The cartoon, which creator Jim Davis claims was written about a year ago, outlines an altercation between Garfield and a spider.
The trouble starts from the first panel where the spider exclaims he will become famous if Garfield squishes him. In the second panel, the spider goes on to state that an annual day of remembrance will be held in his honor. It gets worse in the final slide where a spider is shown addressing a group of other spiders and asks, “Does anyone here know why we celebrate ‘National Stupid Day?'”
Davis came out with an immediate apology, saying he had no idea it would appear on Veterans Day. “It positively had nothing to do with this important day of remembrance,” he added.
While the apology comes over as genuine – Davis has a brother who served in Vietnam and a son in the Marines who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan – the incident isn't just an ironic coincidence that can be passed off as a simple mistake.
The Garfield strip ran in newspapers across the US, which spreads the blame to editors who failed to notice the significance of running the comic on the same day the nation honors those who put their lives on the line for their country.
If the strip had run on any other day a connection still could be made by some that the comic takes an apparent jab at national celebrations, in particular those that honor the dead. Though most readers would pass it off as another satirical comic strip and move on.
If the original intention of the strip, as Davis explained, had nothing to do with veterans and Veterans Day, he needs to get better control over when his material is chosen to run. Someone somewhere along the line decided to make a point and direct readers to connect the dots between the two.
PR Play Rating:
3 On the right track