Garfield: His 9 Lives is a Graphic Novel (Graphic Short StoryAnthology if you want to get picky) based on the Newspaper ComicGarfield, written and illustrated by Jim Davis and Paws, Inc. The central concept of the book is that, since cats have nine lives, Garfield must have a bunch of past lives that made him the lazy, sarcastic cat that we know and love (or not) today, and each of those lives gets its own story.Goes in some very different directions from most Garfield media. While some of the stories wouldn't be out of place appearing the regular newspaper strip, others go in more surreal or dramatic directions; there's even a genuine Horror story. Some of the stories also go a bit more adult than what we usually get from Garfield; nothing that would stop it from getting a PG rating, but there are some mild swear words present, a couple references to alcohol, a few deaths, and some obvious hints that at least one of Garfield's past lives actually had sex.The stories present in the book are:
"In The Beginning ...": A prologue about how God and his design team created cats.
"Lab Animal": Garfield (a.k.a. Specimen 19-GB) tries to escape being dissected by scientists.
"The Garden": A girl named Cloey and a certain orange kitten live in what may or may not be the Garden of Eden and confront what may or may not be Pandora's Box. Diabetes flavoured.
"Primal Self": A cat named Tigger lives as an ordinary housecat until a memory from the past triggers a frightful transformation.
"Garfield": The origin story for Garfield's present life as portrayed in the comic strip, starting from his birth and including his first encounters with Jon and Odie.
"Space Cat": Garfield struggles to survive when he's lost in space in the galaxy's crappiest spaceship.
Was also adapted into an AnimatedTelevision Special, which removed some of the stories and added a few new ones. "Babes and Bullets" was also made as a separate special. The new lives ("In The Beginning ...", "Cave Cat", "Lab Animal", "The Garden", "Garfield" and "Space Cat" remain) of the Animated Anthology are:
"King Cat": In Ancient Egypt, the Pharaoh's sacred cat discovers what happens to him if the Pharaoh dies.
"Court Musician": The king demands a concerto from "Freddie" Handel, and if the king doesn't enjoy it ... Under the pressure of a deadline, "Freddie" delegates part of the work to his pet, a blue cat.
Distant Finale: "Space Cat". Subverted; the short, at least in the book, ends with modern-day Garfield exiting a video game simulation booth.
"The Vikings" and "Garfield" can also be considered to have self-contained ones (with the former ending in the year 2984, and the latter ending with Garfield and Odie's old age, telling stories to a new generation of kittens).
Computer: Welcome to space, Mr. Cat. I suppose you were wondering why you are here. Garfield:A keen grasp of the obvious. Computer: Well, it is really quite simple. You see, all we require is that you survive, Mr. Cat. We are monitoring the survival instincts of a cat in his last life. Garfield:(shocked) In his la... la-last life? Computer:As you are well aware, a cat has nine lives. Garfield: And, uh, don't tell me... I'm living life number nine? Computer: I tell it like it is, baby cakes.
Wretched Hive: St. Paul, Minnesota. At least from the Vikings' perspective.
Aside from the tropes carried over from the book, the special provides examples of:
Art Shift: Often, as just like the book, the special was directed by many people.
Big Damn Heroes: Subverted in "King Cat." Odie saves Garfield from the tomb at the end, but only to serve as his slave.
Big Sleep: After hearing her last piano concerto from married mother Sara, Diana jumps down onto the piano keyboard, yawns, and drifts off into a deep sleep from which she never wakes up. So heartbreaking.
Book Ends: It opens and ends with God (in the opening segment, creating cats; in the ending, talking to Odie and an out-of-lives Garfield).
Cats Have Nine Lives: God lampshades this ("Well, let's just say it'll make for a great plot of a story, okay?")... though the special ends with a reveal of blinking cat-like eyes.
Celestial Bureaucracy: Takes it one step further, by having God's computers 'on the blink' and not being able to keep track of the number of lives.
Death by Adaptation: ...sorta. In the book, "Space Cat" is a simulation. In the TV special, Garfield really dies and has to meet God as he ran out of lives.
Gender Bender: Apparently Garfield was female in one of his past lives ("Diana's Piano")
Justified Extra Lives: In the TV special God lets Garfield return because in his last life he was put in an "unfair position". And he gets all 9 because of the defect listed in Celestial Bureaucracy. Garfield even gets the same deal for Odie by claiming he's a cat. (Or maybe God knows exactly what life Garfield's on and that Odie's a dog; He's just playing favorites. "We have to stick together you know...")
Karma Houdini: In "King Cat", evil Pharaoh Black Bart kills his good brother and gets away with ruling Egypt. He now has the slave dog (Odie) in charge in place of King Cat at the end!
Leitmotif: A... thought-provoking use in the epilogue. Garfield and Odie happily return to life to music from "The Garden" - then God says "We have to stick together, you know" to a musical sting from "Lab Animal", while sporting glowing cat eyes also seen in that segment.
Letting the Air out of the Band: Twice in the Space Cat portion — once when the vending machine malfunctions, and again when Garfield's secret weapon is "declawed".
Vengeful Vending Machine: Garfield attempts to use a vending machine aboard his spaceship to order lunch, in the form of a cup of coffee and some pie, during his ninth and final life. The machine drops the pie, pours coffee on it, and then crushes it with the coffee mug.