Another famous comic character has become the property of a corporation. Viacom Inc. today announced that they have purchased Paws, Inc., the multimedia empire of cartoonist Jim Davis, along with the rights to his most famous creation, Garfield, along with the less popular U.S. Acres, which has fallen in prominence in recent years since star Orson the Pig fell in with a bad crowd of 30-50 feral hogs. The 74-year-old Davis will apparently continue to write and draw the Garfield comic strip while Viacom-owned Nickelodeon will “develop new Garfield content for all platforms and consumer products for a new generation of fans.”
In a press release, Nickelodeon President Brian Robbins spoke of how the acquisition of the beloved character will aide the network’s plans to dominate the imaginations of children:
This acquisition marks another step in our evolution toward being kids’ first stop for the best new content and characters, so we’re incredibly happy to have Garfield join our growing roster of globally loved franchises and to introduce this cool cat to a new generation of fans.
Nickelodeon already plans to develop a new Garfield animated show, while Viacom Nickelodeon Consumer Products will monetize the franchise through merchandising. Said Viacom COO Sarah Levy:
Great content is core to the strength of our brands, and Garfield is a beloved character that continues to be part of the cultural zeitgeist with universal resonance across all ages.
It’s true. Everyone hates Mondays. Levy continued:
The acquisition of Paws, Inc. provides another opportunity for Viacom to leverage our platforms to extend the global reach of iconic IP.
While VNCP President Pam Kaufman added:
Garfield is a global evergreen franchise that is a natural fit with Nickelodeon and our portfolio of iconic properties. With fans around the globe that span both kids and adults, we are excited to ignite Garfield into a multi-generational consumer products juggernaut and further deliver on VNCP’s ‘Every Age, Every Aisle’ mission.
Finally, Jim Davis took a brief time out from rolling around in piles of money to state:
I’ve always tried to make people laugh with humor that is classic and appealing to both kids and adults. I’m delighted that Garfield is going to be placed in the capable hands of the folks at Nick. They know how to entertain and will be great stewards for the franchise. I am also excited to continue to do the thing that gets me out of bed every morning…the comic strip!