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Challenging new reading of Garfield reframes canonical "anti-Mondays" stance

Photo: Steve Parsons - PA Images/Getty Images

Maybe it’s nostalgia. Maybe it’s Jim Davis’ warm, rounded illustrations. Or, hey, maybe it’s our mutual love of lasagna. But Garfield the cat has not only come to stand at the intersection of a fertile litter of online debate, but he’s also ensured that these inquiries, no matter how crude, are explored with a wealth of respect that’s all too rare in the digital age. Previously, the Garfield comic strip has ignited discussions of mental illness and impermanence, gender identity, and, well, dog semen, but in the process all parties seems to emerge with a deeper sense of empathy and goodwill towards their fellow felines.

The same goes with the latest turn in Garfield’s long, fruitful life. Twitter user @JamColley posited the latest exploration, which dissects Garfield’s long-standing distaste for Mondays with an empathetic eye.


The sentiment was previously expressed, to less fanfare, by Jennifer Wright:

It’s a sweet interpretation, one that falls in line with the tender heart hidden beneath all that orange fur and performative cynicism (who else gets misty at the Garfield Christmas special?). But, still, is the observation unfounded considering what we know about the Garfield universe? Colley’s conversation continued.


Unfortunately, no amount of suspension of disbelief can conquer stone cold facts.


So perhaps the answer is more complicated than we thought. Maybe Garfield, like many animals, is simply affected by the emotional energy of his owner, and, as such, has absorbed Jon’s own hatred of Mondays. Jon might be a cartoonist, but as anyone who does what they love for a living will tell you, a job is always a job.


Or maybe it’s even more complex, as @DuckingGreyDuck supposes. Could Garfield share some sort of cosmic connection with his namesake?


As with all Garfield debates, the definitive answer can come from no one but Davis himself, who we’re sure will be thrilled to again be called upon to settle a debate he never once in a million years thought anyone would be bored enough to start.

Send Great Job, Internet tips to gji@theonion.com


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About the author

Randall Colburn

Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.