06 PM on November 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


spalin omg did u see garfield??? i bet obama read that an laffed #freedom #jimdavishatesamerica
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:07 PM on November 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


There was that BC comic on Easter Sunday a few years ago that appeared to be anti-semitic.
posted by longsleeves at 1:07 PM on November 11, 2010


Once I had this boss who, on my first day, gave me a list of office holidays. One of which was Easter. When I pointed out that Easter is always on a Sunday, he was astounded. "Are you SURE?"

He'd been handing out that list for years, too, and nobody before me had said anything.
posted by JanetLand at 1:12 PM on November 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


Regarding today's Garfield comic strip, it was written almost a year ago

Wait a minute, wait...

When Jim Davis dies, we'll *still* have to endure another *year* of Garfield?
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 1:12 PM on November 11, 2010 [11 favorites]


Do we have that many idiot newspaper editors that can't make a judgement call on this strip?

See, I can buy that Jim Davis did not do this intentionally. I CANNOT buy that all these newspaper editors let it run.

Having said that Garfield quit being funny two decades ago and I would be thrilled to see that space freed up for another comic.



(Back in the very early 80's it WAS funny but the shark was jumped, stomped, and turned into fin soup years ago.)
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 1:13 PM on November 11, 2010 [1 favorite]




I am another veteran of the US Marine Corps who laughed.
posted by Ardiril at 1:14 PM on November 11, 2010


Add it to the list of classic accidental blunders, like trying to sell the Chevy Nova in Spanish-speaking countries, and move on.
posted by K.P. at 1:14 PM on November 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


From the bottom of the ConnectMidMichigan.com article:

*WE WANT TO HEAR YOUR THOUGHTS ON THIS CONTROVERSIAL COMIC STRIP! LEAVE YOUR COMMENTS BELOW!

That's some of the worst news-website controversy-mongering I've ever seen.
posted by limeonaire at 1:16 PM on November 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


When Jim Davis dies, we'll *still* have to endure another *year* of Garfield?

No, of course not. Once the original cartoonist dies, comics are terminated immediately.
posted by Wolfdog at 1:18 PM on November 11, 2010 [4 favorites]




Do we have that many idiot newspaper editors that can't make a judgement call on this strip?

I suspect it's more that the comics page is such a low priority, that they trust the syndicates to keep it anodyne, and that newspapers have cut their staffs to the bone. I doubt individual papers' editors even read it.
posted by Zed at 1:24 PM on November 11, 2010


Do we have that many idiot newspaper editors that can't make a judgement call on this strip?

It's actually worse than that. The comics in the newspapers arrive pre-packaged, ready for the presses. The most they'll ever be touched is by physically pasting them into the spaces set aside for them. There is no editor that pre-reads the comics.

Moreover, your only decision is "run" or "not run." There's no sending it back for questions. If you don't run it, you'll have to manually re-organize the comics page, which editors and layout folks are loathe to do.

You would be surprised at the amount of content in a typical newspaper that is done on auto-pilot. Forget the comics. This is a medium where many papers still run "Goren Bridge" seven days a week.

Seven.
Days.
A.
Week.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 1:26 PM on November 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


So the same newspapers that regularly shift Doonesbury to the editorial page, which requires knowing beforehand the content, just blindly publish Garfield? I smell Double Standard!
posted by tommasz at 1:27 PM on November 11, 2010


They blindly publish Doonesbury, too. The editorial page writers will see a blank space when they review their page. The comic is just added later, because it comes from the same source as the others.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 1:30 PM on November 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think you guys are missing the big story here:

That was kind of funny. When's the last time that happened?
posted by lumpenprole at 1:36 PM on November 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


A sleep trance, a dream dance, a shared old cat...
posted by swift at 1:37 PM on November 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


At the newspaper I work for, we get digital copies BEFORE deadline, 'cause the editor wants to see what's in the strip before it goes out the door.

'course we're an alt weekly type, but that really shouldn't make a difference. I find it hard to believe that newspapers are pasting in anything these days, it's all digital and that they're sending out comics without seeing them. That's crazy.
posted by nomadicink at 1:38 PM on November 11, 2010


Particularly if Davis is doing strips a year in advance, you'd think the papers would get something before it goes out the door.
posted by nomadicink at 1:41 PM on November 11, 2010


LIVE ON FOX NEWS TONITE - "...The two Gees... Why do Garfield and Google hate our troops...?"
posted by Webbster at 1:44 PM on November 11, 2010


soldiers/sailors/marines/airmen do not get to pick their battles

But they do now get to pick - as much as their economic circumstances permit - whether to fight battles at all. And since it has been more than 60 years since the American military fought any battles worth fighting, the question of whether their volunteering to do so is stupid or not seems to me one open to more debate than our cultural taboos permit.
posted by Joe Beese at 1:46 PM on November 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


Garfield has run on autopilot for years and years; absent human intelligence and forethought, a collision between subject and events like this was inevitable in time.

Given the tragic fate of so many once-good comics, I find myself increasingly admiring of Gary Larson (Far Side) and Bill Watterson (Calvin & Hobbes) for quitting while they were ahead.

And Garry Trudeau as well, who, if he ever did lose his mojo with Doonesbury (I'm still reading through the archives; evidence thus far is inconclusive), found it again with B.D.'s injury and awesome newer characters like Toggle.
posted by The Confessor at 1:50 PM on November 11, 2010


For those that love being outraged every day is national stupid day.
posted by Artw at 1:51 PM on November 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Joe Beese, I agree that is a conversation worth having, but I feel it's a chicken-and-egg dilemma. The jobs are there, someone is going to do them, at least until/unless we get a Heinlein-style Social Credit. If everyone decided to never go to a recruiter again, then the wages in the armed forces would go up as an enticement, and if that didn't work, I'd bet the draft would return, and that would get new representatives in Congress right quick.

But the jobs are there, the money is there, and there are honorable things to do in service of your country, and one of them in many people's eyes is to fight for it. I appreciate your desire to take out one piece of that equation, but I assure you that it is nothing compared to the need for food and shelter.
posted by Xoder at 1:54 PM on November 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


The Garfield comic has NOTHING to do with Veterans' Day, which is intended to honor the SURVIVING warriors. Based on the plotline of the strip, "National Stupid Day" refers to MEMORIAL DAY, which was five months ago. Of course, the Warrior Cult in the U.S. tries to get the maximum mileage out of both 'holidays'.

For the record, my sincere disrespect for my father, a WWII Vet with undiagnosed PTSD that negatively affected the way he raised me, and my suspicion that a few million other undiagnosed PTSD cases are a major reason for the problems of the United States of America, I refuse to honor anybody on Veteran's Day and try to ignore it every year, which has been harder than usual this year. On Memorial Day, I honor all the victims of War.
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:55 PM on November 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


The real lesson is that we need to make November 11 more than just a federal holiday, but one of those impossible to ignore everybody takes a day off of work day and wears a red poppy and observes a nationwide minute of silence at noon.
posted by IndigoJones at 1:57 PM on November 11, 2010


shakespehereian, hell, I just used that last year in my ESL comics class. I didn't think twice about it. I was using it to show some of the basics of framing panels, and showing action. Also, it was funny as hell.
posted by Ghidorah at 1:59 PM on November 11, 2010


So many cats... so few recipes.
posted by Sir Cholmondeley at 1:59 PM on November 11, 2010


Honestly, I hope this gains traction with the Tea Party, et al, so that when election time rolls around in 2012, Fox News can breathlessly report sightings of people in Garfield sweatshirts lurking around the polls.

And then the Fox News anchor would give us a knowing look before they repeated, "Garfield merchandise," as if to say, "God help us all."
posted by gc at 1:59 PM on November 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


the dirty little secret of the Garfield brand is that Jim Davis stopped writing and drawing Garfield decades ago. He's apologizing for something he literally had nothing to do with.
Half true.
Jim did, indeed, step away from writing and drawing the strip, in stages. He stopped doing the inking almost as soon as he got syndicated. He stopped doing the pencil work several years later, when the property started taking off. He took on help with the writing gradually over the years, eventually handing it completely over to someone else many years ago. I'm pretty sure, though, he still exercises approval on the writing and chimes-in with ideas or direction. But, yeah, for the most part, he's hands-off these days.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:01 PM on November 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


if an apology is in order it should come from the assholes in washington who can't let a single fucking generation of our population grow old without being sent to fight a goddam war.

My generation didn't get sent to fight a war.
posted by The World Famous at 2:03 PM on November 11, 2010


Slightly off topic, but today's Funky Winkerbean, which is about a woman wanting to rent pornography with a PTSD-afflicted veteran/prisoner of war (and when did these two get together? I've been reading this damn strip ever since the time jump, and can't recall the start of this relationship), on the recommendation of the man's ex-wife--well, it just seems bizarre, for a Veteran's Day strip.
posted by Ideal Impulse at 2:04 PM on November 11, 2010


Well, this has been a successful marketing exercise, I've read a Garfiled comic for the first time in over a decade.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 2:05 PM on November 11, 2010


Semi-related: anyone else catch the first game of the world series? I was watching at a bar with closed captioning on, and when the 7th inning stretch came up, and "God Bless America" started, the CC showed "Godless America" - gasps all around, and it was promptly rewritten.
posted by aberrant at 2:10 PM on November 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


there are honorable things to do in service of your country, and one of them in many people's eyes is to fight for it

James B. Stack of Arlington Heights, Illinois was killed during combat operations in Helmand province yesterday. He was 20 years old.

He was not fighting for his country. He was fighting for the enrichment of the corporations that own that country.

By not calling this what it is - a tragic waste in service of a lie - we help ensure that other young men will meet the same fate.
posted by Joe Beese at 2:11 PM on November 11, 2010 [8 favorites]


From the comments section in the original link:

“Jim Davis is worse than Osama Bin Laden and Timothy McVeigh combined, in my opinion. He has notoriously anti-American views. When I was traveling in the middle east I saw a famous mural he gave as a gift to the Muslim people depicting Garfield urinating into Uncle Sam’s mouth whilst Odie burned an American flag behind him. For shame, Jim Davis!”

I for one, say death to the infidel Jim Davis!

For the humor impaired, all of the above is a joke. Sad that I have to post this note, isn't it?
posted by reenum at 2:21 PM on November 11, 2010


Wolfdog : No, of course not. Once the original cartoonist dies, comics are terminated immediately.

But sometimes it can be hard to break the news.
posted by Drexen at 2:40 PM on November 11, 2010 [5 favorites]


Guys, read Thorzdad's comments above. He knows of what he speaks.

Also: Is the voice of a cartoon spider intended to be that of the cartoonist? I think people are overreacting even if the strip were intentional.
posted by JHarris at 2:55 PM on November 11, 2010


St. Alia: I concur that, at one point Garfield used to be funny. I still have several early Garfield collections on my shelf, and I and my mother collected several pieces of Garfield merchandise in the days when we were fans (I was a preteen back then). Now that I have greater perspective, and the brilliant run of Calvin and Hobbes, to refer to, the lustre has somewhat worn off those early strips.

The TV show was also pretty good, although as its run continued it was for reasons increasingly disassociated with the newspaper strip.
posted by JHarris at 3:07 PM on November 11, 2010


He was not fighting for his country. He was fighting for the enrichment of the corporations that own that country.

He got to decide why he was fighting. Not you. And I'm going to assume you never asked him.
posted by Cyrano at 3:14 PM on November 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


gyc writes "I took Davis' statement to mean that he did not realize that 11/11 is Veteran's Day."

How the hell does that happen?

ghharr writes "I had no idea today was Veteran's day either since I don't get off work or anything. Sorry vets, I appreciate you every day."

Ah, it's not one of the 3 holidays that most Americans get off work.

JanetLand writes "Once I had this boss who, on my first day, gave me a list of office holidays. One of which was Easter. When I pointed out that Easter is always on a Sunday, he was astounded. 'Are you SURE?'

"He'd been handing out that list for years, too, and nobody before me had said anything."


Everyone else was savvy enough to get an extra paid holiday merely by not correcting their boss?
posted by Mitheral at 3:24 PM on November 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


There is no editor that pre-reads the comics.

We always read them at the paper I used to work at -- partly to make sure the right strip made it in, but mostly to take a break from "real" editing and page design. I can't remember ever holding a strip, but it would've been an easy decision to make if something ever seemed inappropriate.
posted by phatkitten at 3:39 PM on November 11, 2010


So, links in this thread introduced me to the Comics Curmudgeon blog, which I had never heard of before today and am now in love with. Reading Comics Curmudgeon tipped me off to the existence of a syndicated comic called "Pluggers," which is basically a variant of "you might be a redneck if:" in comics form.

In sum, reading this thread has led me to discover a comic which I now hate more than Garfield, which I didn't think possible. So, uhm, thanks?
posted by EatTheWeak at 4:27 PM on November 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


Content context is king.
posted by davejay at 4:37 PM on November 11, 2010


Reading Comics Curmudgeon tipped me off to the existence of a syndicated comic called "Pluggers," which is basically a variant of "you might be a redneck if:" in comics form.

And the very first comment on that strip:
In 1990, the CIA faked the fall of the Berlin Wall to allow the Marines to steal $120 trillion in gold from the Vatican.
Most of his other comments are pretty cogent, so maybe Pluggers just brings it out in people?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:43 PM on November 11, 2010


'Late at night, and without IRB permission,
Reuben would often enter the nursery and
conduct experiments in static electricity.'
posted by clavdivs at 4:49 PM on November 11, 2010


My calendar doesn't list holidays - how the fuck does that work?

I use iCal for everything as my one and only source of calendar related activities. It does not list holidays. Not even Christmas. Steve Jobs killed Santa.
posted by sonika at 4:50 PM on November 11, 2010



Hell. We had eight consecutive years of national stupid day beginning Nov. 7, 2000.
posted by notreally at 4:52 PM on November 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Cranberry : Jim Davis, typical of a "grateful nation", does not know when Veterans day is? Does he miss his birthday and Christmas?

Oh, come off it - Who ranks Veterans day up there with birthdays and the Abrahamic nod to heliocentrism? Hell, I didn't even know today counted as a holiday until I got a really great spot at the parking garage this morning.
posted by pla at 5:21 PM on November 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


FWIW, isn't this strip at heart basically just a rip-off of the cockroach stuff from Fat Freddies Cat?
posted by Artw at 5:23 PM on November 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


That or The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. I get those two mixed up.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:27 PM on November 11, 2010


Holy shit, I hate Pluggers so much that I read every comic back through September. Someone hose my brain down, please.
posted by EatTheWeak at 5:54 PM on November 11, 2010


Hell yes Jim Davis owes an apology, for continuing to do Garfield at all.
posted by bwg at 5:57 PM on November 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


I refuse to honor anybody on Veteran's Day and try to ignore it every year, which has been harder than usual this year. On Memorial Day, I honor all the victims of War.

Yeah, this point needs to be made one more time.
posted by John of Michigan at 6:35 PM on November 11, 2010


Meanwhile, noted anti-Semite Wolverine steadfastly refuses to recant or apologize for his vile slur.

kitty pride's going to get him for that
posted by pyramid termite at 8:28 PM on November 11, 2010


pla writes "Who ranks Veterans day up there with birthdays and the Abrahamic nod to heliocentrism? Hell, I didn't even know today counted as a holiday until I got a really great spot at the parking garage this morning."

It's interesting, to me anyways, that November 11th doesn't rate as a real holiday down in the states considering the Canadian perception of the US being a big P patriotism kind of place. Here in Canada Remembrance day is a big deal though I'm getting the feeling Memorial day is the ranking US war holiday yes?

sonika writes "I use iCal for everything as my one and only source of calendar related activities. It does not list holidays. Not even Christmas. Steve Jobs killed Santa."

Raymond Chen has discussed what a holy clusterfuck of conflicting interests and one true wayisms calendering in Windows has historically been; it's totally understandable that the best way to handle this is to avoid it all together.
posted by Mitheral at 8:58 PM on November 11, 2010


I use iCal for everything as my one and only source of calendar related activities. It does not list holidays.

As someone who can never remember what day of the week Ash Wednesday might be, that drove me nuts about iCal until the discovery that adding them in is just a few clicks away. US holidays. Canadian holidays. Australian. Bulgarian. More here.
posted by jamaro at 12:03 AM on November 12, 2010


Weird. I actually saw that strip the other day and didn't for one second associate it with remembrance day. I guess it just never occurred to me that Davis might have such a subversive intent. If he did, fair play to him.

I used to think Garfield was funny back when it first started. No, I really did.
posted by Decani at 1:19 AM on November 12, 2010


Everyone else was savvy enough to get an extra paid holiday merely by not correcting their boss?

No. He didn't pay for holidays that fell on the weekend.
posted by JanetLand at 5:37 AM on November 12, 2010


Everyone else was savvy enough to get an extra paid holiday merely by not correcting their boss?

No. He didn't pay for holidays that fell on the weekend.


Which I think was Mitheral's point. From your story, it sounds like every single person at that place except you realized they could get paid for Easter if they didn't correct him.
posted by kafziel at 5:50 AM on November 12, 2010


HAHAHAHAHAHA.
posted by Theta States at 6:16 AM on November 12, 2010


Aw man, I used to love Orson's Farm. Booker would never have made such a gaffe.
posted by mippy at 6:44 AM on November 12, 2010


I refuse to honor anybody on Veteran's Day and try to ignore it every year, which has been harder than usual this year. On Memorial Day, I honor all the victims of War.

Yeah, this point needs to be made one more time.


The set of victims of war includes the set of veterans.
posted by Xoder at 8:17 AM on November 12, 2010


But sometimes it can be hard to break the news.

Jesus, speaking of cartoon strips about cats that aren't funny anymore.

Prove me wrong, Chris! I still read every day!
Even though that only actually results in a new comic every two weeks or so.
posted by SpiffyRob at 12:47 PM on November 12, 2010


I'm getting the feeling Memorial day is the ranking US war holiday yes?

Yes. Memorial day is when we remember our war dead, and we ostensibly honor our living veterans on Veteran's Day. Most everybody gets Memorial Day as a day off, parades are held, banks are closed, etc. Few get Veteran's day off, and banks are open.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 8:08 PM on November 12, 2010


Uh, here locally they weren't.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 8:44 PM on November 12, 2010


Oh hey, you're right and I'm mistaken. Banks are closed on Veteran's Day. But Wall st. stays open and most people still have to work. The point remains that Memorial Day is still held in higher regard. Three-day weekend and all.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 9:21 PM on November 12, 2010


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