Yesterday was Veteran’s Day, a day of paying tribute to the men and women who have proudly served our country in the U.S. military. Unfortunately, by an ill-timed coincidence, yesterday’s Garfield comic strip featured a joke about holding an “annual day of remembrance” for a squished spider called “National Stupid Day.” Our veterans put their lives on the line to protect our right to free speech, and all they ask in return is that Garfield continue to be as banal and predictable as possible—and now this? Why does Garfield hate the troops?
As it turns out, he doesn’t—it’s just that creator Jim Davis, who apparently programs his fat-joke algorithms years in advance, had no idea that this particular strip out of all interchangeable strips would run yesterday, of all days, when its calculatedly inoffensive content would suddenly have actual context for the first time in Garfield’s history. But after many people complained, Davis issued the following apology on his website:
Dear Friends, Fans and Veterans:
In what has to be the worst timing ever, the strip that runs in today's paper seems to be making a statement about Veterans. It absolutely, positively has nothing to do with this important day of remembrance.
Regarding today's Garfield comic strip , it was written almost a year ago and I had no idea when writing it that it would appear today — of all days. I do not use a calendar that lists holidays and other notable days so when this strip was put in the queue, I had no idea it would run on Veterans Day. What are the odds? You can bet I'll have a calendar that lists everything by my side in the future.
My brother Dave served in Vietnam. My son James is a Marine who has had two tours of duty, both in Iraq and Afghanistan. You'd have to go a long way to find someone who was more proud and grateful for what our Veterans have done for all of us.
Please accept my apologies for any offense today's Garfield may have created. It was unintentional and regrettable.
Thus ends the one and only time a Garfield strip will ever be considered provocative.