Thursday, March 02, 2006

"You say it best, when you say nothing at all..."

Glory be (and yet, apologies for that nauseating lyric-checking there... but anyway). So there are others who feel Garfield is neither entirely the goofy, unfunny schlock suggested by the recent movie and merchandise, nor any longer quite the gleeful yuckfest it used to be, back throughout the 1980s and 1990s when no, but no self-respecting bathroom was complete without at least one 'Fat-Pack' collection on the, er, shelves...
And yet while his big-money recent transfer from the ailing Express to the rapacious Mail was heartening (even at his lazy worst, Garfield doesn't really deserve to share newspring with that deathly-stultifying Rupert The Bear...), there are only so many ham-fisted lazy lasagna/spider/Odie-kicking single-sceners to be tolerated these days...
So hurrah for the ingenious fellow who seems to have devised a way to make Garfield funny again. Entirely unexpectedly, and oddly - and merely by removing every speech bubble issuing from Garfield himself.
And suddenly, the strip isn't about a sarcastic cat, but a poignantly-yet-pathetically deluded cat-owner.
The stomach-winding punchline comes from Garfield's silent reaction. Suddenly the ladling-on of emphasis, in the form of a caustic pay-off, would simply seem gratuitous.
Genius, strangely, somehow...
And I haven't even mentioned the Garfield Randomizer either...

On an entirely different literary note, I've just begun reading Roy Greenslade's modern media history tome, Press Gang: How Newspapers Make Profits From Propaganda.
It's not quite a side-splitting, rip-roarer of an entertainment, but seems full of intriguing nuggets about the larger-than-life 20th century Press barons.
This paragraph, about the late-1940s fallout over newsprint rationing, did seem rather unfortunately amusing, however:

Despite some relaxation, newsprint was to be the last commodity subjected to rationing. A frustrated 'Times', couching its arguments in the familiar guise of it being a threat to press freedom, argued: 'The Press should have been at the head of the list for freedom, not at the tail... It is time for the Government to show that they no longer rate the service of public opinion so far behind the enjoyment of tobacco, sweets and Hollywood films.'
So upset was its owner, Lord Astor, that he circumvented the rationing edict by agreeing to buy paper from a British mill which, due to its better quality, was not classified as newsprint. It cost almost a fifth more than newsprint but the paper took the risk and dropped out of the industry's newsprint pool.
It was a disastrous ploy. Soon after terms were agreed, rationing ended and 'The Times' was obliged to pay 20 per cent more than the rest of Fleet Street for its paper for the next twenty years."


Oops... He really, really should have said nothing at all...

7 comments:

Adam said...

For all I care, they can remove every single trace of a speech bubble floating above Garfield's head, but I'd be surely dispirited if they've replaced Odie with a budgie, or removed him all together.

ACT said...

Perhaps this would be a better option, if a bit harsh.

http://www.andertoons.com/images/blog/KelleyGarfieldLarge.jpg

act said...

The end of that should be
KelleyGarfieldLarge.jpg

Aidan said...

Woh woh woh, have recent world events not taught people to be careful when publishing controversial cartoons! I don't want to provoke, say, the Cats Protection League into torching this, er, blog...

Dr. Deborah Serani said...

I like this post. Especially the media and news comments. Some time ago, I presented a paper at the American Psych Association on a subject like the book. It was about fear-based media and the psychological effects it has on its audience.

Happy weekend to you.

~Deb

Paulie said...

Off topic - hey AKR, I've sent you an e-mail about an idea I had for Barnet bloggers - but it keeps bouncing. Could you e-mail me an address that works?

My e-mail is pauliewaulie@gmail.com

(delete this comment if you like?)

overnighteditor said...

Is bringing Barnet Bloggers together a good idea?