Our business actually is to reason and compare

Skip to content

L.I. Underhill is a media critic and historian specializing in pop culture, with a focus on science fiction (especially Star Trek) and video games. Their projects include a critical history of Star Trek told through the narrative of a war in time, a “heretical” history of The Legend of Zelda series and a literary postmodern reading of Jim Davis' Garfield.


  1. divad40k
    April 11, 2018 @ 10:18 am

    I’ve been waiting for this. It’s good to have you back Josh


  2. Przemek
    April 11, 2018 @ 12:06 pm

    What’s more, while The Dog Next Door is trying to assert his dominance by elevating the whole category of beings he belongs in (it’s the dogs who are objectively better, not this dog alone), Garfield responds by humiliating this particular individual. This act not only brings back the natural subjectivity but also singles out The Dog Next Door and exposes him as a fraud. Garfield never attacks the statement itself; perhaps the dogs are indeed objectively better than cats. But this one isn’t, and it’s painfully easy to explain why. So easy that even a pretty weak rejoinder is sufficient for Garfield to win the debate.

    It’s also interesting that Garfield chooses that particular behaviour as the damning example of stupidity. Drinking from the toilet is not just gross, it’s using things completely backwards. And what’s more, it’s not a behaviour that we would accept in humans under any circumstances. By drinking from the toilet, The Dog Next Door, however antropomorphized, goes back to being an animal. Garfield’s intelligence allows him to regularly outsmart the humans, making him arguably more human than them. No wonder he wins the battle of wits with – and reasserts his power over – someone who acts like a lesser being.


  3. homunculette
    April 11, 2018 @ 6:35 pm

    Welcome back, Josh!

    This isn’t particularly relevant to this post, but I’m really curious to hear your opinion on Heathcliff, specifically the current iteration drawn by Peter Gallagher. I had a few of the old George Gately Heathcliff books as a kid and they’re very bog-standard Dennis the Menace type fare, but Gallagher’s interpretation of the world is very bizarre and compelling to me, full of Garbage Apes, incredibly obscure cartoon references, and Edward Lear poems.


  4. John G. Wood
    April 11, 2018 @ 9:21 pm

    Yay, welcome back! I was just thinking about your absence the other day.

    All I can say is, in most things our dog is more intelligent than our cat, but not all. And that does not make him ‘better’.

    The one that my anthropomorphising head has the most trouble with is the cat’s “door into summer” syndrome, whereby if the weather’s bad out of one door or window he insists on being shown the view from all the others. By the time he’s got all the way round he’s usually ready to start again…


  5. Josh Marsfelder
    April 12, 2018 @ 7:55 am

    Thanks for the warm welcome back, everyone! Glad to be back 🙂

    I don’t know if I can be back regularly yet or not though, I’m afraid-I sort of bet the farm on this new project, the necessary trip for which is now scheduled for early June. I don’t really have much else to fill the gap between now and then, except the possible occasional entry in this series. And it’s frustrating because I do have ideas for other projects, but not quite enough time between now and June to give any of them their proper due. I don’t want to start something only to have to shelve that once I can start serializing this big thing. So I’m kind of boxed in a creative and logistical corner ATM.

    Rest assured I’ve not forgotten EP and have still got a lot of things I’m working on in the background, some of which you’ll get to see before June for sure. At the very least I’ll try to pop in every now and again between now and then!

    @Homunculette I’m not familiar with that take on Heathcliffe, but that does sound rather interesting so thanks for cluing me in to it!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.