Every Day is Monday: A downwards spiral and unconventional revival



If someone were to ask a millennial what their favorite comic strip was in the newspaper, about 25% of them would say “what’s a newspaper?” The other 75% percent would most likely say Garfield. Created by illustrator Jim Davis, Garfield is the story of an uncharismatic, exotic cat living with his depressingly relatable owner, Jon, and their many misadventures. However, since the day it was first published, Garfield has been slowly declining in both comedic value and overall flair, with most of its library consisting of repeats and unoriginality. The biggest contributor to this downward spiral is the fact that Garfield has been running for 41 years every day, with a total of around 15,000 comic strips in circulation. Even worse, Garfield is the subject of countless brand deals, TV specials, a good handful of movies, and, of course, a motherload of Garfield themed merchandise. It’s easy to believe that this cat’s world is getting dangerously close to a designed-by-committee wasteland.  

But is this truly the case?  


 In reality, Garfield has received a reawakening, a metaphorical second life out of his 9 lives, for in the eyes of the internet, he is more than just a fat cat. Recently, Garfield has become an internet sensation, though not through his comic strips, but through all the ways the internet has taken them and twisted them. A good example is “Garfield minus Garfield”, a trend involving removing any trace of Garfield from every panel of a selected comic strip. The result is usually a strangely foreboding strip about Jon living a sad and lonely life, a life that’s traditionally masked by all the funny quirks of his cat. Another example, and perhaps the most interesting, is the trend of turning Garfield into an eldritch monster, kickstarted by YouTube user Lumpy Touch. Clearly, Garfield is nothing more than a joke now, and there’s nothing now that can change that. He was stricken of his energy, and the internet twisted him into a nightmarish shadow of his former self. Garfield lives on, but in an unconventional way: through the modern internet culture of memery.