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It's Garfield's 40th birthday, so we talked to creator Jim Davis

Jim Davis loves Garfield, he is very conscientious about what products Garfield's face or tail-stripes are put on, and he writes the comic every single day.

June 19th marked the 40th anniversary of the world's most widely syndicated comic strip and lasagna loving cat, Garfield.

Garfield's creator Jim Davis is arguably the most successful living cartoonist, running a licensing empire Paws, Inc that generates between 800 million to a billion dollars annually. But there's a reason for the cat’s financial success: no politics.

"I'd like to think that 40 years from now they could read the gag and laugh for the very same reason and just as heartily as they do today," Davis told VICE News.

And after reading numerous interviews with Garfield's creator Jim Davis, it's easy to assume that behind the curmudgeonly cat is a curmudgeonly man. How else is one supposed to interpret such quotes as Garfield being born out of "a conscious effort to come up with a good, marketable character"?

But when Davis unleashes one of these seemingly soulless business dictums, he does so amid a fusillade of hearty, vaguely feline laughter. This is the guy who makes Garfield, after all.

This segment originally aired June 19, 2018 on VICE News Tonight on HBO.