“This is Not a Garfield” and Other Musings on Semiotics

no garfieldSometime around teenager I discovered the funnies rarely made me laugh, but somehow always got my time/attention (what we’re calling engagement these days). Not any more–outside of ART SPIEGELMAN or MATT GROENING and the SciFi/Super Hero cagetory, the comix form, especially with cats and mice fails to muster interest. So it was with a sense of satisfaction that I caught this on the twitterstream: Garfield comix without Garfield which actually improves the gag. Welcome to Semiology 2.0, where the context and signifier can bust its own moves. It’s the icon of the sign post linking to the cgi movie of a sign post meant to be the real thing. References within the referral and we’re all being trained to catch the clue and gag at gaming-speed, what Gladwell calls “blink.” Check it out and add your comment below if you think this is why an uninspired, tired idea like Garfield has caught our attention again by going missing.

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