Several years ago someone discovered that if one removes all the speech bubbles from the comic strip Garfield, it becomes oddly surreal and much more interesting than originally intended. Garfield shows little emotion, behaving exactly as a real cat would. Without Garfield's verbal provocation to justify it, Jon's harried interactions with him become somewhat disturbing, oftentimes even depressing. This, to me at least, is a huge improvement over the original concept of the strip. You can see a bunch of examples of this treatment here.
More recently, someone has taken it a step further and removed Garfield from the strips altogether. This modification moves Jon from the role of the more traditional "cat owner," walking around talking to his pets as if they understand him, to that of a somewhat disturbed individual struggling with loneliness and desperation. In the prior modification, Jon's unprovoked pessimism seems out of place because Garfield is standing there smiling all the time; without Garfield being present at all, however, it ramps up to new levels of disturbnicity, bordering on schizophrenic. This is a significant step forward, making the strip into something I actually look forward to seeing, despite the blatant copyright violations involved in it being presented to me. You can view and subscribe to them here.
These two modifications got me thinking...
Since the removal of speech bubbles improved the strip so much, and the subsequent removal of Garfield even more so, I feel it's up to me to take the strip to the pinnacle of interestingness:
There you have it: confirmation that the removal of elements results in a better Garfield experience. The more elements you remove, the better it gets. I'm not sure of the logic behind this, but I suspect that it comes down to the fact that Garfield really sucks.
The author lives in Vancouver, Washington, USA with his girlfriend and a menagerie of cats, rats, fish, birds, guinea pigs and robots.
Among other inanities, he strives to use investigative techniques to work young starlet breasts into every aspect of rational discourse -- focusing on the discourse, thus making it not perverted. Also, has recently begun a career as "Internet hairstylist."
He can be contacted via email and Jabber IM at 'firstname.lastname@example.org'. He likes to be contacted.
(All press inquiries, however, ought be directed towards the author's agent, Alistair Hoel, via email to email@example.com.)