Friday, September 20, 2013

What Lurks in the Longbox? #42 - Garfield #17

Garfield #17
KaBOOM! Studios
$3.99, Color, 27 pgs.
Writers: Mark Evanier, Scott Nickel
Artists: Andy Hirsch, David Degrand

Garfield has been a familiar sight in newspapers since its premiere back in 1978.  From the very start, the title character had a slightly "edgy" quality to him, and could even be considered a precursor to Bucky Katt, one of the main characters of the popular comic strip Get Fuzzy.  Over the past few decades, Garfield's adventures have usually centered around the most important aspects of his life:  eating lasagna, sleeping, and persecuting his hapless dog Odie.

However, when The Garfield Show first aired on the France 3 Network in 2008, it moved the character to the next level.  It was like giving the famed pussycat a much larger budget than he ever had in his comic strip adventures.  The animated series has featured everything from alien invasions to time travel to parallel universes. 

The monthly Garfield comic from KaBoom! (Boom Studios' kid-friendly line of comics) continues in the same vein as the animated series.  Helmed by Mark Evanier (who wrote many of the series' episodes) and artist Andy Hirsch, the stories are fun, entertaining and faithful to the character.  Long time strip collaborator Gary Barker has contributed some great covers, and the series has also featured variant covers by artists such as Al Jaffee and Fred Hembeck.

This issue starts with "Time and Time Again," in which Garfield manipulates a cat from the future to continuously return him 25 minutes into the past, so that he can eat the same five (gradually increasing to ten and twenty) pizzas over and over again.  Unfortunately, Garfield's selfishness results in the future feline attempting to remove all of his favorite Italian dishes from the present time period.  Therefore, Garfield is faced with the quandary of how to save the present...from the future. 

The second story, "Taste of Italy," features guest art by David Degrand, who draws Garfield in a style very similar to how he appeared in the early days of the comic strip.  Garfield's attempt to sneak into a food fair is complicated by a mad scientist and yet another bizarre mutation, this one created from a giant calzone.  This time it's up to Odie to save the day.

This issue also includes a couple bonus features: Sunday Classics, and a feature called "The Best Things in Life are Edible," a series of single panel comics with humorous captions for each one.

Garfield is continuously entertaining, witty and just plain fun to read.  It's a true "all ages" title that can be enjoyed by anyone with a funny bone!