Unbeatable Squirrel Girl taps Garfield creator to guest-illustrate special issue

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Sep 3, 2019, 8:10 AM EDT (Updated)

Comic books can be as manifold and varied as the characters who feature in their stories, but it's some of the newest additions to the comic canon that have been among its most memorable. Marvel's Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, written by Ryan North and illustrated by Erica Henderson, is one such example.

The humorous dialogue, endearing characters and fun art are only a few of the reasons to pick up this ongoing series — but an upcoming issue definitely needs to be added to your pull list.

The new issue #26 of Unbeatable Squirrel Girl will be framed slightly differently — in the form of a zine created by Doreen Green (aka Squirrel Girl) and her friends. What's more is that North has enlisted a roster of artists, each contributing artwork to represent the unique art styles of Doreen's pals -- and one of them is none other than Garfield creator Jim Davis, who drew the art for a story all about the planet-eater Galactus.

In an exclusive for EW, Davis recounted the backstory of North approaching him to illustrate for the issue: "Ryan North sent me an email last winter about this idea to do a special Squirrel Girl issue drawn by the cartoon characters themselves, with different artists for each style. He explained Galactus seemed like a logical one for me, because of Garfield — having the appetite of the planets, and being one of the biggest and oldest of the Marvel characters. Garfield will be 40 next year, and is himself reaching iconic status."

While Galactus is undoubtedly a perfect comics parallel for Davis' hungry cat, considering his large appetite, it was the Silver Surfer both Davis and North decided to envision as Jon Arbuckle, Garfield's owner. However, Davis admitted that rendering Galactus in his own style proved to be something of a challenge at first: "We were throwing stuff back and forth, and the initial sketches just weren’t working for Galactus. I said okay, we gotta make him fat. The guy eats planets, for god’s sake! Once we do that, it’s a little less Galactus but certainly a lot more Garfield. It looked more natural. Obviously, Galactus has put on a few mega-tons for this strip."

North wrote the Galactus story, which Davis illustrated along with assistants Gary Barker and Dan Davis. You can check out a preview of issue #26, which drops November 8, over at EW.