Garfield creator Jim Davis apologizes for Veterans Day strip

Fan art depicting Garfield and Odie playing in a pile of leaves.

Jim Davis wishes his syndicator had paid more attention. (Photo Credit: CC BY-SA/Gisela Giardino/Flickr)

Veterans’ Day is set aside for solemn remembrance of the sacrifices the men and women of the Armed Forces have made for their country. “Garfield” comic strip creator Jim Davis had no intention of besmirching this year’s celebration, but his syndication network wasn’t quite so aware, reports CNN. The Nov. 11 “Garfield” strip that Jim Davis’ syndicator chose to run was deemed offensive to the memory of veterans.

Jim Davis doesn’t advocate celebrating squished veterans

The “Garfield” strip for which Jim Davis has issued an apology wouldn’t have needed any attention at all if it had run on a day other than Veterans’ Day. It was simply a case of unintentionally bad timing, splashed across the pages of newspapers nationwide. In the offending cartoon, Garfield threatens a spider with a rolled-up newspaper. The spider makes an impassioned statement regarding the path to immortality:

“If you squish me, I shall become famous! They will hold an annual day of remembrance in my honor, you fat slob.”

The implication is that Garfield squishes the spider anyway. In the last panel, a teacher spider presiding over a class of little spiders asks the question “Does anyone here know why we celebrate ‘National Stupid Day?’”

‘The worst timing ever’

That’s what Jim Davis said in reference to that strip running on Veterans Day. However, he pointed out in a statement to friends, fans and veterans that the strip has no literal connection to Veterans Day. That, and the strip was actually created nearly a year ago.

“I do not use a calendar that lists holidays and other notable days, so when this strip was put in the queue, I had no idea it would run on Veterans Day,” Davis said.

Considering that Jim Davis’ brother served in Vietnam and his son performed tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, it seems unlikely that Davis would take a dim view of Veterans’ Day.

‘Garfield’ is the most widely syndicated comic strip in the world

In 2002, the “Guinness Book of World Records” declared “Garfield” the “most widely syndicated comic strip in the world.” Garfield the cat is a pop culture icon is books, movies and countless merchandise.


Jim Davis on the process of making the fat cat

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