Garfield Minus Garfield Gets Its Own Book... And No Lawsuits, Either!

from the amazing dept

Back in June, we noted how sad it was that we were all so happy that Garfield creator Jim Davis didn't freak out about the derivative comic strip "Garfield Minus Garfield." In this day and age, we're so used to creators sending out cease and desist letters and claiming "ownership" that it was refreshing to see a content creator actually happy about someone building (or, in this case, subtracting) off his work. This should be the norm -- but instead it's a unique thing. Witness the silly spat over who "owns" Flat Stanley, for example.

However, the Jim Davis/Garfield thing is getting even better. It appears that Davis' publisher, Ballantine Books, has worked out an agreement with the creator of Garfield Minus Garfield to publish a book of those strips as well, and they're doing it in conjunction with a 30th anniversary Garfield book. And, once again, Jim Davis seems thrilled about the whole thing:
"I think it's an inspired thing to do. I want to thank Dan for enabling me to see another side of Garfield. Some of the strips he chose were slappers: 'Oh, I could have left that out.' It would have been funnier."
I look forward to a day when the idea that someone being thrilled that they inspired someone else's creative works as a derivative of their own isn't newsworthy. In the meantime, kudos to Jim Davis, Ballantine... and, most importantly, Dan Walsh for his creativity in coming up with Garfield Minus Garfield in the first place.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    PaulT (profile), Jul 31st, 2008 @ 12:01pm

    Nice...

    With the Dilbert site encouraging remixes and new web-based comics encouraging hotlinking, at least there's one part of the entertainment industry that's understanding things.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 31st, 2008 @ 12:42pm

      Re: Nice...

      It took Scott Adams long enough. Back in the 90's, people used to be able to link direct to dilbert because the webpage used the same URL for the current dilbert. Then they changed it so that there were random numbers placed afterwards, so someone wrote a script that would scrape the dilbert page and get all the numbers for the latest week of dilbert comics and he had them displayed on one page. This was especially useful back then because the vast majority of people were on dialup and it was nice to be able to load one page. But he was forced to take it down.

       

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        PaulT (profile), Jul 31st, 2008 @ 3:31pm

        Re: Re: Nice...

        Yeah, but better late than never. The new Flash-based site has a lot of problems but the explicit recognition of fair use and the desire to remix content is a massive step forward.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 31st, 2008 @ 12:28pm

    Easy to ignore, because it is parody.

     

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      Ima Fish, Jul 31st, 2008 @ 1:01pm

      Re:

      "Easy to ignore, because it is parody."

      While I have no doubt that at least some of the Garfield without Garfield comics would constitute a parody of the original work, that would not exempt them from copyright infringement because they use the actual copyrighted work. Thus, the Garfield without Garfield comments are true derivative works.

      In the same way, I couldn't remix Metallica songs to take away the guitars, without violating Metallica's copyrights.

      Thus, the cool thing here is that Jim Davis simply does not care about the infringement and is embracing it.

       

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        joe, Jul 31st, 2008 @ 1:50pm

        Re: Re:

        It is not infringement if it has been licensed. Does anyone think that this publishing is happening without some type of licensing agreement?

         

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    chris (profile), Jul 31st, 2008 @ 12:28pm

    the devil called...

    apparently hell just froze over.

    in other news: flying pigs create havoc in the aircraft control network. government bailouts eminent.

     

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      The Easter Bunny, Jul 31st, 2008 @ 1:20pm

      Re: the devil called...

      That's wonderful news for my sulfur furnace repair and pig-wing clipping business. Laying colored eggs just isn't profitable, not to mention painful.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 31st, 2008 @ 12:49pm

    This is pleasing. I hope it gets more press coverage. :)

     

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    Darkmane, Jul 31st, 2008 @ 1:15pm

    Originality is overrated

    I could shoot a party clown out of a cannon making balloon animals 45 feet in the air and you sheep would be glued to the TV.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 31st, 2008 @ 1:20pm

    I never liked "Garfield without Garfield". It isn't what Jon actually sees.

    The canon for Garfield is that Jon owns a cat (garfield) but can't hear/read his thoughts. So having Garfield there but just removing the thought bubbles is funnier than removing garfield entirely.

     

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    wasnt me!, Jul 31st, 2008 @ 1:32pm

    too soon to call it victory

    easy to ignore for the time being since Garfield Minus Garfield is still unknown.

    Hasbro only went after scrablous once it realized it couldnt compete with it.

    WWF (world wildlife foundation) only went after WWF (word wrestling federation) when the later became so popular.

    the list goes on.

    concerning Flat Stanley the original author had no issues with the teacher he actually realized that if it wasn't for him flat Stanley would be dead, its only after his death that this all started but again when the website became so popular ....

     

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      PaulT (profile), Jul 31st, 2008 @ 3:36pm

      Re: too soon to call it victory

      Erm, I think the fact that the publisher who's printing the book is the same publisher who deals with the original Garfield strips is a pretty good sign that this is a "victory". Who are they going to sue if the book becomes popular? Themselves?

       

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      CopyPirate, Aug 1st, 2008 @ 4:33am

      Re: too soon to call it victory

      "Hasbro only went after scrablous once it realized it couldnt compete with it"

      I think Hasbro only went after Scrabulous after EA came to them and said "hey your missing out on a bunch of money here, let us handle everything and you just sit back and collect a check". The entire situation "reaks" of EA to be honest.

      "concerning Flat Stanley the original author had no issues with the teacher he actually realized that if it wasn't for him flat Stanley would be dead, its only after his death that this all started but again when the website became so popular ...."

      I believe the problem here is the teacher attempted to get the name copywrited (or trademakred?) and the family said "hey just a minute now . . . "

       

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      Minusgarfield.com, Sep 17th, 2008 @ 8:09am

      Re: too soon to call it victory

      Actually Jim Davis who is the Creator and owner of Garfield is quite aware of the minus garfield site. http://minusgarfield.com

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 31st, 2008 @ 1:34pm

    Man, I love "Garfield without Garfield" so much better than the original strip. I've never been a big fan of Garfield, although I always liked the weird homosexual bit around Jon and Lymon even as a little kid.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 31st, 2008 @ 2:13pm

    In the meantime, kudos to Jim Davis, Ballantine... and, most importantly, Dan Walsh for his creativity in coming up with Garfield Minus Garfield in the first place.

    Except he didn't. The concept has been around the internet long before Walsh stole it.

     

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    Ouch, Aug 1st, 2008 @ 4:14am

    He gets it . . .

    Jim Davis obviously really owns his IP (he is not listening to some giant publisher convincing him he is being robbed here) and he also can obviously appreciate not only its monitary value, but more importantly its entertainment value. My favorite quote on this subject still comes form the great Jerry Garcia (founder of the worlds first Billion dollar entertainment act). After being asked why he didnt mind fans taping Greatful Dead shows (considered unthinkable in the industry at the time), Jerry responded; "once Ive played a note Im done with it, let the fans have it." Jim Davis gets this and is likely to enjoy the same loyalty and love from his fans because of it. Hell Im thinking about getting a garfield calander now for my little niece!

     

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    Proctor, Aug 1st, 2008 @ 1:10pm

    I just read some of the Garfield minus Garfield comics anrd they are slightly depressing. I hope that they chose good ones for the book because I read Garfield as a kid and I don't know if I would find them all that funny and light-hearted

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 1st, 2008 @ 2:27pm

      Re:

      That they are depressing is the point. Jon is not well. He either talks to a cat, or an imaginary cat. Before Walsh stole the concept it was called "Psycho Jon."

       

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    minusgarfield.com, Sep 17th, 2008 @ 8:02am

    Awesome

    Jim Davis is a Great Man. http://minusgarfield.com

     

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    lauren brenner, May 12th, 2009 @ 8:05pm

    an arbuckle thanksgiving...

    So I saw something that's totally on the same page as this. Some guy digitally removed Garfield from the entire Thanksgiving special. It's called An Arbuckle Thanksgiving. You neeeeed to see it. It's rediculous.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_KVsQXeE6A

    The same guy did one for the Christmas Special too. The endings are amazing too. I can't believe someone took the time to do these...

     

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    دردشه, Jul 11th, 2009 @ 9:01am

    That they are depressing is the point. Jon is not well. He either talks to a cat

     

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