Follow TV Tropes


Comic Strip / Heathcliff

Go To

A long-running Newspaper Comic begun in 1973 by George Gately. He helmed it until his 2001 death, when his nephew, Peter Gallagher (not to be confused with the actor with the same name) took over. The strip's title character is a fat orange cat owned by the Nutmeg family — an elderly woman, her husband, and their grandson Iggy. Not unlike Garfield, Heathcliff is a wisecracking, fat, orange cat who gets into all sorts of mischief.

At least... that's how it started.

In recent years the comic has become so unabashedly bizarre that people often refer to it as one of the weirdest comics on the internet - a label that Gallagher himself considers "high praise". Riddled with Anti-Humor, Dada, and pure surrealist oddity, explaining Heathcliff has become almost impossible. Understanding Heathcliff is like grasping the eternal Tao. There is a "Garbage Ape" that the local cats revere. His existence is never explained. Heathcliff often wears helmets with words on them that underscore a present desire (eg, "Ham", "Gravy", "Meat", "Omega-3's"). This is never explained. The last week in January, 2021, alternated between two punchlines over five days. The deeper you delve into the comic, the odder it gets, and rarely if ever does the reader get an explanation.

The strip is also notable in that it had two cartoons based on it. The first, in 1980, was produced by Ruby-Spears and (in the second season) was paired up with an animated adaptation of Marmaduke. The second and more familiar one, produced by DIC Entertainment, came in 1984, paired with the Catillac Cats. Heathcliff became renowned as one of iconic voice actor Mel Blanc's final original roles, voicing him in both cartoons.

A film adaptation was planned for 2011 but never got off the ground.

For more information on the second cartoon, see Heathcliff & the Catillac Cats.

Tropes present in the strip: