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The Comic Strip dated October 28, 1989
Every Garfield strip since Oct 28, 1989 has been the hallucination of a lonely cat starving to death in an empty house.These are the last Garfield strips that happened. See them in color at the bottom of this page, or in the official website's archive.
Jim Davis wanted to end the strip on Oct 28, 1989, but was forced to continue due to Executive Meddling.For a while, he tried to make the best of it, but he eventually started to just phone it in. He's been writing for an independent comic company under an assumed name for years now.
Garfield didn't die in the Oct 28, 1989 strip; he evertedGarfield has the same everting powers as the flower-man but is so lazy that he didn't even know he had them. One day, he took a nap in an eversion point and accidentally everted while he was asleep. After he woke up, he found his house in its everted state, freaked out, and then accidentally reverted the house back to normal.
The Garfield comic strip takes place in the town of Silent Hill.That is, following the theory that there are three "levels" of existence to Silent Hill: a normal, functioning abode that used to be a mining town, the foggy "otherworld", and the dessicated dark world. The town has been re-populated, but coal fires continue to burn underground. Jon's supposed Flanderization as the strip progresses is a result of the subtle smoke from the underground slowly damaging his mind, which would also explain Irma's "slow in the head" demeanor. (It's possible that Liz's sharpness results from her living and working on the edge of town, away from the most concentrated coal fires underground) The town, for the most part, lived in peace, unaware of the unspeakable things lurking within the lower two "planes" of its existence. But in one week in 1989, something happened: the town called for Garfield the cat, and like James before him, poor Garfield had no choice but to answer. In the infamous Halloween week series of strips, Garfield awoke within the second "plane" of Silent Hill: the seemingly-abandoned, broken-down town. Silent Hill, mind, does not tend to pull in its chew toys without a good reason: one of the key reasons a protagonist will find themselves drawn to Silent Hill is a sort of guilt within them, an internal conflict as brutal as the creatures they encounter within the town. With that in mind, let's look at Garfield. He's a lazy Jerkass who takes Kick the Dog to a literal extent, who spends his time deriding and lashing out against Jon, the only person in the world who even gives him the time of day. These attitudes have been pushing him away from everyone else in his life, creating an unparalleled sense of isolation; the Town finally makes him confront this fact with a terrifyingly real depiction of where this road will take him. Garfield is forced to come to grips with the simple fact, which he states in anguish: "I don't want to be alone!" And suddenly, everything is back to normal; Jon and Odie are there, and the dessicated landscape is replaced by normality. He had learned what the Town tried to teach him, rather quickly; thus, he was allowed to return from it. It's quite a good thing he did not leave the house, as well; Silent Hill aficionados know well that an empty room is far, far preferrable to the things lurking elsewhere. But it didn't take him long to resume his Jerkass ways. Thus, the Town may soon call on him once more, to teach a more permanent lesson...
The October 23, 1989-October 28, 1989 strips were a nightmare Garfield had after watching Allegro Non TroppoAllegro Non Troppo contains a sequence about a cat remembering happy times in an abandoned house. Garfield watched that film shortly before going to bed and had a nightmare. The end of the last strip shows him waking up.
The Halloween 1989 strips were an elaborate practical joke by JonJon decorated the house to look as if it had been abandoned, then took Odie and left for the week. The purpose of this prank was to teach Garfield not to take life for granted. It didn't work.
The Halloween 1989 strips were nothing out of the ordinaryThey were just a disturbing look into what Garfield thinks when Jon leaves. Jon only went to the store and was only gone for a few minutes. Sure, early on he loved it when Jon left, but after so many years of doing the same things, you get tired of the house...
Garfield was briefly shunted into an alternate universe during the Halloween 1989 stripsGarfield was not imagining anything, nor is he simultaneously hallucinating and starving to death. He just happened to fall asleep at a point in space and time which was connected to a universe where his home truly was abandoned. Not long after, though, he was sent back to his home reality when the powers that be realized that he was in the wrong universe.
Realfield is Weegee.Or, at least, the comics incarnation of him.
Jon actually draws the strip, and "Jim Davis" is just a pseudonym; or "Jon Arbuckle" really is Jim Davis.
Jon Arbuckle is a psychopath
Garfield is an ordinary cat with an ordinary cat's mind, and Jon is a clinically depressed and possibly suicidal man who talks to his pets.Any clever quips in the little thought bubbles emanating from Garfield's head are hallucinated by his owner, Jon, along with the bubbles themselves. For more information about this hypothesis, look here.
Garfield is the story of Jon slowly descending into madness, while his housecat watchesAt the beginning of the series, Jon was a relatively normal fellow with a fondness for football, a roommate, and normal-if-unlucky skills at romance. Over the years, he's slowly transformed into a man-child who talks to himself frequently, finds excitement in mundane activities, and frightens any woman he talks to so much that many have restraining orders against him and run in terror. What we've been taking as normal flanderization has been deliberate. Jon is suffering from schizophrenia, and the series is showing the account via an unreliable cat narrator. We don't see him working because he's on disability, or his parents have been funneling him money to support him. His assorted freakouts and "comedic" moments are how Garfield sees him react to his delusions and hallucinations. Right now in the series, he seems to be having a moment of normalcy, perhaps because he's gone on medication and Garfield hasn't noticed. He seems to have gotten his life together slightly; he's begun dressing normally again (this most recent weekend had Jon wearing a somewhat ratty brown suit, purple shirt and matching checkered tie — it may sound a little unusual, but it's more basic and less eye-burning than his former standard outfit, a yellow plaid jacket, neon green tie, and massive daisy in lapel) and dating Liz. However, this could just be a Hope Spot. Jon's schizophrenia may yet lead to him having a massive freakout that scares even Liz away.
Garfield is telepathic.Garfield is unable to vocalise any of his snarkiness, yet Jon frequently reacts as though he can, in fact, hear him. Garfield also directly adresses the audience, something no other character does, or at least has done in some time.
Garfield can transmit thoughts at willThat's why Jon can sometimes understand what he's "thinking" and sometimes he can't! Of course sometimes Jon just ignores him.
Garfield's beard was part of a plot to build a franken-facial hair using Tycho Brahe's graverobbed moustache.Ambrose Burnside was part of the same project. Fortunately, no suitable eyebrows were around during the decades that the project was— What? The cat? Great, this is JustBugsMe/Cats all over again!
Garfield's father is Heathcliff
Garfield, because of his selfishness and the multiple acts of pettiness against Odie and Jon, was transported by the Dark Powers in the Demi-Plane of RavenloftNow he is the Darklord and prisoner of a tiny domain where he must be alone as a punishment for treating others the way he did.
Garfield is a shinigamiHis lasagna addiction is much like that with Ryuk's apples. Jon carries the Death Note, but doesn't normally use it.
Garfield is a Bakeneko/Nekomata (or at least in the process of becoming one). He meets at least two of the three conditions to become one:
Garfield has left the empty house, moved to Japan, had his mind transferred to a cat robot, and changed his name to Doraemon.
The current Garfield, Odie, Arlene and such in the comic are Generation Xerox.Cats and dogs don't normally live as long as Garfield and his crew have. Ignoring the rule of Comic Book Time for the sake of this theory, at some point, the original cast passed on. Jon, whose sanity is often questionable already, didn't take this well. However, Garfield had gotten together with Arlene at some point (and Odie with some random poodle or other Temporary Love Interest), with the usual results. Jon adopted one of the kittens that looked the most like his father, named him Garfield, and did the same for Odie. He continues to celebrate the wrong birthday and age as part of his ongoing denial over losing the originals. This is also why the strip stopped following the Arlene/Garfield romance, and why Arlene dropped out of the strip for so long. These aren't the original Garfield and Arlene; in fact, this Arlene could actually be this Garfield's younger sister.
Garfield's trimmer looks over the years are a result of a cartoonish trickHe hasn't actually lost any weight, he simply shifted it all to his feet. LOOK AT THEM. They're HUGE nowadays.
Garfield's hatred of Mondays stems from lasagna withdrawal.In one episode of Garfield and Friends, Garfield finds a wishing well and wishes Monday out of existence. It's a standard Be Careful What You Wish For plot, but contains a particularly odd reveal. Jon no longer cooks lasagna for Garfield, because Monday night was lasagna night. This doesn't make a lot of sense, considering how much Garfield hates the day and loves the food, unless you think about it the right way. On Monday morning, Garfield has gone seven mornings without lasagna, and this problem won't be rectified until the end of the day. Cue grumpiness and impatience.
"Doc Boy" is the formal name of Jon's brother.Mentioned by Jon's mother when the three were looking at a photo album.
When he goes on a diet, Garfield is put on drugs by Jon.This may explain why everything appears screwed-up in some of the diet-themed comics.
Part of Binky the Clown's contract is that he must be off his meds during sweeps week
Binky is Pennywise.
Nermal was given to Jon recently.Why else does his recent vists seem to imply that he's part of the household?
What happened to Lyman?
Lyman is LuigiThink about it. They look pretty similar. Lyman has Mario's mustache. And Lyman was last seen in a regular Garfield strip in 1983, the same year that Luigi debuts in Mario Bros.. Coincidence?
Lyman was gay. For Jon. But they weren't a couple.Jon was just a straight, extremely unlucky man, and Lyman eventually moved out , leaving Odie as a sort of Audience Surrogate for himself, since while he couldn't stand to be near but not with Jon, Odie could.
Lyman killed himself.See above for one possibility, but the possible causes are many and varied.
Lyman killed everyone else.And Garfield is the ghost of an already-dead cat "living" in a long abandoned house.
Lyman got a job transfer, and the only city apartment he could afford even on his increased salary was a no-pet complex.Because this page needs some lightening and softening.
Lyman underwent eye surgery and became the Mailman in later comics.Same mustache? Check.
Same physical build? Check.
No appearances together? Check.
Relations to other comics/cartoons/series
Garfield is a Time Lord.His TARDIS is his bed, that's why he can fit Pooky and other things in it without them showing. Garfield being a Time Lord would explain why his appearance has changed so much over the course of the comic strip, he's changed into new forms. The reason why everyone else in the series has changed so much is because Garfield has traveled into a distant past (or future) that has people similar to the other eras that Garfield has visited.
Garfield and Calvin and Hobbes take place in the same universe.The connection is Lyman. He disappears from the strip in 1983, then a few years later reappears in Calvin & Hobbes. Lyman is Calvin's Uncle Max: his full name is Max Lyman. The evidence is that Max◊ and Lyman◊ look the same, and have a similar sartorial taste. The few differences between the two (such as Max's bigger nose) can be explained by different artistic impressions of the same character. Max's hairline has receded somewhat since he was living with Jon, but there are years between his disappearance from Garfield and reappearance in Calvin & Hobbes, so that certainly could've happened. Max being Lyman also explain why he's worried about Calvin's imaginary friend◊, and why he says that all of his friends might've been imaginary too. When he was living Jon, they were caught up in a folie à deux, where they imagined their cat and dog were acting like human beings. Max realized he had to break away from this fantasy, but Jon, being the more infantile of the two, couldn't do the same. Max realized he had no choice but leave: that's why he disappeared so suddenly from Garfield and left Odie behind. His past history explains his comment about imaginary friends (he's referring to Garfield an Odie), as well as why he thinks Calvin having an imaginary friend might not be healthy for him.
Jon is Witted.
Since, according to one strip, the day Jon brought Garfield, he had to choose between him or an iguana...
The last strip of GarfieldThe finale will consist of Jon letting an older Garfield live in the same Italian restaurant (where he was born in) with other stray cats, before living his final bachelor days with Dr Liz, being Happily Married. That concludes the strip.
Garfield hates raisins because he ate rabbit poop at one point.It's made apparent in Garfield and Friends that he hates raisins. Rabbit and other rodent poop look like raisins, so that makes sense why he strays away from them.
Jim Davis is winding up the strip.Think on it. This used to be one of the Status Quo Is God strips, when it came to Jon's love life. Now suddenly he's dating the woman of his dreams? The strip is ending. And it will end when Jon and Liz get engaged or married. Note: this comic did what the author intended it to do. And it has been in print for approximately thirty years. He's not doing it for the art; this won't be a 10-Minute Retirement.