Is Garfield Funnier Without...Well, Garfield?

This is what I've been questioning for the last year or so now. I know you all must be tired of reading the Garfield posts. Trust me; I never intended to write anything about the comic. It was interchangeable for the longest time, and I honestly felt like I would never have to say anything about it really. Maybe if it was canceled, but when was that honestly going to happen? If the strip continues without Jim Davis drawing it now chances are it will NEVER be canceled! Beattle Bailey is still around and military people can't even relate to the strip anymore. It comes from a different era and is read out of obligation and routine then for pure enjoyment. But I'm getting off topic, lets get back to Garfield. Last week was Valentines Day, and as a treat the Garfield comic strip did two things it didn't normally do.

First of all it had a week long about Jon and Liz going out on a date and being served by a waiter that normally has to serve Jon when he's with his trouble making cat. This is a good premise because it can be mined for plenty of laughs. They may not be deep laughs, but at least the laughs would be genuine. The second thing - and this is the important part - is that Garfield was strangely absent from the strip for the whole week. No explanation or anything, he was just gone. Not only that, but the strip was actually a heck of a lot more funny without him. If he had been shoved into the storyline it would have been unfunny. The writers would have to find some way to revolve the jokes around him, or let him have the last sarcastic comment, regardless how unnecessary it would have been.

This week the writers did the write thing and left the cat out of the comic...and it worked! This has got to be troubling someone up in management. On one hand your strip is bringing people in to read it for genuine pleasure once more. On the other hand, your main selling gimmick isn't the reason for this at the moment. Right now I'm not sure how this realization will effect the rest of the comic, but for now I welcome the change. Maybe a little less Garfield is just what this strip needs.

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