Oddly Enough

"Garfield" creator apologizes for Veterans Day strip

A giant inflatable Garfield cat is carried down Whitehall as part of the London New Year day Parade January 1, 2000. REUTERS/Russell Boyce

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The creator of the widely syndicated comic “Garfield” has apologized for a strip that ran on Veterans Day that some critics saw as making fun of the holiday honoring those who served in the U.S. military.

Thursday’s strip showed a spider warning the comic’s featured cat, the lazy and overweight Garfield, that if the feline “squishes” him, an annual day of remembrance will be held in his honor.

Garfield, who frequently crushes spiders in the series, apparently is undeterred and the strip closes with a classroom of spiders being asked why they celebrate “National Stupid Day.”

The cartoon drew such Internet comments as “Surely this isn’t in the best of taste for Armistice Day/Veterans Day’’ and that Garfield creator Jim Davis “is way off the mark with this cartoon. Shame on him.”

Although some others said they doubted creator had such intentions or that they didn’t read the strip the way the critics did, Davis issued a statement apologizing.

“Please accept my apologies for any offense today’s Garfield may have created. It was unintentional and regrettable,” the statement said.

It said the cartoon had been written almost a year previously and that Davis, who had a brother who served in Vietnam and a son who served in Afghanistan and Iraq as a Marine, had not known when it was going to appear.

The Garfield Website,, says the cartoon strip is the most widely syndicated in the world, according to Guinness World Records, and appears in more than 2,600 newspapers.

Reporting by Jerry Norton; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Bill Trott