Steven graduated Cum Laude from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Mass Communications, focusing on film studies, journalism and theatre arts. Dubbed a "prolific" writer by Hollywood icon Kenneth Johnson (The Incredible Hulk, V, The Bionic Woman, Alien Nation), Steven has been honored by the Arkansas College Media Association for his story writing prowess. He has also received recognition for his dramatic writing from the Eerie, Shriekfest and Screamfest horror film festivals. Publications include: Carroll County News, Saline Courier, Forum, Echo and Moroch.
Garfield finds fabulous, lasagna-loving new owner: Nickelodeon
Posted Tuesday, August 6, 2019, at 3:05 PM
NEW YORK — Garfield loathes Mondays and loves lasagna. And the world's most lovable, lazy cat is joining Nickelodeon. Viacom Inc. will acquire the rights for Garfield to create content and products for the Nick family. The deal should close by the end of the month.
“This acquisition marks another step in our evolution toward being kids’ first stop for the best new content and characters," Nickelodeon President Brian Robbins said in a press release. "So, we’re incredibly happy to have Garfield join our growing roster of globally loved franchises and to introduce this cool cat to a new generation of fans.”
Nickelodeon is preparing to produce a Garfield animated series, and the company will also control the fat, orange cat's merchandising rights. Creator Jim Davis will continue to write the iconic comic strip which is now penned by freelancers including Dan Davis.
“I’ve always tried to make people laugh with humor that is classic and appealing to both kids and adults," Jim Davis said of his creation. "I’m delighted that Garfield is going to be placed in the capable hands of the folks at Nick."
"They know how to entertain and will be great stewards for the franchise," Davis continued. "I am also excited to continue to do the thing that gets me out of bed every morning…the comic strip!"
Davis' comic strip is first published in 1976 under the title of "Jon." The cartoon is officially renamed "Garfield" and is printed in 41 newspapers on June 19, 1978. On June 1, 1980, Garfield's first book soars to No. 1 on the New York Times Bestseller List and remained there for almost two years. In 1981, "Garfield Gains Weight" and "Garfield Bigger Than Life" joins "At Large" on the NY Bestseller List.
By January 1982, the "Garfield" comic strip is featured in 1,000 newspapers, and in October the fat cat's first television special "Here Comes Garfield" airs. November boasts seven "Garfield" books weighing heavily as NY Bestsellers, and everyone's favorite cat graces the cover of People Magazine.
1983 marks another milestone as the "Garfield" comic strip goes worldwide. Garfield, Jon and Odie now appear in over 1,400 newspapers in 22 countries and is translated into seven different languages. In November 1984, Garfield is asked to join the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Garfield may not be Gene Kelly, but the feline's second animated special "On the Town" wins an Emmy on May 1, 1985. For creator Jim Davis, it is his first of four Emmy trophies. Other Emmy Awards include "Garfield in the Rough" (1985), "Garfield's Halloween Adventure" (1986) and "Babes & Bullets" (1989).
In 1987, "Garfield" becomes only the third comic strip to appear in 2,000 newspapers worldwide. After "A Garfield Christmas" television special, the Monday-hating kitty cat appears in the Rose Bowl Parade in January 1988.
In May of 1988, Garfield celebrates his 10th birthday in the following television special:
Garfield's legacy grows as his animated television series "Garfield & Friends" debuts on CBS October 1, 1988. Many achievements and moments followed including a website, musical CD, a cookbook, television appearances — his own shows in Japan and China — two feature films starring Bill Murray, and in 2002 "Garfield" was dubbed the "Most Widely Syndicated Comic Strip in the World" by the Guinness Book of World Records.
Today, the Garfield brand generates nearly $1 billion in revenue annually. After over 40 years, Garfield now falls to Nickelodeon. The legacy continues for a whole new generation of fans as they too will learn to eat lasagna, sleep with their Pooky, hate Mondays and lovingly terrorize the Odies and Nermals of the world.