You know, Garfield gets all the attention these days, but back in the old days, Heathcliff was the cat. Of course, his cartoon was a single panel, not a strip, so his humor had to get to the point, and it did. Instead of lazy, Heathcliff was a helion. Instead of liking lasagna, he eats the remnants from trash cans. In other words, he’s a scrapper where Garfield is a dilettante. No wonder I liked Heathcliff more when I was younger. Also, the daily we got had Heathcliff, but not Garfield, which could explain it. Heathcliff even had a cartoon before Garfield did.
This book collects a number of strips, mostly around the motif of Heathcliff’s love for Sonja. Given that, though, the book really identifies how Geo Gately used a limited number of ideas for a lot of cartoons. Another cat looks at Sonja, and Heathcliff does something to him; Heathcliff steals the fish; Sonja’s woman owner asks the man why he doesn’t do for her what Heathcliff does for Sonja; and so on. I hope that over the run of the series, the cartoonist spread these repeated bits out a little more than you can within a book limited by this theme.
Ultimately, I guess this might explain why Garfield would ultimately eclipse Heathcliff.
Can’t anyone else in the 21st century just enjoy the cartoons, or just look at them?