I’ve been reading a lot of Garfield comics lately, though I’m not quite sure why. It may be because they are easily accessible—just a click away on my bookmarks at garfield.com. (I can even visit on my school-censored Chromebook! How convenient!) That’s probably not the reason I’m visiting so often, however, considering Naviance and ProgressBook are also in my bookmarks, and I definitely don’t read those for fun. Maybe it’s Jon and Garfield’s relationship that draws me in. Yes, that’s it.
It is clear in many ways that Garfield is the star of the comic, and Jon Arbuckle is simply there to make the comic work. One such reason is that the comic is titled Garfield instead of Jon and the Tabby Cat. However, even though Jon stays out of the spotlight, there are many aspects to like about him. Though Jon often serves as the target of Garfield’s humor, Jon’s ideas are generally good ones. For example, Jon consistently prods Garfield to work out and to stop eating things he shouldn’t be eating (like pet goldfish). He also sometimes makes ridiculous statements, because, don’t we all?
The importance of Garfield overall is the relatability of Jon Arbuckle to most of us humans, who quite often make smart and witty statements, but who just as often have a bad day, or an unfortunate moment. Us humans, especially students, like to succeed and be right. When we don’t succeed and aren’t right (for once), it leads to a miserable time for us and those around us. That’s where Jon Arbuckle comes in. No matter how many jokes and pranks he is the subject of, Jon shows up, every day, in almost every comic strip. That attitude is a fantastic approach to life that I believe we all should follow. There are some days where Jon doesn’t want to be there, too. There are some days where he makes a fool of himself without Garfield ever contributing. But Jon always shows up, illustrating his insanity and this perseverance is an important characteristic to have.