17: The Garfield Code
|The Garfield Code|
Made by: Alexander Rodgers
This strip is a reference to the novel (and subsequent film) The Da Vinci Code, a thriller primarily concerned with cryptic hints in European arts. It is notorious for being highly inaccurate, which the description makes fun of; The Garfield Code is apparently a book published 521 years in the future (from this strip's publication date) which paints Einstein as communicating with the Boston Red Sox (here a secret organization) via messages in Garfield comics.
There is, in fact, a message for the reader coded into the above comic: "I'M SORRY IT WAS NOT WORTH YOUR EFFORT TO DECODE THIS BUT YOU HAVE THE SATISFACTION OF KNOWING SOMETHING THAT OTHERS DO NOT TAKE PRIDE IN THAT SIGNED THE GOON". This is a running key cipher, made by adding the letter values of the message to the letter values of the dialogue in the original strip, then converting to the letters seen in the strip above.
An excerpt from The Garfield Code, first published 2529:
"Aha!" exclaimed Farrel, "I knew this ancient cartoonograph was more than it seemed at first. See how the letters don't form words? A message is hidden inside! This must be The Garfield Code!"
"But vat ees ze Garfield Cod?" enquired Farrel's nubile foreign assistant.
"Well, as we all know, Einstein had to communicate with the rest of his secret organisation, the Boston Red Socks, in a way that would not draw attention to their activities. So they would telepost each other these cartoons, altering the text. It's a simple cipher, just taking the numerical value of the letter and adding it to the corresponding letter in the original comic."
"But zat zeems too eezy to break."
"Not at all. There were literally thousands of Garfields produced. Only a hypermind like Einstein or Reagan could remember all of them."
"But today eet ees a simple matter to look them up, nonoui?"
"I'm afraid not. All records of specific Garfields were destroyed in the Great Dross Purge of the 24th century. Only one man I know will have a book collection dating this far back. We must talk to Lord Foxx."
Original strip: 1989-12-05.
Jon: WBMXUW ZWSQIBBV XFUXYZDCO SGUAI EY, APVKLTPI?
Garfield: XITAY QU XJ NPJ VMIFG LBFY R EII UY MDR FVPET LTO ENFL UAMYTJ?
Jon: Q LGM E CSL MBJCY!
Garfield: Y YDIXB W'G VPN ONYM TFMMWCPCH.