A while ago I stumbled upon (or was shown, I can’t quite remember) an website by the name of Garfield minus Garfield. Now if you’re like me, you always read Garfield when flipping through the news paper. In fact I rarely read any of the other strips. As a kid I had a few of Jim Davis’s Garfield books on my shelf, and always enjoyed reading them. However, I will admit that as I grew older my mind began to numb to much of the humour in your average everyday Garfield strip. This site has reignited the passion that I once had for this comic strip and you should all check it out!
Quite an accurate description is already provided on the main page of the site and I choose not to paraphrase:
Garfield Minus Garfield is a site dedicated to removing Garfield from the Garfield comic strips in order to reveal the existential angst of a certain young Mr. Jon Arbuckle. It is a journey deep into the mind of an isolated young everyman as he fights a losing battle against loneliness and depression in a quiet American suburb.
It is quite an interesting premise. Jon Arbuckle is already a pretty depressing character who spends most of his days confiding in his pets. With the pets and other characters taken out of the picture we begin to really understand Mr. Arbuckle, and perhaps we see a little bit of ourselves in those lonely eyes. It’s both disturbing and comforting at the same time. Comforting in the fact that we are not alone.
This site is genius. It reminds us that the human mind can be a vulnerable thing, and all of us could end up in the same state as Mr. Arbuckle. If we can’t laugh at our own vulnerabilities, then what can we laugh at?