On June 19, the world's most famous cartoon cat turns 40 years old.
Garfield was born on the comics page on June 19, 1978, debuting in just 41 newspapers nationwide. The new strip was not exactly an overnight smash. In fact, the Chicago Sun-Times tried to cancel Garfield in late 1978, which prompted an avalanche of phone calls and letters from upset readers. It was the first indication that there was something special about this big, orange tabby who loved lasagna and hated Mondays.
In the next few weeks, the GoComics blog will feature several posts honoring Garfield's official entry into middle age. Below is a sampling of strips from Garfield's first few months of syndication for your reading pleasure (Garfield looked a bit chunkier in those days, so maybe Jon managed to get him on a diet after all?).