The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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October 19, 2005

The Trek Life

Lapel Artist featured on new Garfield Web Site and also creates Star Trek comic

ANDERSON, Ind. — Parents, tired of your kids sitting at the computer? Worried about them not doing anything creative like you did before computers came along? Well, Garfield to the rescue! Professor Garfield, that is. A new interactive Garfield site features games, stories and videos on how to draw cartoon characters, animals and more.

More importantly, it gets children involved as participants rather than just sitting by the screen looking at things passively. The page opens with Professor Garfield. By clicking on “Art-bot” after the page comes up, parents and children can learn to draw Garfield with Jim Davis and other artists.

Jamie Crawford teaches how to make figures out of clay while Eric Reaves teaches children to draw animals. Madison County’s David Reddick shows kids how to draw animals, superheroes, clowns and a princess.

Davis explains how when he was a boy, he had to use his imagination to create things to do. His mother often gave him a pencil and paper and said, “Keep yourself busy.”

It's that kind of self-discovery that prompted the site, said David Reddick, cartoonist at Davis’ studio, Paws Inc. and a nationally-published freelance cartoonist.

“A lot of what is behind Professor Garfield is the effort to make learning fun for kids by using entertaining activities. As far as the videos that we created, some of the thought there was also that a lot of kids don't have access to art programs in their schools. There’s a growing number of schools across the country reducing or cutting programs,” Reddick said. “It’s not replacing schools in any way, but a little something extra to drive kids toward education in an entertaining way.”

Davis has a strong emphasis on education and reading in everything he does, Reddick said. The whole writing crew found a way to make it fun and free to teachers, adults and children around the world.

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