file this under: "nostalgia, reappropriation of".
i remember being in elementary school and going to those scholastic book sales and going through those biographies of wayne gretzky, magic johnson, emmitt smith, etc. for god knows how long only to end up getting another garfield fat pack, which, for those of you who don't know, were giant anthologies of garfield comics in somewhat chronological order. i kind of think that the influence of garfield on me is analogous to a college sophomore reading nietzsche and sartre for the first time and suddenly getting all sarcastic and cynical about existence. yeah, garfield had that impact on me, except, you know, i was eight.
if you combine the whole "existentialism for beginners" thing with the whole garfield thing, you get garfield minus garfield, a website where they've taken garfield comic strips and taken out that lovable cat. the description from the site sums it up much better than i ever could, so i'll just quote it here:
Who would have guessed that when you remove Garfield from the Garfield comic strips, the result is an even better comic about schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and the empty desperation of modern life? Friends, meet Jon Arbuckle. Let’s laugh and learn with him on a journey deep into the tortured mind of an isolated young everyman as he fights a losing battle against loneliness in a quiet American suburb.
it's like reading camus' the stranger, but it only takes three panels to get the same effect.