I remember as a youngster arguing with a friend of mine about who was the cooler cartoon cat: Garfield or Heathcliff. That friend was Shane Baucom. We were friends before kindergarten but have lost touch, which is sad, but I feel free to drag his name through the geeky murk of the blogosphere because I know he doesn’t touch computers—probably still doesn’t have an email address. If only he were on Facebook, I could just friend him and be done with it—friendship saved in a mouse click.
I digress. I, sadly, was on the losing end of that Garfield/Heathcliff fight. Now, I would argue that Heathcliff, the tougher and saucier of the two, was an allusion to the gloomy and doomed Heathcliff of Wuthering Heights and thus a superior literary creation. But at the time, my primary reason for siding with the alley cat was that my parents bought most of my cartoon books from garage sales and people were dumping the Heathcliff collections like stock in mortgage companies. So after I caught up with the exploits of
Until, of course, Jim Davis became a man driven to appear in every newspaper in