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Paws Incorporated is an American comic book studio, animation studio, and production company. Founded in 1981 by Jim Davis, it was made to support the Garfield comic strip and its licensing and is based in the area of Muncie, Indiana. The company currently maintains a staff of around 30 employees spread out remotely across the United States, with the majority still based within the Muncie area.[1][2]

In 1994, the company purchased all rights to the comic strips from 1978-1993 from United Feature Syndicate. The original black and white daily strips and original color Sunday strips remain copyrighted to United Feature Syndicate. The full color daily strips and recolored Sunday strips are copyrighted to Paws as they are considered a different product. The strip is currently distributed by Universal Press Syndicate, while rights for the strip remain with Paws, Inc.

The company once owned a headquarters in nearby Albany, Indiana, where the comic and related media properties were managed. The facility housed 60 employees at its peak. A merchandising display was maintained for the purposes of tours with investors as well as a gift shop for the general public that closed in December 2019.[3] In January 2019, it was announced that the facility would close, shifting Paws Inc. to an entirely remote operation. The remaining inventory from the closed gift shop was purchased by the Muncie Visitor's Bureau. The headquarters was donated to the Ball State University Foundation to be auctioned off in June 2019, with the resulting proceeds from the sale to go to the university.[4]

On August 6, 2019, it was announced that Nickelodeon bought the company and all of its productions, characters, and trademarks.[5] The deal did not include rights to the live action and direct-to-video Garfield movies, which are owned by Walt Disney Studios through its 20th Century Fox label.[6] Jim Davis will continue to draw the comic strip.[7][8]

Paws Incorporated maintained the official Garfield website, including a complete online archive of both Garfield and U.S. Acres. After the completion of the Viacom acquisition in June 2020, the website shut down and now redirects to the Nickelodeon website.

References

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