On this day in 1978, Garfield the cat made his debut in 41 newspapers, which wasn’t exactly the greatest of accomplishments. But considering that the strip’s creator, Jim Davis, had found very little success with his previous comic strip, he was pretty lucky to get another shot. He was also pretty lucky that people told him to take the focus of this strip off Jon Arbuckle and put it on his smart-ass orange cat, because it didn’t take very long for America to fall in love with Garfield. By 1981, Garfield was coming into its own as a staple of the weekly Sunday newspaper’s comic section, when that was still the most important thing in the world to kids, and by 2004, the lazy, lasagna-loving cat was raking in $1 billion worldwide and had captured the Guinness World Record for the longest-running syndicated comic strip.
While Davis has become more of a supervisor for a team of artists in recent years, he still writes the majority of the strips and keeps Garfield’s infamous traits, his reluctant bond with Odie and absolute loathing of Nermal – thanks to them, I knew where Abu Dhabi was at a very young age – alive, while also making sure that Jon is still one of the most awkward and pathetic male characters ever created. To celebrate our favorite fat orange cat’s 36th birthday, I scoured the recent archives of Garfield & Friends, where you can still get your daily strip and pretend like you’re 8-years old and plowing through the newspaper to find the comics, and I picked out these shining examples of how little this cat gives a crap about anyone else.