Cartoonist Jim Davis has offered more than 11,000 Garfield comic strips that he had hand-drawn on paper in an auction that will stretch into the coming years, with at least a couple of strips featuring the always-hungry orange cat with a cynical sense of humour available weekly. The strips are available for auction span from time from the launch of Garfield in 1978 to 2011 when Davis began drawing the strip digitally.
Davis said that he still draws it by hand but now with a stylus on a tablet instead of on paper with a pencil, pen and brush. Heritage auctions which is based in Dallas began offering the strips from August onwards. Two daily strips are being sold each week, along with longer Sunday strips being offered during the large-scale auctions throughout the year. Nagib Baltagi, who is a comic art collector has already purchased 20 of the strips so far and plans to bid on more. The 36-year-old art enthusiast said that the Garfield auction particularly resonated because he loved watching the cartoons and reading the books as a kid.
Brian Wiedman who is a comic grader at the auction house said that the daily strips are currently selling on average from around $500 to $700, and the longer Sunday strips are selling for $1,500 to $3,000. He also revealed that the value of the strip is also determined by “who is doing what, when and where.” He added that so far Garfield eating lasagna, which is a trademark for him, can be considered one of the most expensive ones. Also adding value, he said, is an appearance by the other characters, such as Garfield’s owner Jon Arbuckle and Odie, his dog. Davis, who is 74, said he has no plans to retire from drawing the comic featuring the feline known for his dislike of Mondays and diets. Describing his job he said that it was just fun.