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Talking about Garfield ... I am searching for an original strip which I have only seen in a translation to Norwegian, with a text that can't possibly be original; it must have been created by the Norwegian translator. I would love to know the original (even though it probably is not half as good as the Norwegian one):
Garfield is in Jon's bathroom, climbing up on the mirror shelf among toothbrushes and water glasses. He finds a tube of toothpaste, squeezes it, the lid pops off and Garfield is sprayed all over with toothpaste.
That is when the Norwegian Garfield exclaims: "Hva brast så høyt, Herre konge?" ("What burst so loud, Lord King?"), which is from the Viking age Battle of Svolder. Actually, it was king Olav Tryggvason, hearing the bow of his Squire Einar Tambarskjelve break, who asked "What burst so loud?" and the squire answered "Norway off your hand, Lord King!" (King Olav did loose the battle.)
Does anyone recognize Garfield with the toothpaste tube, to give me a clue about the date when it was published? Or even better: A link to the strip. (It must be at least 20 years ago, probably closer to 30.)
I suspect that native English speakers are not aware how large a fraction of the comic strip texts are completely twisted around in translation - either because the word play simply doesn't translate, or there are cultural connotations that doesn't work in translation. One Norwegian translator of Peanuts claimed that between a third and half of the strips couldn't possibly be translated directly.
Or, the translator simply got a great idea. Like this old Garfield strip when Jon has bought himself a new recliner. Garfield sees it, and comments: This chair needs some conditioning! He scratches it all up, so when he finally jumps into the seat, the spring below breaks through the fabric, blowing him into the ceiling, breaking through, so he is dangling from his neck. In the original version, Garfield complains: "As soon as chair starts to earn your respect, it turns back on you", which is fair enough. But in the Norwegian version, he says: "There is always something covert about Swedish products" ...
The strips are frequently published in Norway months or even years after the original publication. Then, a year or two after they were shown in Norwegian newspapers, they come as collections. I have it in one such collection. When I get home from work I can dig up that collection and see its year of publication, but that would be a very approximate barrier for the latest day it could have been published.
In my collection book, it is just a line drawing, a "weekday" strip - earlier only weekend strips used to be colorized.