Law of Averages: The Layout of ‘Garfield’ Broken Down
A funny thing happened when David McLeish of parody/mashup site "Square Root of Minus Garfield" (not to be confused with "Garfield Minus Garfield" averaged the colors of every non-Sunday Jim Davis "Garfield" strip from 2007 - the compiled material revealed a pretty compelling...consistency.
McLeish's analysis of the blurred structure makes for a pretty fun read, even if his conclusions confirm what many readers from that year may have suspected. Along with a shared 3-panel structure and borderless middle panel, Jon typically stands on the left while Garfield stands on the right (almost like having a "side of the bed") and the dialogue rests on one common plane.
This straightforward composition doesn't necessarily detract from Davis' effectiveness. One need only look at Ryan North's "Dinosaur Comics" to affirm the possibilities even a literally unchanging layout affords.