Tuesday, October 18, 2011

In the News-Jim Davis and Garfield

Garfield Software Launched

Garfield Comic Boom, a new cartooning software from Toon Boom Animation, made its world debut at the Montreal ComicCon, September 17-21, 2011. The software, a collaborative effort between Toon Boom Animation and Garfield creator Jim Davis, allows children to create their own storylines and comic illustrations by using digital art tools and an extensive library of props and scenery. 

Davis, an Indiana native born in Marion and raised in Fairmont, calls the program a “jet pack to creativity” and muses that the software may soon leave him unemployed by the next generation of computer-savvy cartoonists. The program even makes it possible for users to create voice-overs and sound effects, and includes simple-to-use options that allow users to share their completed cartoons via social media sites and mobile devices. The software, which was released for sale in early August, also includes a bonus tutorial from Davis himself, imparting tips and wisdom on cartooning. 

Davis, who began his career as a cartoonist in 1969 by assisting Tom K. Ryan, creator of Tumbleweeds, is also the creator of Gnorm Gnat, a strip featured in the Pendleton Times for five years in the 1970s, as well as U.S. Acres, an internationally syndicated strip (known outside the U.S. as Orson’s Farmfeaturing Orson the Pig.  

Garfield began syndication in more than forty U.S. newspapers on June 19, 1978, and nw appears in more than 2,400 papers worldwide. In 1988, Garfield came to television in the animated Saturday morning cartoon series Garfield and Friends, which aired on CBS from September 17, 1988, to December 10, 1995. Now syndicated on the Cartoon Network, the show, which began as a half-hour program, was extended to an hour in its second season and featured two Garfield cartoons and a U.S. Acres cartoon in each episode. 

Garfield has appeared on the large and small screen, and in newspapers, books, DVDs, and video games. While certainly one of the most high-tech of Garfield-related products to hit the market, Garfield Comic Boom is only the newest venture by Jim Davis and his Paws, Inc.  Other excursions into the digital arena include the Garfield.com website and the ProfessorGarfield.org site, which promotes children’s literacy.

You can read more about Garfield Toon Boom at PRNewswire.com in the story “Garfield Creator Says ComicBoom Software Could Put Him Out of Business,” posted August 8, 2011.

By Bridget Hanley, Proficient Pen
Copyright 2011 Terence E. Hanley

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