347 Days until Dragon*Con 2012…
If you are about 25 years old or older, you can stop reading this post right now.
Why? Because you should already know how awesome Garfield’s Halloween Adventure is. And if you don’t, well… you’re probly not reading this blog anyway.
Attention hipsters: the 80’s were WAY better than even you can imagine. I know you thought the 80’s were totallycooldude, at least you did for a minute, but throw away your stupid hat and your neon duds and your Vice magazines, because if you don’t have a suction-cup Garfield stuck to something you own, you ain’t shit.
I told a friend of mine recently that the 80’s were the absolute pinnacle of the Kid empire that lasted from about the mid-40’s until sometime around 1994 or so, which is around when toys hit the highway and videogames usurped the throne of greatest Christmas Toy. The toy was at its ultimate technological peak. Action figures’s guns shot frackin CAPS for chrissake!!! Kids were still dangerous and being a kid was still extremely dangerous. Not only that, but it was encouraged! Like Gene Hackman in the Royal Tennenbaums, the media bred recklessness into our nation’s youth. Want evidence? Here’s a few movies you may have heard of:
the Goonies: Kids hafta save the frackin parents! Not only that, but if they were not adventurous and reckless enough, they all would have had to leave the goondocks.
Explorers: Kids build a SPACESHIP! Instead of dying, they have a totally awesome adventure in outer space because, guess what, the spaceship made from a tilt-a-whirl ride vehicle actually WORKS!!!
Over the Edge: This was released in 1979, but screw it. That’s the 80’s way! I am reckless with my movie recommendations! This movie is about a bunch of kids who do drugs, listen to rock n roll music, and eventually take their whole damn school hostage. Hugely influential on my young mind. Recommended for a trilogy with Fortress and Red Dawn.
How does all this “fit” into getting into shape for Dragon*Con 2012? Because listen up, Dragon*Con organizers! We need a Garfield panel!!! Get Jim Davis, get Lorenzo Music, get whomever! I want to ask Jim Davis if Jon Arbuckle has ever gotten a taste of that sweet sweet Liz that he’s always on about. Or if he hates dogs, since Odie is so stupid. Or if by having all of his characters have the same oval eyes he’s making a statement that we are all connected. You know. Circle of Life and whatnot.
Like everything else in the 80’s, Garfield’s Halloween Adventure focused on the good and bad of venturing outside of the normal way of doing things. The plot is this:
(ARRRR, THAR DO BE SPOILERS AHEAD, ARRR)
Garfield figures out that, on Halloween, people give away candy. Fo’ free. Garfield, being a fatass like me, loves this idea and promptly “convinces” (i.e. “tricks”) Odie into dressing up as pirates (following a rousing musical number by Lou Rawls) and going trickertreating.
Then, our hero starts thinking outside the Box.
He sees some more houses across the river, hijacks a boat in true pirate fashion (he even calls himself Orangebeard while doing it), and sets sail for more booty. Odie loses the oars and they end up running aground on an island in the middle of the river, complete with a scary old house and irl pirate ghosts. Of course Garfield and Odie escape with more candy than they had to begin with, which tells all the kids out there that if you do something reckless, it may suck to begin with, but eventually it pays off big time. Life serving the risk-taker, right?
Where this special pays off is just like the Garfield Christmas Special:
(on a side note, in case you don’t know, a long time ago big-brand characters like Garfield, or Star Wars, or the notorious Peanuts Gang would have “Specials”. These “Specials” were just holiday-themed cartoons that would only come on once a year, much like the Simpsons “Treehouse of Horror” episodes. I’m not sure if these type of Specials even exist anymore, but if they don’t, the world is worse for it.)
What was so great about the Garfield Specials is that they truly knew what the meat of a holiday was. This Halloween special was genuinely kinda scary in some parts! And the Christmas special was genuinely kinda touching in some parts! Now you may just call me an old softy, but when that grandma starts talking about her dead old husband, and how he just plum loved Christmas, I have to look away. And regarding the Halloween special, you can not tell me that that old bastard in the chair isn’t scary as hell.