We all grew up watching Garfield on TV and reading his comic strips, but there's a lot we don't know about the famous orange cat.
For instance, where did Odie come from and how did he first meet Garfield? You may think that Jon Arbuckle bought him at a pet store like Garfield, but that's not the case. And after learning the real answer, fans only have more questions.
It turns out Jon isn't Odie's originally owner. The dimwitted dog once belonged to Jon's roommate, Lyman.
Wondering why you've never heard of Lyman? The character only appeared in the late '70s and early '80s before disappearing from the strip altogether, and leaving his dog with Jon. So far that's not so strange, but Garfield creator Jim Davis' explanation for why Lyman left in the first place has raised a few eyebrows.
In a 20th anniversary collection of Garfield strips, Davis gave a number of reasons for Lyman's exit from the comic. See how #1 makes you feel:
Pretty creepy right? Thing only get weirder from here...
So what’s the deal with such a cryptic message about Lyman’s fate? Maybe Davis is just being honest.
Lyman only made two appearances after leaving the comic. One was in the comic strip’s title panel for Garfield’s 10th anniversary, and the other was a flashback. The next time Garfield fans saw him was the ‘90s.
In the online game “Garfield’s Scary Scavenger Hunt,” players can uncover a secret room in the basement of a haunted house. Guess what you find there:
Yep, it's Lyman. If the player interacts with him, Lyman says he's starving and asks for food, but if you leave the room and come back Lyman is gone. Things got even creepier in Scary Scavenger Hunt 2, when Lyman's head jumps out of an oven to scare you.
Maybe Davis felt bad about the scaring his fans with all these hints about Lyman's death, because he started telling fans that Lyman had simply joined the Peace Corps and moved away. The character even returned to visit Jon in an episode of The Garfield Show called "Long Lost Lyman."
Who knows why Davis decided to traumatize a whole generation of Garfield fans. We're just glad that Jon Arbuckle isn't some kind of psycho killer - as far as we know.
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