Jim Davis (cartoonist)
James Robert Davis (born July 28, 1945) is an American cartoonist, best known as the creator of the comic strips Garfield and U.S. Acres (a.k.a. Orson's Farm). Published since 1978, Garfield is one of the world's most widely syndicated comic strips. Davis's other comics work includes Tumbleweeds, Gnorm Gnat and Mr. Potato Head.
Davis in 2010
James Robert Davis
July 28, 1945
Marion, Indiana, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Carolyn Altekruse (divorced)|
Jill Davis (m. 2000)
|Parent(s)||James William "Jim" Davis (father) |
Anna Catherine "Betty" Davis (mother)
Davis wrote or co-wrote all of the Garfield TV specials for CBS, originally broadcast between 1982 and 1991. He also produced the Garfield & Friends Saturday Morning series, which aired on the channel from 1988 to 1994. Davis was the writer and executive producer for a series of CGI direct-to-video feature films about Garfield, as well as an executive producer for the CGI animated TV series The Garfield Show.
Jim Davis was born in Marion, Indiana, on July 28, 1945. Davis grew up on a small farm in Fairmount, Indiana, with his father James William "Jim" Davis, mother Anna Catherine "Betty" (née Carter) Davis, brother Dave. Davis's childhood on a farm parallels the life of Garfield's owner, Jon Arbuckle, who was also raised on a farm with his parents and a brother, Doc Boy. Jon is a cartoonist, who also celebrates his birthday on July 28. Davis attended Ball State University where he studied art and business. While attending Ball State, he became a member of the Theta Xi fraternity.
Davis has been married twice, first to Carolyn (Altekruse), who was allergic to cats, though they owned a dog named Molly. They have a son, James Alexander Davis. On July 16, 2000, Davis married his divorced wife, Jill, and had two more children: Ashley and Christopher.
In the fall of 2016 Jim Davis joined the faculty of Ball State University in Muncie as an adjunct professor, lecturing on the creative and business aspects of the comics industry.
Davis resides in Albany, Indiana, where he and his staff produce Garfield under his Paws, Inc. company, launched in 1981. Paws, Inc. employs nearly 50 artists and licensing administrators, who work with agents around the world managing Garfield's vast licensing, syndication, and entertainment empire.
Prior to creating Garfield, Davis worked for an advertising agency, and in 1969, he began assisting Tom Ryan's comic strip, Tumbleweeds. He then created a comic strip, Gnorm Gnat, that ran for three years (1973–1975) in The Pendleton Times, an newspaper in Pendleton, Indiana. When Davis attempted to sell it to a national comic strip syndicate, an editor told him: "Your art is good, your gags are great, but bugs—nobody can relate to bugs!"
From 1976 to early 1978, Davis then published a strip titled Jon in The Pendleton Times which would later become Garfield, starting syndication in 41 newspapers on June 19, 1978. Today it is syndicated in 2,580 newspapers and is read by approximately 300 million readers every day.
In the 1980s, Davis created the barnyard slapstick comic strip U.S. Acres. Outside the U.S., the strip was known as Orson's Farm. Davis, along with Brett Koth, also made a 2000–03 strip based on the Mr. Potato Head toy.
Davis founded the Professor Garfield Foundation to support children's literacy.
|Year||Award||Presenting Organization & Sciences|
|1984–85||Emmy Award, Outstanding Animated Program, Garfield in the Rough, TV special, CBS|
|1985||Elzie Segar Award for Contributions to Cartooning||National Cartoonist Society|
|1986||Outstanding Animated Program, Garfield's Halloween Adventure, TV special, CBS||Academy of Television Arts & Sciences|
|1986||Best Strip||National Cartoonist Society|
|1988–89||Emmy Award, Outstanding Animated Program, Garfield's Babes and Bullets, TV special, CBS||Academy of Television Arts & Sciences|
|1988||Sagamore of the Wabash||State of Indiana|
|1989||Reuben Award for Overall Excellence in Cartooning||National Cartoonist Society|
|1989||Indiana Arbor Day Spokesman Award (presented to Jim Davis and Garfield)||Indiana Division of Natural Resources and Forestry|
|1990||Good Steward Award (presented to Jim Davis and Garfield)||National Arbor Day Foundation|
|1991||Indiana Journalism Award (presented to Jim Davis and Garfield)||Ball State University Department of Journalism|
|1992||Distinguished Hoosier||State of Indiana|
|1995||Project Award||National Arbor Day Foundation|
|1997||LVA Leadership Award (presented to Paws)||Literacy Volunteers of America|
|2016||Inkpot Award (presented to Jim Davis)||San Diego Comic-Con International|
- "Garfield comic strip makes Guinness Book of World Records". bizjournals. 2002-01-28. Retrieved 2018-01-29.
- De Weyer, Geert (2008). 100 stripklassiekers die niet in je boekenkast mogen ontbreken (in Dutch). Amsterdam / Antwerp: Atlas. p. 244. ISBN 978-90-450-0996-4.
- "Those Catty Cartoonists," Time magazine, Dec. 07, 1981; available online at Time magazine website.
- "Jim Davis - Everything2.com". everything2.com.
- NNDB profile. Retrieved March 15, 2008.
- "National FFA Organization Prominent Members" Archived 2010-07-13 at the Wayback Machine, National F.F.A. Organization (PDF)
- Quinton Reviews (YouTube) - "Finding Lost Garfield Comics"
- Davis, Jim. 20 Years & Still Kicking!: Garfield's Twentieth Anniversary Collection. New York: Ballantine Books, 1998, p. 14.
- "Garfield Named World's Most Syndicated Comic Strip". Business Wire. January 22, 2002. Archived from the original on January 21, 2009. Retrieved July 26, 2008.
- "TRC About Us: Professor Garfield". Retrieved 2013-12-15.
- "Interview with Jim Davis". calendars.com. November 9, 2012. Archived from the original on 2014-02-25. Retrieved February 20, 2014.
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- Bruce McCabe, "The Man Who Put Garfield on Top", The Boston Globe, March 8, 1987.