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Sunday is Garfield the Cat Day

Posted on June 15, 2016 by Fancy Dress Ball

GARFIELD

This Sunday is Garfield the Cat Day. In fact, June 19th is actually Garfield’s birthday – since the first Garfield comic strip appeared on June 19th, 1978. In fact, you can see that comic strip here. The lazy, fat, cynical ginger cat with a love for lasagne and coffee is beloved by thousands the world over. In honour of his birthday, here are some things you may not know about him…

  • Garfield was born on June 19th 1978, in the kitchen of Mamma Leoni’s Italian Restaurant, weighing 5lbs and 6 ounces. The owner of Mamma Leoni’s soon had to choose between getting rid of Garfield and closing down his restaurant from lack of pasta, after Garfield began to eat all the lasagne he could get his paws on.  Garfield was sold to a pet shop.
  • On Garfield’s 25th anniversary in 2003, several strips were featured with him interacting with the version of him from 1978.
  • Creator Jim Davis named Garfield after his grandfather, James Garfield Davis who himself was named after US President James A. Garfield. Garfield’s grumpy attitude also came from Jim Davis’s grandfather, who he described as ” a large, cantankerous man.”
  • At an amusement park in Pennsylvania called Kennywood, there is a “Garfield’s Nightmare” ride which was created with input from Jim Davis.
  • Garfield is the world’s most syndicated comic strip.
  • In Sweden Garfield is called Gustav.
  • There are 11 Garfield comic strip books, and every one has been a New York Times number one bestseller. In fact, Garfield at Large was number one for two solid years. They had to change the way the bestseller list was compiled because other publishers were complaining that their authors couldn’t get a look in!
  • Jim Davis originally intended the comic strip to focus on Jon, but several agencies asked him to focus on Garfield instead.
  • In the very first cartoon strip, Jon Arbuckle is a cartoonist, but that’s never mentioned again.
  • The comic strip is set in Jim Davis’ home town of Muncie, Indiana.
  • Jim Davis maintains control over Garfield’s final product, but he no longer draws the comic strip.
  • In the 1990s there was a famous Garfield Stuck On You cuddly toy with suction cups on the paws – but Jim Davis originally designed it with velcro on the paws, with the idea that it would be stuck to curtains. The suction cup design was a mistake.
  • In 2011 there was a full length stage musical called Garfield Live in Muncie, Indiana.
  • Our favourite piece of Garfield trivia: from 1982 to 1994, Garfield was voiced by Lorenzo Music. Lorenzo Music also voiced Peter Venkman in the Real Ghostbusters cartoon. Peter Venkman was played by Bill Murray in the Ghostbusters movie, and Murray also voiced Garfield in the 2004 movie.

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