Tuesday, February 03, 2009

My Newest Favorite Thing

So I was recently told about a website that takes Garfield comics and takes Garfield out of them (here), only leaving Jon. It didn't sound that great at first, until I came upon some similar to these:

The site says:

"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."

I have to say that this is the funniest thing I've seen in a long time. From the original Garfield comic, which I thought was amusing in itself, a totally new and different type of humor has emerged. And it's more than just these particular comics that bring me humor, because I don't think they have everything that they have without my knowledge of the previous Garfield comics. In fact, I would even say that they have nothing without their roots from the original comic. I also have to say that it must have been interesting how someone decided to take Garfield out, and then decide that this was funny. I read further and Jim Davis gives complete permission and encourages Garfield minus Garfield so that his readers can see another side of Garfield.

I am reminded of music being "sampled" by all of this, in that a new artist takes an existing song and changes it in some way to make something different, often with a completely different meaning from its original. In this case, the original is obviously being changed, and even though something is extracted from it instead of something being changed or added, I still feel that falls in the same category as sampling. Someone has used their own creativity to change the meaning of an existing media and has created something else to think about and enjoy. I then wonder what other writing could be sampled. Images, I've seen that, but I couldn't think of any other medias that compare to this type of sampling where copy is involved (if I do think of any I'll update this post, or if you have input, please comment). I'm a huge fan of this comic, and I hate to say it but it's about 4 times better than the original Garfield, in my opinion.

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