In the late 70s and early 80s, there was nothing hotter than Garfield when it came to newspaper comic strips. Sure, Garfield's day in the sun has cooled a bit, especially after a couple of mediocre live-action movies with none other than Bill Murray voicing the lasagna-loving feline. But Garfield mania has started to hit up again in recent years, with 80s nostalgia at an all-time high. Marvel is now cashing in on that, bringing the creator of the comic into their fold to draw a new Galactus story for their hugely popular Squirrel Girl run.
While Marvel has been making a killing at the box office in the past couple of years, and turning the tide when it comes to superheroes on the small screen, their narrative has been tied into one fairly cohesive story that will end with Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4. When it comes to Marvel Comics, though, there is definitely more room to bump around and try new things. The comics allow for a wide range of different storytelling techniques, discovering what does and doesn't work before any ticket paying fans are even brought into the fold.
That's where Squirrel Girl comes in. Originally conceived for the world of Marvel Comics, the title was created to have some fun, with the unbeatable Squirrel Girl proving to be so popular that she's now getting her own TV show. The comic book has brought compassion, kindness and a very wacky sense of humor that has been missing from other titles, including the most recent spat of Marvel movies and TV shows. Now, Marvel wants to take that even further.
Issue number 26 of Unbeatable Squirrel Girl arrives in November, and the creators of the comic, which include writer Ryan North, artist Erica Henderson, and colorist Rico Renzi, have invited a number of artists to create a book that is styled more as a zine. One of the big gets is Jim Davis, who created the phenomenon known as Garfield. He has illustrated a story from the perspective of Galactus. Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Davis had this to say about his unexpected partnership with Marvel Entertainment.
"Ryan North sent me an email last winter about this idea to do a special Squirrel Girl issue drawn by the cartoon characters themselves, with different artists for each style. He explained Galactus seemed like a logical one for me, because of Garfield, having the appetite of the planets, and being one of the biggest and oldest of the Marvel characters. Garfield will be 40 next year, and is himself reaching iconic status."
Ryan North has written the Galactus story with Davis drawing the action, helped along by his assistants Gary Barker and Dan Davis. Galacus is basically a stand-in for Garfield, with Silver Surfer taking the place of Garfield's owner Jon Arbuckle. Continues Davis.
"Ryan explained to me, he wanted it to be done in our style. He likened and wrote Galactus as Garfield and Norin Radd as Jon. That determined what they were going to look like. When you look at the Silver Surfer, he's 75 percent of the way there anyway with Jon, all we had to do is give him the big eyes. That was a natural. John kind of hangs around Garfield anyway, he's the straight man to Garfield's gags and has to get him food. He's like Garfield's herald. Galactus was tougher. We were throwing stuff back and forth, and the initial sketches just weren't working for Galactus. I said okay, we gotta make him fat. The guy eats planets, for god's sake! Once we do that, it's a little less Galactus but certainly a lot more Garfield. It looked more natural. Obviously, Galactus has put on a few mega-tons for this strip."
You can get your hands on this unique issue of Unbeatable Squirrel Girl when it hits newspaper racks and magazine stands on November 8. Entertainment Weekly even provided a sneak peek at what Galactus and Silver Surfer look like in their Garfield drag. Other contributing artists for this book include Michael Cho's Kraven the Hunter story, Rahzzah's Spider-Man story, Chip Zdarsky and Erica Henderson's Howard the Duck story, and Rico Renzi's Tippy-Toe story.