Comic creator recipient of Arts Award

jim davis publicityphoto (2)

Cartoonist and entrepreneur Jim Davis is among recipients selected for the Indiana Governor’s Arts Awards. Born in Marion, Indiana and raised on a Black Angus cow farm with his family and 25 cats, Jim attended Ball State University where he majored in art and business.

Over the years after an unsuccessful attempt to launch a cartoon strip about a gnat, Davis discovered there were no major syndicated cartoons featuring a cat, however in time he developed Garfield, a fat, lazy, lasagna-loving, cynical cat that was a composite of all the cats he’s known from his childhood. Garfield debuted in 1978 in 41 newspapers and as of today, Garfield is read in nearly 2,100 newspapers worldwide.

The success of Garfield also spawned a locally-based production and licensing company, Paws, Inc., to support the global business ventures of Garfield. Like the groundbreaking cartoon it represents, Paws, Inc. has also set new standards in the licensing and merchandising world.

     “The Governor’s Arts Awards recognize significant contributions to and achievement in the arts, but this year’s event will have the added notable significance of celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Indiana Arts Commission and has been designated a legacy project of the Indiana Bicentennial,” said Governor Mike Pence. “This year’s recipients have contributed greatly to the cultural heritage of our great state through their creative talents and dedication. The First Lady and I look forward to honoring their achievements.”

Governor Pence, and First Lady Karen Pence, honorary chair of the Governor’s Arts Awards, and the Indiana Arts Commission will honor the 2016 recipients during an awards program at 5:30 pm, Saturday, April 9, 2016 at the Schrott Center for the Arts at Butler University.

     “It is indeed an honor to be an Indiana Governor’s Arts Award recipient,” Davis said. “This recognition further validates cartooning as a legitimate art form, and, I might add, a uniquely American art form. Joseph Pulitzer first published a comic strip called The Yellow Kid in the New York World in 1895. That’s even before Garfield!”

Davis still resides in Albany, Indiana where he and his staff produce Garfield at Paws, Inc. headquarters, which employs nearly 40 artists and licensing administrators.


Published by on March 2016. Filed under Archives, Art-to-Art Palette Journal, Art-to-Art Palette NewsWire/AAPNW, Back Porch Section, News (Time related), Northwest Passage Record/NWPR, Palette News Arts Network/PNAN, People and Places. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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