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40 Years Later, Garfield is Increasingly Relevant for Millennials & Content Creators

40 Years Later, Garfield is Increasingly Relevant for Millennials & Content Creators

The Hundreds X Garfield is sold out in our Online Shop, so here’s a list of global stockists that may still carry the collab in-store and online.

One part cat, one part hatred of Mondays, and one part undying love for carbs; it seems like Jim Davis was using a calculated formula when creating Garfield—as if to make him a champion for future millennials. We relate to Garfield’s unbothered attitude, his obsession with eating, and his overwhelming love of naps. But how is Garfield such a relatable force for millennials and Gen Zers when he’s now-approaching 40? How has a comic strip endured for years and still remained as accessible as ever, especially to younger generations?

The first Garfield strip ever, which made its debut June 19, 1978.

It turns out Garfield was meant to be a hit all along. In a 1982 interview with the Washington Post, Garfield creator Jim Davis said, “I’d like to say it was some sort of a divine inspiration that created the strip. In fact, it wasn’t so much that as a conscious effort to come up with a good, marketable character.” This might explain why sometimes, even with his crankiness and neverending pranks on Odie, Garfield is not all that funny. As noted in Smithsonian Mag, “Unlike New Yorker cartoons, in which you are actually missing the joke, Garfield is not even designed to be funny.” Instead, he portrays the everyday life of a bored, cynical house cat who feels superior to his peers: a perfect, relatable (and licensable) character.

And what a marketable juggernaut Garfield has become. Garfield has starred in his own movies, worked his way into video games, and has even had a stage musical created in his honor. He’s had art installations dedicated to him, T-shirts with his face plastered on them, and even a Twitter account documenting the vast array of unworldly Garfield miscellaneous merchandise (both real and bootleg): “eBay Garfield.”