Sunday, February 26, 2017

Whatever Happened To Lyman? (Garfield)

Hey guys! No, that's too boring. Let's see, what language can we butcher this time? We've done so many, there's not many left that actually translate through! But good old Google Translate has a wide selection of languages that are at my expense. Which one should we select today?
Look at all those lovely languages! There's a lot of good ones, but I think I'll go with Tamil because it was in a really good book series I have been rereading for the hundredth time. It's called the Mysterious Benedict Society, and if you haven't read it you NEED to, it's probably the best book series I've ever read. Anyway! Let's see what "hey guys" is in Tamil!
Well look at that! It's only one letter. Also, I like how I didn't add an exclamation point, but Google Translate put one in there. Just a little excitement! Yeah, Google Translate! That's the right message! Get a little positivity in there! If there's no exclamation point, then you add your own! ஏ!

Well, that was surprisingly positive! Nice little jolt of energy from none other than Google Translate in the beginning of this post. By the way, I thought I should mention this- I finally fixed the music! It was glitching out before and not playing certain songs, but now it's back to normal and in working order. Turns out I had the wrong Dropbox links. Okay, ONTO THE POST! So, as you may have guessed by now- THIS IS ANOTHER COMIC MYSTERY!! Back by popular demand! I'm glad you guys liked the last one so much, I was a little nervous posting it on here because it's nothing like I usually do. BUT THIS SERIES IS BACK! And this time we're going to do an actual mystery in a comic, because last time we just found out the date of a picture of the AUTHOR of a comic, not the actual comic itself. And, as you probably figured out by either scrolling down early (naughty!) or reading the News scroll bar (if you're reading this in the week it comes out, that is. If you're not, hello from the past!) Anyway, remember last time when I mentioned Garfield?
And you know how I said last time that this is not about Garfield? WELL NOW IT IS!! Yes, ladies and gentlemen, today we're tackling Garfield. But not literally. Actually, that wouldn't be too hard, considering how fat and lazy he is. But he'd probably scratch you. But that's beside the point! (I just started 3 sentences in a row with "but". Yeesh.. rocky start.) Today's mystery isn't about Garfield at all. No, it's about Lyman.
I hope you liked that lovely drawing I made. Took me forever, I spent so much work on it. Graphic design is my passion©™ Anyway, if you don't know who Lyman is, I don't blame ya, he's a really obscure character. But it's my job to hunt down obscure and forgotten things that virtually no one else would care about and expose them, here on the ol' comic mystery series on AJP! So I care.™ Okay, since you still don't know anything about Lyman, I'll give you some fast facts.

1. He was introduced into the Garfield strip on Monday, August 7th, 1978. Yes, you heard that right- NINETEEN SEVENTY-EIGHT. My mom was in second grade. Yeah, Garfield might be a sucker for merchandise, but it's been going for a really long time, it's got that going for it. Here's Lyman's first appearance:
Man, look at that old art style. Garfield's lost a few pounds since then. (He's also a 38 year old cat, so we'll cut some corners.)

2. He was Jon's roommate for exactly 4 years, 8 months, and 17 days, and then he mysteriously disappeared. He was used by Jim Davis as a supporting character for when he needed Jon to talk to someone, since he can't talk to Odie. (Except this one time:)
But that's a comic mystery for another day. Anyway, that character that Jon talks to eventually turned into Garfield, but Jim Davis didn't get rid of Lyman in a normal way, he just disappeared.

3. Lyman was the original owner of Odie. I know, mind blow, right? Y'all thought Jon got Odie, but nope, it was your old pal Lyman! (Actually, you can kinda figure it out from that panel that I just showed above.)

So now that you have a general basis of who this guy is, let's delve into the mystery part- what happened to him? The only thing Jim Davis has said about that is "Don't look in Jon's basement", which is a joke. ...right? Well, we can't really rule it out. For example, in the minigame "Scary Scavenger Hunt" (which I spent many hours playing when I was 8) on the Garfield website, there he is, chained to a wall.
Well that's not disconcerting at all! A character who hasn't appeared in 30 years just randomly appears chained to a wall in a creepy as heck room full of bones and skulls. We're off to a great start! Although we can't necessarily count this as canon; we don't know if it was written by Jim Davis. *UPDATE 3/18/17*- I FOUND MORE INFO ON THIS!! I played through the Scary Scavenger Hunt today and got to the credits. And this is what they say:
So it wasn't written bu Jim Davis! It was created by 3 guys- Jeff Wesley, Glenn Zimmerman and Tom Beatty. Interesting... anyway, carry on!
Although he uses a ton of ghost writers and extra staff members to write comics now, so maybe the comics themselves aren't canon. Nevermind, we'll just count the comics as canon and mark this minigame as a maybe. There's more evidence to get to.
This was the last official appearance of him, talking to Jon as normal (well, not exactly normal) on April 24th, 1983. He technically didn't appear after this, but as we've seen before, he likes to come back. For example, here's one from Garfield's 10th birthday, June 19th, 1988:
He actually makes 2 appearances in this one, the first in the line of people celebrating Garfield's birthday and the second in one of the photo flashbacks. See 'im?
Of course Jim Davis would include Lyman in that first panel because he was once a major character of the strip and should be there to celebrate Garfield's birthday, right? Still, it is strange that he would drop a character suddenly only to bring him back for one panel five years later. Weird. And there's more:
This strip is from April 2nd, 2013. And it looks like any other one, until you look more closely at Jon's newspaper:
Ha. Did you get that little joke I made? Dun dun Okay, moving on. WHY ON EARTH WOULD THIS MAN DISAPPEAR FOR 25 YEARS AND THEN REAPPEAR ON A RANDOM NEWSPAPER THE DAY AFTER APRIL FOOL'S DAY?!! It makes no sense! So I'll remind you that his only appearances since 1983 have been chained to a wall in a minigame, showing up for one panel at Garfield's 10th birthday (the other panel was just a flashback), and on the back of a random newspaper in which Jon was reading about aliens. Great. We sure have a lot of info on this guy. Oh, and there's also this:
which is a screenshot in which Jon meets Lyman again in The Garfield Show. Apparently he became a wildlife photographer. But, uh...
Yeah, I don't think that's too trustworthy. We're gonna take that with a grain of salt. Oh, and there's also this from the official Garfield website:
But that basically summarizes everything I've just said (minus the newspaper part), so that's really no help. Anyway, I've read a lot of theories on this and why he's no longer there and why he appears in these random places. Some people think he's just a character Jim Davis wanted to get rid of, others think it was more than that. But here's what I think:

I think Lyman represents Jon's immaturity. When he had a roommate, he was a lot more calm and the voice of reason, and his pets were the crazy ones. However, as time went on and Lyman disappeared from his life, he started getting more and more dumb and doing silly things that everyone knows him by today, and Garfield became the voice of reason. Don't believe me? Look at this strip from 1978:

And this one from 2009:
Back in the late '70s and early '80s, Lyman was there to help talk to Jon and rationalize things out as they watched their pets wreak havoc. But when Lyman left, Jon started evolving more and more into this clumsy, dorky, loser character (that does things like flossing near a blender) that we all know and recognize today. And Garfield is now there to lament on these dumb things Jon does from the sidelines, with usually absolutely no emotion (his face is almost a copy-and-paste in each panel), as if these things happen all the time. And they do- it's been a long time since Lyman left. Yes, I am proposing that the reason Jon is such a dork and can never get a date or be a normal, functioning member of society is all because of Lyman. THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT, LYMAN! WHY DID YOU LEAVE?!! WHY?! Jon would be such a better person if you were still there!
Ugh. #lymanproblems
And as for the random appearances in the later comics, I feel that he's not really there. That's just Jon's memory of him coming through in little bits and pieces every few years. He's remembering when things were good, and he had a friend to talk to  to think things through and lament on their crazy pets together. And yes, Lyman was usually the fall guy for a lot of Garfield and Odie's crazy shenanigans because he was more sensitive, which I think also boosted Jon's mental state. Without a friend to talk to except for his cat, he's prone to being a pathetic person who can never get a date and who hardly even goes outside. But even through all of this, you'll notice his optimism. He's holding out for another person to come along, another friend to save him from doing moronic things and helping him through his day-to-day struggles. But unfortunately for Jon Arbuckle, it's been 34 years- I don't think someone like Lyman is coming back. And even with the little bits and pieces that come back (the birthday, the chains, the newspaper) Lyman is looking in from the outside, not the other way around. I think that symbolizes that Lyman is out of the picture entirely, and these are just Jon's memories of him, coming back occasionally- every couple years when Jon remembers what it was like when Lyman was still around. But, as he did when he was actually there, the memories of Lyman start appearing less and less. If you want the stats: He appeared 24 times in 1978, 21 times in 1979, 14 times in 1980, 6 times in 1981, 4 times in 1982, and only once in 1983. That's an average of 3% of all the comics for those years, which is not a lot.

However, the fact that Jon's memories of Lyman are showing up less and less- some people might think that's a negative thing. But just like the beginning of this post, I stay positive! I put that exclamation point in where it isn't! And I believe that Jon's life is.... actually getting better. I mean think about it- he might have felt lonely and depressed and took it out in weird ways (like getting a gopher down his pants) but his life has taken a turn for the better. He's going out with Liz finally, he has a somewhat loyal companion to talk to in Garfield, and he's getting better at being smoother in society and looking more normal.
...well, maybe not normal. But his life is getting better! He's proving to himself that he doesn't need Lyman and he has learned to embrace his clumsy, dorky ways. Which I think is quite a good thing! Don't you? It's nice to end on a positive note.

Too long; didn't read version: Lyman started leaving gradually and eventually left Jon altogether. He comes back in bits and pieces as Jon's memories. Because of this, Jon becomes lonely and depressed, causing him to do stupid stuff. But now he has a girlfriend! And his life is all better. The end.

Well, thank you for reading that comic mystery!! I hope you enjoyed it, this is one that I have been sitting on for a long time now, and it feels good to finally release it in the world. There's something about this character that just makes my gears turn. As always, leave a comment whether this was a yay or a nay, and also- I have a question for you: What's your opinion? Do you agree with me? Or do I just have too much time on my hands and you really couldn't care less. Let me know! Now then, now that that's over, we have some more business to get to. I CHANGED MY AVATAR!
Yep, that's exactly what I meant. Thank you. Yes, 2013 me actually physically changed into Avatar. The body's the same, it's just now my 2013 head on it. I know, it's crazy, but true! No (where am I going with this?), I changed my profile picture on Google. You know, that little picture that pops up whenever you sign in? Yeah, that one. I actually went through a variety of options, let's see.... there was option 1:
Which is basically just a really zoomed in picture of Bill Watterson, but it looks like a screenshot from Law and Order: CIS. And then there was option 2:
Which is a picture of the ever fabulous Swan Turnblad wearing some swagalicious sunglasses. What? You don't know who Swan Turnblad is? Shame on you! He was only the swaggiest Swedish-born Minnesota-based newspaper-owning millionaire of the late 19th century!
Hmm. Maybe he didn't get his millions in the most honest ways. Well, we don't have all day! Onto Option 3!
Ah, who could forget Option 3? Perhaps the best option of them all! It is, as everyone can tell, a beautiful picture of my brother. He looks slightly menacing, but don't be fooled. He's very menacing. He ate the cameraman 4 seconds after this picture was taken. Well, no time to dawdle! Onto Option 4!
*sigh* Yes, Option 4 is the blandest, but it is one we must choose. Unfortunately. The Doctor 2013 Neros had a good run, and so did the Animal Jam tiger balloon one. But it is time to say goodbye. It is with a heavy heart that I dismiss these two brave men. Goodbye, soldiers. You will be missed.
That is entirely the wrong gif. Who do I pay to do all my research anyway?? Because they're doing a terrible job! Oh right, it's me. Hmm. I shall have to consider firing myself.
Yes, that's the one! Another creepy gif from the same creepy webseries. (Salad Fingers is awesome though, you should totes magotes check it out if you haven't already because it's got a lot of heart- if you can see through the creepiness.) But no, we're not kicking a half-dessicated corpse into a hole in the sand war trench, we are saying goodbye to my two profile pictures that I am no longer using. So long.
Yes, you'll realize I just spent 406 words, 6 pictures, and 2 gifs talking about changing my profile picture. Oh good lord. (Speaking of, to get that word count I went to a site that tells me how many words are in each post and other useful information. I found that most of my other posts' reading levels, according to them, are from 7th to 8th grade but this one's is 9th to 10th grade! Apparently these comic mysteries are more intellectual than my regular posts! Well, that makes sense. I also found out that that Thanksgiving one I did a while back is a very, very long post.) Anyway, since we're on the topic of me changing things, I changed my Blogger bio!
There you go. I like to change it up every so often, just for a little change, you know? This version fully reflects my love and respect for Twenty One Pilots, which has quickly become my favorite band. My favorite movies didn't really change, those are still some pretty great movies. Also, let spoons be who they truly are inside! #SPOONJUSTICE2018 Anyway, I just kinda wanted to show that to you. I don't really know why. Alright, this post is almost over, but there's something missing. What could it be?? Hmm... *think think think* OH I KNOW IT'S TIMEFORTHEOLDMEMEOFTEDAY!!!
I can relate. I don't even drive but whenever someone does that and I notice it I'm like "HAHA GO THE HECK AWAY" I should just get my own personal frog to say that. Anyway, we're currently going through a meme shortage. I know, it seems like it could never have happened, but it has. Ever since January ended really, the memes have been in high demand and low stock. There was the salt guy, the cash me outside memes, and the rolltide memes, but those really aren't funny anymore. And silly old me forgot to stock up on memes before the meme shortage started, so I have to resort to using sub-par ones. Hopefully by March the good memes. As a consolation however, I have this monstrosity that I spent half an hour making:
It is appropriately named "demon.png". I...I just don't even know where to begin. I started by asking the age-old question "What if Josh Dun was Dan Howell?" and then it kind of just got worse from there. Yes, Phil's eyes are his nose. And Felix is growing out of Josh-Dan's head and eating Phil's eyebrow. Also, Josh-Dan has Tyler Joseph's arm, which has Tyler's face at the end of. Tyler is trying to eat Josh's ear, but he can't really. Josh is just really happy about everything that's going on. Oh, and Demon Jack is just watching from the sidelines and is probably very confused. (I would be.) You're welcome for the nightmare fuel! Well, it's been a good post, but I have to end it there. It is 1:51 AM currently, so I am going to go to bed! I like this new 2017 schedule, don't you? I'm working on updating a lot of the pages on this blog (including Epic Den of the Month, I haven't forgotten about that!) and making the tags for the posts more manageable. Hope you enjoyed this post, see y'all next time!


  1. Is it bad that I recognized Phil's nose before I read your description of that beautiful picture. I am totally not staring at Phil's face at every second of every day... Anyway... Did you watch that golf video on Dan and Phil Games. It is almost as good as the burning pancakes sim video. I literally died. Just like Eliza almost did. Anyway my theory is that Lyman is dead and you killed him... DUN! DUN! DUN! Or not idk. Well I have to go and rewatch every collab Dan and Phil ever made so, bye. Signing out- The Squid master(don't ask) aka That One Kid Who Exists.

    1. Yes, isn't that a beautiful picture I created? It totally won't give people nightmares! Yes, I did watch the Gold With Friends video. Dan won... AGAIN. Sometimes I wish that Phil would win a Dan vs. Phil more often, it just feels like Dan always wins. Anyway thanks for the comment catdog347! (Or Squid Master...?)


Hey everyone! If you're about to comment, thanks so much! That's really nice of you! But I do have a few ground rules....
1. Please don't swear, this is an Animal Jam blog and if you want to be vulgar go do that somewhere else.
2. Don't bully. It's rude and mean. Your comment will be deleted if I see it or someone reports it to me.
3. Have fun while commenting!! Feel free to ask me anything about AJ and I will try to respond.

Pet Rules

Oh hey, you've made it to the bottom of the page. Well, now that you're here, it's now your responsibility to make sure the pets get fed. So:
1. Feed Pete 2 or 3 fish. DON'T FEED HIM MORE THAN THAT!! He'll fall over!
2. Over on the Fun Stuff page, feed the fishes about 15 pieces of food (5 clicks) Don't let the red one eat all the food! She's very greedy.
3. And finally, feed Rosie who is also on the Fun Stuff page. She needs about 2 apples and 1 piece of broccoli every day. She loves being brushed, so you should pet her with the brush too!

That's all! Now go feed them. THEY'RE HUNGRY. Oh, and by the way did I mention they need these daily?