Garfield the cartoon cat turns 40

Garfield, the lasagne-loving, Monday-hating cartoon cat, is celebrating his big 4-0 this year.

Garfield was “born” on June 19, 1978 when he appeared in the comic sections of newspapers in North America for the first time. Garfield’s creator Jim Davis, who grew up with 25 cats, decided to step away from the dominant dog comic market and introduced a cat, who is now read by 200 million people daily.

Garfield gained popularity around the world for his laziness — an attitude that resonates with fans all over the world. “I think deep down inside there’s a little Garfield in all of us,” Davis told the Economic Times. “I’m an optimist, but even so, we all have days where we just want to crawl back under the covers and go to sleep.”

But despite Garfield’s reluctance to work, he has become one of the wealthiest cats in the world! With his cartoons widely syndicated around the world and his millions of merchandise, the orange feline pulls in an estimated $750 million to $1 billion a year.

Jim Davis, who incidentally marked his 73rd birthday on July 28 this year, shared his thoughts with the Economic Times on how Garfield would spend his net worth of $800 million.

“Garfield would be showy and ostentatious with wealth. He’d have a Gucci scratching post, a full-time chef specialising in Italian food, a refrigerator in every room, a bodyguard to rough up neighbourhood dogs — and that’s just for starters.”

For 40 years Garfield has warmed the hearts of audiences across the world for his ability to communicate the struggles of everyday life. Davis told the South China Morning Post, more often than not, when you laugh with Garfield, it’s because you’re saying, ‘Isn’t that true?’.

Garfield’s milestone birthday has been celebrated in various ways across the world this year. A few events of note include a celebratory art exhibition “Glamorous 40: Garfield’s Art Asia Tour” and the launch of a new book, Age Happens: Garfield Hits the Big 4-0.

Garfield also celebrated in style in Japan by setting a new record. During a live broadcast, a Garfield mascot teamed up with 25 high school students so that he could take on the Guinness World Records’ title for Most high fives given by a mascot in one minute.

Source: Economic Times, South China Morning Post