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Posted at 10:45 AM ET, 07/23/2008

The Rant: Bucky Katt v. Garfield

By Michael Cavna

It's not a matter of if any longer, but only a matter of when. And the sooner it happens, the sooner we can all relish the thrilling spectacle:

Bucky Katt and Garfield must throw down. Paw-to-paw combat for comic-feline supremacy, may the better manx win.

Bucky Katt's backhanded insults: The feisty feline can certainly make a racket, if not wield one. (United Feature Syndicate)

Garfield's hunger to win: Cartooning's fat-cat knows his way around the ring -- preferably if it's made of onion. (Universal Press Syndicate)

""Get Fuzzy's"" Bucky is the scrappy upstart out of New England with the killer vocabulary ("interfenestral"!) and the lightning-quick comeback. Most important, the lean-and-mean fleabag is fueled by the fire of righteous indignation.

In the other corner is Garfield, the reigning 800-pound franchise known to crush comic opponents with a simple flick of the wrist. He might look fat-and-happy, but beneath that smug Midwestern mug is a feline who's surely miffed that he hasn't seen father Jim Davis in -- what? -- a decade, instead being passed among a series of foster cartoonists. For that, someone must pay.

Why must this happen, you ask, and if it does, will this Thrilla in Catzilla be available to view-for-pay on Adult Swim? It must go down because too many folks want to see Bucky "Monkey Prank" Katt take down the Great Orange One. Bucky's sidekick Satchel even let it slip that "the fix was in" -- though he then asked whether that meant one or both felines would be "fixed." It should be noted, too, that Garfield remains undefeated, his only serious comic bout coming against the famed "Far Side" python that had the kitty down its gullet.

So all that's left to decide is which draftsman inks the Catfight of the Century: Darby Conley vs. the Garfield assembly line. Our money, though, is on a third, dark-horse contender--somebody known for hosting other cartoon characters. Yes, the man to make the fur fly is Stephan "Pearls Before Swine" Pastis, a fellow just twisted enough to make sure that Jeffy is the referee.

So, who's your money on, comic fans? Which cartoon cat must fall?

By Michael Cavna  | July 23, 2008; 10:45 AM ET
Categories:  The Rants  
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My money is on Garfield, the strip that will not die. Ugh.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | July 23, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Down goes Garfield! Down goes Garfield!

Posted by: H. Cosell | July 23, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Garfield is just a little man in a cat suit.

Posted by: Tom T. | July 23, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

I don't know who will win, but I'm rooting for Bucky!

Posted by: howiehunt | July 23, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Unless Garfield sits on Bucky, it is Bucky all the way. Love that deranged cat.

Posted by: donna | July 23, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

I'd root for Bucky, but since Garfield not only killed and ate Lyman, and scared Odie and Jon enough that they've never mentioned it, I'd have to go with Garfield.

Can we get Kliban's Cat in here somewhere? Or Krazy Kat? Or everyone's favourite, Sylvester?

Give the losing cat to Nate's sister Ellen. :)

Posted by: f2 | July 23, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

On the one hand, Bucky never wins fights (see e.g. the ferret, monkey, chicken, etc.). On the other hand, if Pastis is the one drawing it, we would see Garfield drawn and quartered by Bucky, because if I remember right, he *hates* Garfield.

As far as who should win, I would say Bucky all the way, because Garfield is basically nothing more than a marketing/merchandising empire, and has been from the very beginning.

We should see what Weingarten thinks.

Posted by: Go Bucky! | July 23, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

I hope Bucky beats Garfield outta the ring. Unfortunately, until he beefs up and gets his own little furry franchise, Bucky may not be able to best the teaming legions of little old ladies with Garfield posters and Ziggy coffee mugs.

Posted by: Omaha | July 23, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Folks, there are things you need to know. Pastis is a very good friend of Conley, meaning that he almost CERTAINLY would have Bucky lose. To have Bucky win -- truly win -- anything, is to do enormous violence to the concept of Get Fuzzy. Bucky is a very sore loser, and in that there is comedy. Bucky talks big and always loses.

Further, in pole-axing Bucky, Pastis would be making a political point alluded to by a previous poster. Garfield ALWAYS wins in a one-on-one with any superior strip, because of the spinelessness of editors who are fearful of losing a grandpappy reader or two.

Pastis likes to make this point.

Bucky: Toast.

Posted by: Weingarten | July 23, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

also true to the spirit of these comics: in the end, rob wilco and jon would be the most put-out by the hairballed's always the in-name-only "masters" who suffer!

Posted by: hotel foxtrot | July 23, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Bucky cat is anarchist who doesn't know he's domesticated and thinks that everyone around him should be in awe of his ideas. Garfield is in charge because his owner has been kitty-whipped.

Posted by: Twisk | July 23, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

I predict the bout will be torpedoed by those oft-mentioned editors, leaving Bucky to at least claim he won.

Posted by: Ollabelle | July 23, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Yes, sadly, Garfield will win because he's got an entire squadron of hired goons on his side: Davis's army of ghost cartoonists, writers, letterers, panel-box inkers, marketing stooges, copyright lawyers, etc, etc. Bucky will end up as a smear on the carpet. But he'll still be funnier than Garfield because he's got an actual personality whereas Garfield merely has some feeble rote responses to external stimuli.

Posted by: buggit | July 23, 2008 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Bucky, Garfield and the rat as referee. Pastis would have a field day with this one. I'm laughing just thinking about it.
BTW great Idea for a blog, I've read more sane and thoughtful posts on this than any of the other socalled serious blogs

Posted by: ease99 | July 23, 2008 8:42 PM | Report abuse

I like the cat in Pearls Before Swine - that is one evil, fluffly cat.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 24, 2008 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Before they can fight, Catbert will get them to sign liability releases and sell the whole thing on pay-per-view.

Posted by: jsutliff | July 24, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

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