So, uh, I recently came to the realization that I love Garfield. You know, the comic strip.
I used to read the Garfield comic books all the time as a kid, even the weirder ones which were written by people not affiliated with the comic strip, such as the one which went through Garfield's nine lives, or Garfield's Pet Force.
Oh, man, Pet Force was an exciting series. Garfield and his friends travelled to a parallel universe, where they were superheroes, and they had space adventures. It was the first time I heard of parallel universes, and it was a sci-fi concept I thought was fantastic. Plus, the fact that it was an actual book and not comic strips meant that there could be actual plot and character development. Granted, it might not have been extremely deep, but compared to a medium where Garfield communicates in only three sentences per day, it's pretty good.
The comic strip has been going on since 1978, and I lost interest in the strip around the time it stopped being funny. That was around the late 90's, I think. The jokes became rather repetitive, and most of the cast members disappeared for years at a time. Story arcs were eliminated, with the closest possible replacement being "Garfield complains about dieting for a week". And there were some CGI movies which looked really bad.
Anyway, the good news is that Garfield has become a funny comic strip again! Jim Davis brought it back to life, by giving Jon Arbuckle a permanent girlfriend (Liz). And since that happened, the strip's quality improved. I'm not sure of the reasons behind this. Maybe Jim Davis just needed to switch things up to get back into the writing groove. Maybe there was a nine year stint of ghost writing, and he decided to regain control of the strip. Or maybe he gave up the reins to a new ghost writer. Either way, Garfield made it through the multi-year drought of tedium that should have long since ended in its demise.
I should check to see if The Simpsons has managed to do the same thing.