Everyone’s lovable ginger cat, Garfield, is celebrating his 35th birthday today. The lasagne loving grump that made no apologies for his hate of Mondays made his first ever appearance exactly 35 years ago in 1978, with a spot in 41 newspapers.
The familiar ginger tabby that has undoubtedly caused numerous cat owners around the world to name their new family pets after him was first created by Jim Davis after an editor alleged told him that his comic strip, Gnorm Gnat, was brilliant apart from the bugs.
This then seems to have led the cartoonist to settle for a feline character to try to steal the comic strip limelight. According to an interview with Davis, he claimed he decided to create a main cat character after noticing that the majority of animal comic strip figures around that time were dogs.
Whether that’s a true depiction of events or a simplified version we’ll never really know; however, whatever the reason for changing his subject matter from bugs to a fat cuddly cat, it worked.
This love for the grumpy pussycat has steadily helped Garfield become one of the most syndicated comics in the world, with a staggering total of 2,500 publications.
This wide acclaim has left Davis with a brand that is nearly worth £1 billion, which definitely isn’t a sum of a money to be sniffed at.
In addition to this success and the continuation of the ginger cat making appearances in Jim Davis’s comic, Garfield has also become a well-known TV and feature-film star. Needless to say, whatever form the cuddly pussycat takes, the opinionated puss looks set to be around for many more years.
It only seems five minutes ago that Davis was drawing a special birthday strip in celebration of Garfield’s 30th birthday, yet here we all are five years down the line and celebrating another landmark stage in his career. No doubt when this comic strip reaches its 70th anniversary, Google will celebrate with Garfield and have an interactive homepage.
Happy birthday, Garfield! We hope that, whatever you’re doing to celebrate, you’re having a good time. See you in another five years time for the big four zero.
[Image via The Telegraph]