By GLENN TOLLE
When I was eight my mom bought me a small tote at a garage sale. Inside were all the Garfield comic strip collections that had been published up until 2004. I tore those collections to shreds (literally) by reading them over and over and acquiring every new collection that came out. I also watched all the Garfield animated specials and every episode of GARFIELD AND FRIENDS. Even now, I maintain a special fondness for the fat feline that cartoonist Jim Davis created.
My favourite Garfield release is the subject of this edition of FRIGHTS FOR TYKES: GARFIELD’S SCARY TALES written by Jim Kraft, illustrated by Mike Fentz and published by Scholastic in 1990.
GARFIELD’S SCARY TALES is a collection of, you guessed it, scary tales featuring the titular tabby as he faces everything from large cat eating spiders to a ghostly back woodsman with an axe to grind (literally). The book contains five stories in total, all of which are truly funny and a few of which are mildly frightening. My favourite of the bunch is “The Midnight Stalker,” which tells the story of how Jon, Odie and Garfield spend the night in a creepy old inn where the resident cat may be a shape changing monster who eats visiting pets. I’m also partial to “Terminal Terror”, in which Jon falls under the influence of a sentient computer intent on controlling all who boot it up.
GARFIELD’S SCARY TALES is one of three “scary” non-comic Garfield collections that came out in the 1990s. The other two in the series are GARFIELD’S TALES OF MYSTERY and GARFILED’S HAUNTED HOUSE AND OTHER SPOOKY TALES. They make perfect companions and are also worth seeking out.
My edition of GARFIELD’S SCARY TALES can be bought on AMAZON for $5.49, plus free shipping, “Used”, in “Good” condition, not bad considering the contents. HIghly recommended Halloween reading for you and the tyke in your life.