It’s Garfield’s 40th Birthday! See 5 of His Classic Comics (Including the First Sunday Strip)

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Garfield the cat is one of the most loving comic characters of all time. Who could forget the lasagna-loving cat and its striking ginger color? Garfield turns 40 this year – it was created in 1978 by artist Jim Davis. In only a few years, Davis’ creation become a hit and the popularity only rose from there. By 2002, Garfield appeared in more than 2000 papers and had more than 200 million fans worldwide, which is actually a Guinness World Record for most sindicated comic strip. Garfield made nearly a billion dollars in merchandise each year, which shows how big a cultural phenomenon it became.

We all love Garfield because we can connect to the cat – he hates Mondays and loves lasagna and being lazy. On his quest to laziness, he’s joined by perennial characters such as Odie the dog, his owner Jon Arbuckle, Arline, and Nermal – his cat nemesis.

Jim Davis always loved cats – he grew up on a farm in rural Indiana surrounded by dozens. The cat was named after his grandfather. Garfield’s downbeat mood is what made him a cultural phenomenon. His gluttony and mild misanthropy are recognizable traits for a big part of the world’s population, which made us love the cat so much. According to experts, Davis was aware of our fascination with cats and their self-centered point of view. If we had to link him with a current phenomenon, we’d link him to Grumpy Cat.

In the early 1980s, Garfield arrived at the TV screens and later appeared in two movies as well. Over time, the cat became an American icon and is still going strong. Davis is still plotting the panels, but the drawing duties have been left to others. In our honest opinion, he’ll never stop being interesting to the public.