Review by Booklist Review
Garfield devotee Walsh started expunging the wisecracking feline from Davis' strip early this year and posting it online. Within days, the site was getting half-a-million hits, and Walsh was sweating possible legal repercussions. Fortunately, when a journalist asked Davis for his reaction, the cartoonist (who adds his own erased Garfields to Walsh's herein) thanked Walsh for opening his eyes to another side of his creation. What Walsh did was get literal. He realized that Garfield's clueless-bachelor master, Jon, is talking to himself. A cat can't speak. So dump the thought balloons, dump the sounding board the cat represents, and see what Jon is really expressing: the pathos of a socially inept, extremely lonely young man, who desperately tries to divert himself with stupid antics, such as putting a plunger on his face, and talking to himself. It would be, it is, all too sad. Also very differently funny than regular Garfield, especially when Jon collapses in tears in the last panel. The perfect complement to Garfield: 30 Years of Laughs and Lasagna (2008).--Olson, Ray Copyright 2008 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
In an act that should qualify him for the "brilliant editors" hall of fame, Dan Walsh discovered that if all traces of Jim Davis's lazy, lasagna-scarfing cat were expunged from his own comic strip, Garfield became a funnier, much darker series, about a desperately lonely, self-loathing man's existential despair. Walsh started posting his altered strips at garfieldminusgarfield.net. And in an act that definitely qualifies him for the "good sport" hall of fame, Davis not only didn't sue him but approved of the project. This collection of the best de-Garfielded strips prints Walsh's altered cartoons next to Davis's originals; Davis even throws in a couple dozen Garfield-minus-Garfield strips he's done himself. Interestingly, Davis's stabs at the concept are mostly just gags about Garfield's owner, Jon Arbuckle. The gist of Walsh's approach, on the other hand, is to completely alter Davis's jokes-a strip in which Garfield displays a single hair, announces "this is all I'll be shedding today" and marches off before Jon delivers a punch line, after Walsh gets through with it, becomes two panels of Jon silently glancing around before haplessly declaring, "I dread tomorrow." If Samuel Beckett had been a strip cartoonist, he might've produced something like this. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved