Thirty-one years after the release of Ride the Lightning, Metallica’s second studio album – and the record that arguable established them as one of the greatest bands of all time – the heavy-metal band can now be found as the subject of a comic-strip mash-up with Garfield the Cat. Artist and creator, Jimmy Two Hands, has recently been drawing up strips which fuse James Hetfield, Metallica’s vocalist, and lead guitarist, with the lazy, orange cat Garfield, in a webcomic titled Hetfield.
Hetfield, of course, isn’t the only Metallica member immortalized in this dry-humored comic strip. Garfield’s owner, Jon Arbuckle, is recreated in the form of one Lars Ulrich, Metallica’s founding drummer, complete with a receding hairline. Meanwhile, Kirk Hammet gets a pooch-field, taking the place of Odie, Garfield’s unintelligent, tongue lolling dog.
While Two Hands keeps the original Garfield’s detestation of Mondays and love of Lasagna alive and well in Hetfield, the bearded cat is also found delivering the lyrics of Metalica’s best as punch-lines – sometimes literally. Hetfield can be seen kicking Hammet off a cliff while reciting “Disposable Zeroes,” swatting down spiders with a newspaper while drolly quoting “Search and Destroy,” defending his love of junk food and lack of exercise by quoting “My lifestyle determines my deathstyle,” and even referencing “Exit light, enter night,” from “Enter Sandman” as a plea to sleep in.
It’s not just the constant nods to Metallica’s history that make this comic fun for Monday-hating metal fans, but the artistic homage Jimmy Two Hands pays to Garfield’s original creator, Jim Davis as well. Two Hands draws the Metallica cast atop blank, pastel-colored backdrops, with little detail to detract from the dry humor.
It’s unclear what exactly inspired Two Hands to fuse two of pop-culture’s biggest, yet most unrelated names. Perhaps the rhyming nature of Hetfield and Garfield was all it took for this creative leap to be made. Whatever the case, the comic is a hilarious twist on two oldies, and hopefully, we’ll get to see more strips featuring the bearded cat, Hetfield, before Metallica and Davis call for a cease and desist worthy of Napster.
Hetfield isn’t Jimmy Two Hands’ first foray into the world of heavy metal comics. He is also the creator of Danziggy, another mash-up strip which fuses the band Danzig with the plump cartoon character Ziggy, and tells the story of a heavy metal musician struggling to cope with the perils of modern living.