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Original Garfield Art by Jim Davis Is Up for Auction

Jake Rossen
Garfield art is up for sale.
Garfield art is up for sale. / Courtesy of Heritage Auctions, HA.com
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Since his debut in 1978, Garfield has become synonymous with inoffensive comic strips about bitter cats. Created by Jim Davis, the strip has led to billions in merchandise—some of which would inexplicably wash up on shore in France for years—along with hit movies and an animated series.

Though he writes the strip, Davis no longer draws it. But if you’re interested in one of his original illustrations, you’re in luck. Heritage Auctions is now offering a Davis retrospective of sorts featuring strips that date back to 1979.

Garfield looked a little different in the '70s.
Garfield looked a little different in the '70s. / Courtesy of Heritage Auctions, HA.com

The Art of Garfield Comics & Comic Art Showcase, which runs through Thursday, February 24, features a number of Davis's works, including daily strips, Sunday strips, and art he drew for promotional purposes. There is, of course, a splash illustration of Garfield remarking on his disdain for Mondays. (Because Garfield does not work, it’s not quite clear what makes Monday distinctive from any other day.)

We know, we know.
We know, we know. / Courtesy of Heritage Auctions, HA.com

Some of Davis’s original artwork went up for sale in 2019 owing to the downsizing of Paws, Inc., the business that supervises Garfield’s empire. Davis told The New York Times that approvals for merchandising and creative projects were being done virtually. Beginning in 2011, he started using a digital pad and stylus to draw.

Previous Garfield strips have fetched between $500 and $700 for the dailies and up to $3000 for the larger Sunday pieces.

If you happen to be the winning bidder on one of the Garfield strips, you’re in good company. Davis has sent originals to fans including Stephen King and Steven Spielberg.

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