RIP Garfield.com

Allow me to eulogize over a not quite but not not recent death.

Following the sale of Paws Inc to Nickelodeon back in 2019, Garfield.com was shut down. This led into a transitionary period, where the page would redirect the viewer, giving you the choice between the Nickelodeon webpage (yawn) or the GoComics Garfield Strip page (horrible). This is a joke. This is a laugh. This is a horrible little simulacrum of the things we lost.

the banner for garfield.com. A smug garfield says: 'Welcome to my website. Are we having fun yet?'
We used to, Garf. We used to

I have been described as a Garf Acolyte, a Garf Stan, a Garf Scholar, by self and others. This is kind of true? I don’t intend to make this a post about my relation to the horrible little orange man, but: I do genuinely like the Garfield comics. I think many creative things have been done with them as a base material, but honestly I just like reading them. So many people have this gross ironic distance from Garfield, making the stalest horror reimaginations, I think that’s so boring. It might be a "bad comic" sometimes, but it’s also quite good. I enjoy it.

Now, the Garfield.com domain just redirects to Nickelodeon. The old site is still available through the Wayback Machine, but not with the same functionality. The website hosted games, character profiles.. other things I don’t know about. And the strips. It used to hold the strips! This is the reason I care, I loved to go there to read the strips.

The website had been up since 1996. I remember when I was small, scouring the net unsupervised, it had this Comic Strip Generator where you could insert the characters in different poses, resize them, add speech bubbles and background and props. Nowadays, I'd use the site for browsing the comics. Apart from just casual reading, I’d use it to find my friends birthday strips (possible for everyone born ‘79 and later), and to do my Garfield Research, using the tag search (yes it had tag search!) to deep dive into specific topics as they appear in the Garfield archives. Around christmas, I’d use the Random Strip button to make Garfield New Year Fortunes, painstakingly write down the random urls on my christmas cards, and send them out to special friends. I am going to miss this. And it is annoying, seeing as I want to make some deep dive Garfposts here, and my research is incredibly hindered.

Although

Through the research for this post, I’ve actually found many great resources to share with you all. I even spent some more time on the Garfield GoComics page. Previously when using it, it has been horrible, unintuitive, slow, and I’ve had to press so many things to even read a strip and use the archive. But now I went on it again and it was, actually, quite nice. Here it is. There’s also an about page that’s actually pretty cute, and they do these themed strip collections that are hard as hell to navigate, but good in theory? Maybe the “horrible little simulacrum” comment was unwarranted (but still funny and thus it stays). I don’t know! That about page has a lot of very niche and specific garf facts! I’m charmed! There is love in that. Every strip also has a comment section to share your thoughts. I am charmed.
I also found this, a fanmade site collecting the comics by month. And this site, where you can search a transcribed Garfield archive. Shout out to Whoever in Czech Republic making these sites, the transcription site with the tag search… now that is quite fantastic.

To end this entry I would like to share some words from the comment section under the Garfield Fanwiki’s page about Garfield.com, and from this user blog post on there, titeled My thoughts on Garfield.com shutting down. These are testimonials, reactions to the sites closure:

This is so bogus

AvidGarfieldfan - 26 June 2020

no more funny garfield :(

SuperHyperBlaze - 19 June 2020

Honestly, I have to say that shutting down Garfield.com for good was a really lousy decision [...] Garfield would probably get so disappointed to see what Brian Robbins did to his beloved website!

FGN Fan Crew - 20 June 2020

OH NO GARFIELD . COM IS SHUT DOWN !! GARFIELD IS CANCELLED !! NO MORE GARFIELD COMICS !! 2020 IS THE WORST YEAR EVER !!!!!!!!!!!! GRRRR !!!!!!

TheManMka 3 - 23 June 2020

sad time for the garfield fanbase. goodbye garfield.com.

Gamerguyohyeah - 23 June 2020

I am so mad

WthrStrm - 8 August 2020

Goodnight Sweet Prince

NationOfOrange696 - 19 June 2020

So yes, that’s what I had. Goodnight and Goodbye to all the stupid graphics and illustrations, games and good times on Garfield dot Com. I hope you’re all well, and that you have good times ahead.

Manul out

A manul pokes its head out of a big pumpkin, looking, then hiding down in it again. The joke is that it is big, round and orange, like Garfield