'Garfield' devotees now able to enter his world

Disdainful of Mondays but love lasagna?

Chances are you know Garfield, the orange tabby with the low-key world view whose sardonic wit has been a staple among comic strips for more than three decades.

Now fans can get even closer to the cat and his so-called owner, Jon Arbuckle, in a move that blends real photos with creator Jim Davis' signature art in an era of motion-comics and instant gratification.

The series of animated Garfield comic strips are available online now at www.pixfusion.com and, shortly, on iPhone and iPad. Other mobile platforms are in the works.

The process is simple: Upload a photo of yourself, a family member or friend and you can place it in one of several strips already available. Instead of Arbuckle's or veterinarian Liz Wilson's head, your photo is the picture.

A four-pack of animated comics will cost 99 cents to personalize and can be streamed. Or users can download the finished product and share it for a cost of $3.99.

For $9.99, fans can personalize as many of the strips as they want and stream them for a year. They can be saved, streamed or posted to Facebook and elsewhere.

Jim Davis, who created the cat decades ago, said he embraced the opportunity to put readers in his strips, noting that his cat has long had a habit of breaking through the fourth wall and addressing readers directly.

"It's really a nod to where the industry is going," Davis said. "This interaction with the public can be a very healthy thing and can be great fun. It really brings intellectual properties like 'Garfield' to the public in a very personal way."

The first batch of strips focuses on the holidays, but the next will revolve around Valentine's Day and, of course, love.

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