IronViz – Garfield eats the pie chart

I love Garfield! And it was an easy pick for me to build a viz about Garfield for the first round of IronViz* feeders.

My first goal with the viz was to be able to see every single Garfield strip/comic directly from the Viz. My first step was to find a dataset that had this information somehow. And after some searches I found out that… it does not exist. Time to give up? No, time to be creative!

My investigation started by visiting the official Garfield website. Under the Comics session I found that all his cartoons are available as images. The best finding was that there is a very simple link syntax I could follow to be able to pull into the viz the image of every cartoon:

Next I just needed to get all the dates that a comic was published and I was done with it. As Garfield is being published uninterrupted since June 19 1979, I went to Google Sheets and created a simple dataset with one column that contained all dates between 1979-06-19 and 2018-05-01.

After loading the Google Sheet to Tableau I had to do some simple calculations to get all components of the link syntax I needed to reproduce:




I also created a Decade field because I wanted to be able to slice the cartoons that way otherwise they won’t fit on my design:


Then it came my second goal on the viz: draw a high-resolution Garfield on Tableau using for it… data! After another set of Google searches I found the blogpost from  where he describes a method to use pointillism to draw images on Tableau. And it was really simple! Here is my data driven Garfield!



The overall design of the viz was inspired by the old Garfield books that I spent hours reading when I was a little boy in Brazil. Those rectangular books were so nice to touch and to read that made me a big fan of everything Garfield related.

I was so in love of Garfield that I also became a Lasagna lover. It is my favorite food, specially when made by my mom! I also had Garfield socks and used them only for special occasions. Finally, in late 80’s there was a big Garfield event in one of the biggest malls in Brazil. And of course I was there with mom to cheer up for that big orange sarcastic cat.

I hope you enjoy my viz and I hope more that you enjoy Garfield! Click the image to access it on Tableau Public:


*IronViz is a data visualization competition promoted by @tableau on its yearly conference.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s