Ballantine Books, which has published 33 volumes of Jim Davis’Garfield, has announced that it will publish a full color collection inspired by the popular Garfield Minus Garfield Webcomic created by Dublin-based Dan Walsh.  Walsh’s Garfield Minus Garfield Webcomic debuted last February and quickly became a huge hit.  By taking the lasagna-loving feline and the other critters out of the popular comic strip Walsh has managed to wring a new sort of hip existential humor out of what has become a very conventional comic strip--creating the modern equivalent of those wonderfully bleak early Peanuts strips.


The Garfield Minus Garfield collection will include both Jim Davis’ original strip and Walsh’s doctored version on the same page.  Critics can say what they want about Davis, but it would be hard to maintain that he doesn’t have a good sense of humor and considerable generosity of spirit—rather than react with horror at the desecration of his creation, Davis commented on Garfield Minus Garfield by saying, “I think it was an inspired thing to do, I want to thank Dan for enabling me to see another side of Garfield.” No wonder Dan Walsh, who is providing the foreword for Garfield Minus Garfield, remarked on Davis’ “awesome generosity and humor.”


Ballantine is publishing Garfield Minus Garfield (MSRP $12.00) on October 28th simultaneously with a deluxe hardcover collection of the best of DavisGarfield strips, Thirty Years of Laughs and Lasagna: The Life and Times of a Fat, Furry Legend.