It’s the 35th anniversary
of everyone's favorite chubby cartoon cat, Garfield! Every day, Jim Davis' beloved, lasagna-scarfing feline stars in thousands of newspapers around the
world, but did you know that Davis considered (and ultimately rejected) a
handful of other main characters before coming up with the cat that stole
1. A Fat Italian Man
A fat Italian man named Tony was originally Jon Arbuckle's roommate, but after some trial and error, Jim Davis finally arrived at the tubby tabby Garfield, retaining the original character’s now-notorious love of lasagna.
2. A Pencil Sharpener
The expensive pencil sharpener that occupied the Garfield
role early on represented a coveted object that, at the time, Jim Davis could
not afford, and was also a harrowing examination of his deepest psychosexual
fears. It was ultimately rejected because Davis didn't feel audiences would
believe the sharpener truly hated Mondays.
3. A Sexy Maid
The mischievous orange cat we’re all familiar with was originally slated to be a sexy live-in maid named Lisa; though Davis felt this version of the strip would have been popular, her upbeat, sensual presence only served to highlight the incredibly depressing nature of the rest of the fictional world.
3. A Contact Lens
According to Davis: “Back in the ’70s, I was weighing the pros and cons of glasses versus contacts and whether my relatively minor prescription really justified contact lenses. I thought Garfield could be a giant contact lens, but I couldn’t decide between hard or soft, so I ultimately went with a cat.”
5. A Cat With Huge Penis
Few are aware of the huge influence counterculture comics artist Robert Crumb had on Davis’ work, in particular Crumb’s often pornographic Fritz The Cat, which inspired Davis to initially give Garfield a large phallus.
Say Goodbye to a Store, a Couple Florists, a Human Statue, Some Raccoons, Your Innocence, a Domino’s Pizza, and Your Wife and Kids.12/02/2013
This Is Your Last Week Before Realizing You Are Nothing but a Pawn in Someone Else’s Mysterious Game11/11/2013