In a World… where Garfield never existed, one man imagines that he does.
Garfield Minus Garfield is a strip adapted by Dan Walsh from selected Garfield strips. In this edited version, Jon is the only main character; all other main or non-essential cast (and their associated dialogue) have been removed. However, Jon still behaves as though they, most often Garfield, were there.
Garfield Minus Garfield has been published in a book, which contains the original strips alongside their "Minused" versions, as well as a foreword by Garfield creator Jim Davis (who not only openly approved of the concept, but made several "Minused" strips for the book).
Other people have made edits to Garfield strips, these edits including, but not limited to: putting random Garfield panels together; Silent Garfield, which removes all thought balloons; Realfield, similar to Silent Garfield and also replaces Garfield with a photo-realistic cat drawing; and Garfield As Garfield, which replaces Garfield with the 20th President of the United States, James A. Garfield. These predate Garfield Minus Garfield by a few years. Dan Walsh admitted he was not the first to come up with the idea of editing the strip or removing Garfield entirely, but he was the first to put the edits on one site as opposed to assorted forums and imageboards, and so got the most attention.
Garfield Minus Garfield provides examples of:
- Adaptational Angst Upgrade: By removing the main character, Jim Davis' work becomes a masterpiece of existential angst.
- Affectionate Parody: The creator has said that he loves the original comic, so it's definitely affectionate.
- Alternative Character Interpretation: The point of the comic is to show how sad, pathetic, and most likely psychotic Jon appears if he is just viewed a little differently. For example.
- Animated Adaptation:
- Anti-Humor: One strip has Jon throwing a carrot to Garfield, with the latter then using it to bait rabbits. The edited version? Jon... throws a carrot.
- Aside Glance: Jon seems to do a very bitter aside glance after saying something optimistic that he doesn't truly believe. A typical example.
- Beat Panel: With Garfield gone, a lot of panels are left empty, or at the very least include no action or dialogue. This works surprisingly well. A variation of this involves a single panel of Jon doing something zany or eccentric, surrounded by two empty panels. Oddly enough, the empty panels make it funnier.
- Black Comedy: With the titular sarcastic cat removed, the comic becomes a depressingly realistic portrayal of a lonely man's pathetically empty lifestyle, all of it Played for Laughs.
- Black Comedy Burst: The end of the above Thanksgiving edit. Jon realizes that Liz put him on a diet, goes crazy and kills Liz with a chainsaw (although offscreen), and then it goes back to more Jon talking to non-existent pets.
- Body Horror: Are knees supposed to bend this way?
- Breaking the Fourth Wall:
- Captain Obvious: In this strip. Happens a lot given that Jon is no longer actually speaking to anyone.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Jon also becomes even more of one of these without Garfield. For example.
- Crapsack Life: Jon's life is portrayed as lonely and aimless.
- Darker and Edgier: It's amazing how much the presence of Garfield lightened up everything. It's disturbingly sad without him. Very much so with the proper background music.
- Dark Parody: Because Garfield isn't there, it seems as though Jon is depressed or insane because he's talking to no one.
- Deconstructive Parody: The series as a whole is a deconstruction of its source material, but it's a Deconstructive Parody because it's played for laughs and is a parody of the original. Seeing as Word of God apparently stated that Garfield never talked in the comic this highlights just how much of a wreck Jon really is.
- Dissonant Serenity: "Ever hear one of those voices inside you?"
- Driven to Suicide: This one.
- Early-Installment Weirdness: Several early edits went beyond removing Garfield from the strip. One early edit outright changed Jon's dialogue (from "boredom" to "noise"). Another edit replaced the last row of panels with Jon bursting into tears.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: As one may conclude from the title, the comic consists of Garfield strips changed so that the titular cat is absent.
- Food as Bribe: Jon sometimes puts food on the table for what he believes to be God. At least, that's what it looks like when Garfield is removed from the strip.
- Genre Shift: It's amazing how deleting Garfield from the strip immediately changes a comedy into a commentary of one man's losing battle with isolation and depression in suburban America.
- Hope Spot: While most strips featuring an upbeat Jon ruin his mood by having something bad happening to him off-screen, this strip averts the trend.
- Madness Mantra: As seen here, "lonely".
- Minimalist Cast: Jon is literally the only character, with Garfield, Odie and Liz removed. Other minor characters appear occasionally, however - an "imaginary friend" that first appeared here can serve as the only possible explanation for strips like this.
- Mood-Swinger: Jon. And how!
- Parody Assistance: Jim Davis not only approved of GMG, but has even produced several new strips himself.
- Sanity Slippage: Some of the comics in the video compilation linked in the YMMV tab show that Jon is slowly going mad. Examples include smushing ice cream cones into his face, dressing up for a date... that's in three weeks, jumping in the streets dressed as a pink clown, chasing cars in the manner of dogs, breaking down sobbing at the most random times, Madness Speak, and, finally, being sent to a Mental Hospital.
- Shout-Out: In Pearls Before Swine here and here.
- Take That!: Some of the more... high-brow comics aficionados out there initially (and approvingly) viewed the strip as being this to Jim Davis, who often gets dismissed as "uncouth" and as a sell-out in such circles. Then, the author clarified that he loves the original comics, which made said aficionados shut up for the most part. Jim Davis himself incidentally loves these remakes enough to have allowed them to be printed in a book form.
- You Bastard!: "I told about that terrible thing you did." Jon then glares menacingly at the reader.