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Garfield: His 9 Lives

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Garfield: His 9 Lives

Garfield: His 9 Lives is a 1984 book (ISBN 0-345-32074-3) of illustrated short stories showing the "nine lives" of comic strip character Garfield. It was adapted into an animated television special in 1988 as well as a screensaver for download on the Garfield website. In 2014-2015, BOOM Studios released a comic book version.

The book is divided into ten segments; the first one displays the creation of cats in general, where the latter nine reveal events in Garfield's nine lives. Each of the nine stories has a short preface of Garfield in his modern incarnation, explaining how these various lives shaped aspects of Garfield's personality, such as the origin of his fear of the veterinarian, his love of destructive behavior, his proclivity for a slothful lifestyle, and his extremely playful side.

Contents

  • The book 1
  • The television special 2
    • International television 2.1
    • Cast 2.2
  • The comic 3
  • External links 4

The book

Garfield: His 9 Lives
Author Jim Davis et al
Country USA
Language English
Series Garfield
Genre Humor
Publisher Ballantine Books
October 12, 1984
Pages 128
ISBN ISBN 0-345-32074-3
OCLC 11361460
  • "In the Beginning" (written by Jim Davis, illustrated by Paws, Inc. staff): The cat is created. The manner of the cat's creation, with a higher being dictating instructions to his staff and the language used by the staff while 'designing' the cat, is strongly similar to the manner in which products are designed in modern corporations. The staff wonders why the creator sees fit to give cat nine lives opposed to the usual one, prompting the creator to reply that he likes cats, revealing that he has feline features. It is strongly suggested that Garfield himself is the first cat.
  • "Cave Cat" (written by Jim Davis; illustrated by Davis, Mike Fentz, and Larry Fentz): In the Stone Age, the first cat emerges from the sea and is domesticated. Cave Cat also meets his end when the vaguely reptilian giant dog (who resembles Odie and is termed Big Bob by the cavemen) attempts to play fetch with Cave Cat, throwing a tree at him and unintentionally crushing him. Garfield says that he formed many of his likes and dislikes with one dislike being his rock bed and his like being the Pteranodon drumsticks. (This, as Garfield points out, explains why most cats fear dogs, and why Garfield himself tends to dislike and mistreat Odie specifically.)
  • "The Vikings" (written by Jim Davis and Mike Fentz; illustrated by Fentz): A group of Vikings from the year 984, including Garfield the Orange, frozen in an iceberg for a thousand years, thaw out and wake up in "an especially warm and lovely spring day of 1984", and attempt to 'pillage' St. Paul, Minnesota. They are forced to adapt to the modern era after a notable lack of success with traditional Viking activities, and comment how modern American society is a "barbaric" one which defended itself against the pillaging, as well as snapping the bra of the bosomy female Viking Helga. Defeated, they succeed in securing employment and a house, but lose their proud spirits in the process. Garfield's Viking incarnation snaps them out of their ennui after he rediscovers the Petrified Weasel of Booga, the clan's patron god; it restores their spirits, causing them to revert to their Viking selves and proceed to run off to the Arctic Circle. The segment ends a thousand years in the future, with the strong implication that the same group of Vikings have been frozen in an iceberg and are about to thaw out once again in "an especially warm and lovely spring day of 2984". (This story explains why the otherwise lazy Garfield enjoys occasionally engaging in rampaging and destructive behavior he would seem too lazy to engage in, such as his constant attacks on the mailman.)
  • "Babes and Bullets" (written by Ron Tuthill, illustrated by Kevin Campbell): Hard-boiled detective Sam Spayed investigates the suspicious death of a priest in a segment reminiscent of classic hard-boiled detective fiction, with occasional illustrations done in a manner much more realistic than the usual Garfield style. It was later adapted into the television special Garfield: Babes and Bullets. Shortly before the story begins, Garfield appears, saying that the most significant thing he learned from this life was that he swore off work.
  • "The Exterminators" (written by Jim Davis; illustrated by Davis, Mike Fentz, and Larry Fentz): A trio of Three Stooges-like cats chase a mouse, and mayhem ensues. Garfield comments that he officially retired from the 'rat race' following this life, leading to his strong dislike of mice as a food source.
  • "Lab Animal" (written by Jim Davis; illustrated by Gary Barker and Larry Fentz): at a secret government facility, lab specimen 19-GB receives an unusual injection, followed by his escape from the military base. After swimming across a river, the serum has some unusual effects, causing 19-GB to become a dog. Fortunately for 19-GB, he became the same breed of dog the lab sent out to find him, allowing him to blend in with the search dogs. The pursuing soldiers then call off the search, as the dog looks at the reader with strange green eyes. Garfield claims that because of his experiences as a lab animal, he becomes nauseous at the sight of medical equipment. (This most likely explains his fear of the veterinarian.)
  • "The Garden" (written and illustrated by Dave Kühn): Cloey and her orange kitten play in a magical, Wonderland-like, garden, which was built by Cloey's joyful Uncle Tod. However, like the Garden of Eden there is a test of character of a chest the pair must not open. The pair approach the chest and after much suspense, the pair resists the temptation, believing opening the chest could harm Uncle Tod, and stay in the garden forever. The segment is written with flowery prose similar to overly romantic poetry, and the illustrations have a strong surrealistic quality, as well as having many sharp graphics and neon colors that were characteristic of the 1980s. Garfield is shown happily smelling a flower's fragrance and said that his sixth life was his favorite. "My body grew old, but I never, never, never grew up".
  • "Primal Self" (written by Jim Davis; illustrated by Jim Clements, Gary Barker, and Larry Fentz): An orange housecat (by the name of Tigger) meets an ancient, primal, dangerous, possibly evil force, causing him to revert to an entirely feral state. It is unclear whether Tigger is corrupted by the primal force, or if his spirit is cast back into prehistory and stranded there, while the primal essence steals his body in the present day. The story ends with him preparing to attack his unsuspecting owner, an elderly woman; it is strongly suggested that he kills his owner afterwards. Garfield is shown to be terrified of the events in this life; he is depicted cowering under a blanket in his commentary on it, remarking that this life taught him that there are elements in a cat that are not to be toyed with.
  • "Garfield" (written by Jim Davis; illustrated by Gary Barker and Valette Hildebrand; color by Doc Davis): Present-day Garfield meets lasagna, Jon, and Odie. This segment retcons the character's beginnings. Garfield notes that his current life is currently falling short of his expectations.
Original release 22 November 1988 (USA)
Original channel CBS
Release
Production company(s) Film Roman
Running time 60 min.
Producer(s) Phil Roman
Production
Original language(s) English
Country of origin USA
Music by Ed Bogas
Desirée Goyette (music and lyrics)
Lou Rawls (vocals)
Narrated by Lorenzo Music
Starring Lorenzo Music
Thom Huge
Gregg Berger
Desirée Goyette
Directed by Phil Roman
Doug Frankel
Ruth Kissane
Bill Littlejohn
Bob Nesler
Bob Scott
George Singer
John Sparey
Written by Jim Davis (writer, creator)
David Kuhn (segment "In the Garden")
Jim Clements (segment "Space Cat")
George Herriman (uncredited)
Title Card
Garfield: His 9 Lives


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