^
Keep Westword Free
4
| Media |

Rocky Mountain News throws Garfield in the litter box

Shoo, cat.

A sidebar to an article introducing three new comic strips to the Rocky Mountain News mentions in passing that the tabloid has bid farewell to a trio of older offerings: "Herman," "Hagar the Horrible" and -- most notable of all -- "Garfield."

Oh, how the times have changed. Once upon a time, Jim Davis' "Garfield" was the hottest strip in the land -- so much so that during the late '80s, amid a particularly brutal stretch of Denver's daily newspaper battle, the Rocky and the Post tangled over which of them would have the honor of publishing the humor-free faux-adventures of the lasagna-gobbling feline -- and after one side achieved victory, the losers retaliated in memorable fashion.

As Westword's Alan Prendergast reported in a Denver print roundup dubbed "The Hundred Years War," the Post held the "Garfield" franchise in the late '80s. However, the Rocky stole it away after agreeing to pay a then-whopping $62,554 per annum for the rights, and then ballyhooed its achivement by erecting a yuletide Garfield display on the roof of its building. The Post's response? Pranksters snuck onto the building and vandalized the fat cat.

Today, of course, a lot fewer people care about the strip, which has been repeating the same tired jokes for decades. It's a problem shared by a lot of geriatric comics -- a subject debated in the September 2007 Message column entitled "The Funnies Aren't Anymore." Just over a year later, the folks at the Rocky have targeted several of the worst offenders -- but there remains plenty of dead wood to be chopped. Now how about sending "Marmaduke" to the pound? -- Michael Roberts

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.