Garfield creator fears software could put him out of business

GCB boxshot large Garfield creator fears software could put him out of business
Those who find the comic strip Garfield the apotheosis of soul-sucking banality in the comics will no doubt be pleased by this press release in which creator Jim Davis frets that new software that allows children to easily import images, manipulate them and even add sound effects will put him out of business.

“Back in my day we had only pencils and paper. This new software is like adding a jet pack to creativity. Kids can craft characters and backgrounds and tell a story with such ease and speed that I’m a little worried I might be out of a job soon.”

But in a surprise twist, it turns out this software is licensed by Davis himself!

Software that turns mere mortals into superstar cartoonists has Garfield creator Jim Davis worried. Comic strips and even comic books can be created easily with Garfield’s Comic Boom, giving birth to a new generation of cartoonists.


Garfield’s Comic Boom is new software from Toon Boom Studios that allows various art twiddles and multimedia tweaks all in a friendly cartoony interface.

This software might even allow you to create your own “Garfield without Garfield” or random Garfield dialog remixes. Because as we’ve noticed before, Garfield itself is an empty canvas for the imaginations of dreamers everywhere to flourish.
1 Garfield creator fears software could put him out of business

Software that turns mere mortals into superstar cartoonists has Garfield creator Jim Davis worried. Comic strips and even comic books can be created easily with Garfield’s Comic Boom, giving birth to a new generation of cartoonists.

“Back in my day we had only pencils and paper. This new software is like adding a jet pack to creativity. Kids can craft characters and backgrounds and tell a story with such ease and speed that I’m a little worried I might be out of a job soon.”

In truth, Davis is delighted with the software created by Toon Boom Animation, a world leader in animation creation software. Garfield’s Comic Boom encourages creativity and storytelling with easy-to-use drawing and coloring tools, props, and library items prompting kids to produce comic panels, comic strips, and even comic books. The software even allows users to record sound and voice-over, essentially turning the child into the director of their own unique production. Adding yet another dimension, the final product can be instantly broadcast via e-mail, YouTube, Facebook, and mobile.

As an added bonus, Davis offers cartooning tips and tricks-of-the-trade for budding cartoonists in an exclusive tutorial for Garfield’s Comic Boom users.

The new software is available for purchase beginning August 11th via the Toon Boom product store — http://toonboom.com/garfield. Customers can use a promo code: GARFIELD, to receive $10.00 off the purchase. The promo code is valid until October 1, 2011.

“Garfield’s Comic Boom is a great addition to Toon Boom’s family of fun products. We are very proud to work with Jim Davis on this project and look forward to seeing the entertaining comic books this easy-to-use application will inspire to kids of all ages!” shared Joan Vogelesang, President and Chief Executive Officer at Toon Boom Animation.

The product will make its first public appearance at the Montreal ComicCon, September 17-21. Davis’ friend and peer, Lynn Johnston (For Better or For Worse) will conduct a workshop on creativity and storytelling. A demonstration will be given on the product’s capabilities at the ComicCon main stage.

Comments

  1. Someone needs to show him some Dinosaur Comics and xkcd ^_^

  2. Back in the 80’s, there was a piece of software called “Create with Garfield” that seemed completely mind-boggling at the time.

    http://www.platypuscomix.net/applepalooza/createwithgarf.htm

    Davis has apparently thought this was a good idea for a good, long while.

  3. Yeah, this sort of software has been around forever.

  4. ??? It was obvious he was joking around. What the heck? You insult Davis and then go on to misquote him to look bad? Is this was passes for a legitimate article on this site?

  5. Davis seems very concerned for someone who hasn’t drawn his own comic strip for decades.

  6. Torsten Adair says:

    Looking at the introductory material, this is Photoshop (or Comic Boom) for beginners. Everything is readily laid out, using Garfield-styled menus, introducing kids and novices to using a computer to create.

    It’s not that different than Colorforms or a how-to-draw book, and it looks like you can make your own comics as well. And for PAWS, Inc., it might help them locate some new talent!

  7. Must be monday

  8. Wesley Smith says:

    I figured that since most of the poses in Garfield seem pulled from iStockPhoto, that Davis had been doing this for years.

  9. Davis also is said to have told kids to get off his lawn.

    Yeah. This tech is nothing new, as other have pointed out. Both as consumer software and something web comics have been doing for a decade.

    Hell, I used to make an Evangelion fan comic using cut and paste techniques back in high school a decade ago.

    Nice to see Jim Davis reacting now to something I was doing a decade ago.

  10. The headline of this article is misleading. The product and Davis’ hyperbole describing a product he’s selling himself are not.

  11. Jim Davis is the reason Bill Watterson quit comics.

  12. Chris Hero says:

    I’ll never quite understand the hatred towards Jim Davis. I mean, yeah, Garfield is boring, but it’s not like he’s out there calling himself the most talented man alive or berating webcomics or anything. Mostly, he seems like a guy who got lucky and is kinda appreciative of that.

    I mean, he was in his rights to legally go after the guy who did “Garfield Minus Garfield” and instead, he licensed the book. He gets the joke and he’s cool about it.

  13. The Beat says:

    I guess I thought you guys could enjoy a little twiddle rompus but I guess I was wrong!

  14. jacob goddard says:

    I’m the first to hate on something worth hating, but Davis has never bothered me. He seem genuinely good natured and in on his own joke. I tend to think if a few more cartoonists took his lead on how to sell out correctly, the Sunday funnies would be in much better shape.
    Yes, all of us with trained eyes loathe his strip, but there would be mini riots all over the country if papers started dropping it.

  15. Dave Ziegler says:

    Ignore the sour apples and keep doing what you’re doing, Heidi. I don’t come to The Beat for the crabs in the comments; I come to The Beat for what YOU bring to the table: a healthy mix of important and…less important news, reported in your own inimitable style. The Beat is always my first stop for the news (and has been since you were over on The Pulse), so you’re clearly doing something right. Keep up the great work.

  16. J North says:

    As a kid, I sent some drawings to Jim Davis, who was nice enough to write back. That made my day, as Garfield was a big part of my consciousness as a fat ten-year old.

    Garfield has given a lot of people a lot of enjoyment over the years. Do pretentious internet snits have to attack everybody they think is beneath them?

  17. To understand Jim Davis, you have to look at him as a businessman who uses comics as his product. “Garfield” was designed with its suitability to fit his business plan first and foremost: nothing topical, nothing seasonal, just strips that can be repackaged and republished in any format. The character designs are easily mimicked by hired artists, adapted into merchandise and other media, etc.

    This doesn’t make him a bad person, and the fact that he’s a businessman who works in comics rather than, say, selling bogus diet systems probably makes him cooler and nicer than a lot of them. JUst don’t think of him as a “creator” and you’ll get along with him just fine.

  18. Tom Spurgeon says:

    I’ve known Davis since like I was five years old. Not ever real well, but he was around. My sense is that the businessman stuff came later and that all he wanted at first was a shot at a successful strip. I also think he genuinely likes telling jokes and crafting gags and that he works out of an artistic impulse in doing so.

    I suspect without knowing that a lot of his attention to business detail comes from working with TK Ryan, and seeing Tumbleweeds fade from the roar of its first few years to a mostly forgotten strip by Ryan’s retirement.

    Also, Doc Davis provides a lot of the business savvy out there, and I’m not sure you could ascertain without some really probing questions to what extent each brother pays attention to such matters in the overall Garfield-related scheme of things.

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