August 16, 2020

Garfield: Light And Dark At The Same Time

Garfield

Garfield. He’s one of my all-time favorite characters. The lazy, sarcastic and unmotivated cat that loves naps and lasagna. I actually fell in love with Garfield when I was a kid. And to be honest, that orange cat holds a special nostalgic place in my childhood memories.

But when I found out that we have Garfield Kart – Furious Racing on sale here at IndieGala, I just knew that I have to write about it. To be honest, I love writing about comic book characters. The Avengers post was a great topic for me, and so were Asterix And Obelix. Another childhood favorites as well. But for now, I have Garfield on my agenda, and for this particular topic, I’ve decided to go on a different path. Sure, talking about the Garfield movies is great. There are several of them.

I do that pretty much all the time here, and I love it. But Instead of presenting different tales about this character I’d shake things up and make things interesting. So what do you say? I’m on board, to be honest. It’s good to get out of the comfort zone for a moment, don’t you think?

Video Game

But before I go any further with this post, I feel that it’s my imperative action to mention the game itself. Garfield Kart – Furious Racing.

Garfield Kart: What’s the game all about?

As the title would suggest, this is a family-oriented game that has racing and the lovable characters of the franchise. Garfield is back to take on Jon, Odie and company in a no-holds-barred racing game!

You get to choose which character you’re playing with and kart of course. So you can quickly get off the starting line first and control skids to outrun your opponents.  But that’s not it. You can use crazy bonus objects, like the Pillow or the Magic Wand. Why? Well to gain an edge and get over the finishing line first of course. Are you lazy like Garfield the cat?  You can also take shortcuts to overtake the other racers and win the race! With up to eight available players and on 16 iconic circuits from the world of Garfield, it’s hella fun game to play.

Garfield

Garfield: Bill Murray’s Journey To The Character Is Iconic!

Let’s start on a positive note. Instead of discussing the movie piece by piece I thought to share an interesting story about the movie itself. A story on how the one and only Bill Murray came to be in the movie. And not only in the movie, but the voice of Garfield as well. As you may know, Garfield: The Movie was released in 2004. I had Breckin Meyer in the role of Jon Arbuckle, Jennifer Love Hewitt in the role of Liz Wilson and Bill Murray in the role of Garfield.

But how did Bill end up in this movie? Well, you have  Joel Coen to thank for that. No, not that Joel Coen. Let me explain. When Bill Murray signed on to voice the role of Garfield, he thought that one of the screen-writers was Joel Coen. One half of the iconic Coen Brothers. Since he always wanted to work with them, he signed on. It wasn’t until the recording process began (when he was in the sound booth) that he realized that it’s not the same Joel Coen. This is Joel Coen- the Oscar-nominated screenwriter behind Toy Story. Different dude!

It’s A Different Joel Coen!

„I thought it would be kind of fun, because doing a voice is challenging, and I’d never done that. Plus, I looked at the script, and it said, “So-and-so and Joel Coen.” And I thought: Christ, well, I love those Coens! They’re funny. So I sorta read a few pages of it and thought, Yeah, I’d like to do that.“ Murray explained in an interview.

So, you can safely say that Bill Murray doesn’t do his background checks properly and that he mixed up the Joel Coen with another Joel Cohen! I loved that indeed. Even in the movie Zombieland, the „zombie“ Bill Murray said that one of his regrets in doing this movie. Hey, Jack Nicholson was one of the original casting choices, so I applaud Murray for actually doing it. Regardless of what your opinion of the movie is. I liked it, and so did Roger Ebert who called the movie „charming“ in his review.

That cat has a dark side too!

If you’re looking for examples of Garfield’s dark side, look no further than the October 1989 published series of comic strips. These particular strips lacked the usual lighthearted humor and predictable behavior of the main characters. However, what the fans got in the finished product was scary and downright terrifying. The cat in this particular set of strips awakens to find out that Jon has disappeared. And when Jon does appear, he’s nothing more than a hallucination, and a fragment of his imagination. The comic book’s creator Jim Davis later said he did it as an homage to Halloween and the universal fear of being alone. But it is still interpreted to this day (the comic is open to interpretation) but I suggest staying clear from the conspiracy theories. However, it is still a frightening piece of art nonetheless.

Garfield

Garfield Minus Garfield

If you’re particularly interested in an alternative version of the comic book, then make sure to check out Garfield Minus Garfield. A web-comic created by Dan Walsh in which each strip consists of a reprint of a past episode from the comic strip Garfield. But instead of having all the characters, only Jon the owner of the pets is featured. The strips appear as Jon is talking to himself.

  • Garfield

But if you’re feeling particularly adventurous to go down the rabbit hole, make sure to check out Garfield: His 9 Lives. It’s a 1984 book of illustrated short stories about Garfield’s 9 lives. All told by Jim Davis and a variety of guest authors/artists. Because he’s a cat and cats have 9 lives… Get it? However, the book was later adapted into an animated television special in 1988, and some of those stories are disturbing, to say the least. Even Seth McFarland noted some of the weird and disturbing content in one episode of Family Guy. You don’t believe me? Check out the video clip of that episode. Oh, the 80’s! When this type of content was considered a kid-friendly material.

But this is just a fraction of the depressing and dark content that is made with Garfield’s character. What’s your particular favorite? Are you a fan of the original comic book strips? Or the movie is your pick? Tell us in the comment section. We’d love to know.

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