The image: The Veterans Day edition of "Garfield," Jim Davis' reliably pedestrian comic strip, sparked a rare bit of controversy. In the sequence, Garfield is set to crush a spider, who proclaims that if the lasagna-obsessed cat follows through, "They will hold an annual day of remembrance in my honor, you fat slob!" The next panel shows a spider teacher asking a group of arachnid students "Does anyone here know why we celebrate 'National Stupid Day?'" Many readers saw the strip as insensitive at best, cruel at worst, in the context of the holiday.
The reaction: "Twitter and Facebook are full of comments calling it 'controversial,'" says M. Alex Johnson at MSNBC. But everyone seems to be "speculating that other people will be offended." I "sincerely apologize" for the cartoon, says Garfield auteur Jim Davis in a statement on Go Comics. "It was written almost a year ago and I had no idea when writing it that it would appear today" It had "absolutely, positively has nothing to do with this important day of remembrance." See Thursday's Garfield strip:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 7 things the world's happiest people do every day
- Israel has only two choices: Eliminate the Palestinians or make peace
- 9 things you probably didn't know about the moon
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- Why are so many parents being arrested?
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- 29 adorable slang terms for sex (from the last 600 years)
- Why I choose not to be rich
- Here's the last time Russia shot down a passenger plane
- What if The Purge was real?
Subscribe to the Week