'The Far Side' creator Gary Larson is making new cartoons again after 25 years
He’s drawing them with digital tools and publishing them online.
Image: Associated Press / Paul Sakuma
For fifteen years, Gary Larson published a daily syndicated cartoon known for highlighting the absurdities of everyday life and focusing on the funny perspectives of animals. The single-panel drawings were often surreal and ridiculous. Some were mild — many reveled in a darker take on the world.
This week, Larson published his first public cartoons since his retirement in 1995. The three new images evoke the same humor as his earlier work but, as he points out on his website, they are "not a resurrection of The Far Side daily cartoons."
Larson writes that he has enjoyed the freedom from deadlines that newspaper syndication imposed. "The day after I retired from syndication, it felt good not to draw on a deadline. And after moving on to other interests, drawing just wasn’t on my to-do list."
But when a clogged pen kept him from drawing his annual family Christmas card, Larson decided to try a digital tablet — the go-to tool of modern graphic designers. He writes, "I got one, fired it up, and lo and behold, something totally unexpected happened: within moments, I was having fun drawing again."
Larson points out that this new venture is not The Far Side and is subject to his personal whims, taking advantage of not having an editor breathing down his neck. In fact, the new cartoons have a modern, almost painted look.
In his own words, "I've got my coffee, I've got this cool gizmo, and I’ve got no deadlines. And—to borrow from Sherlock Holmes—the game is afoot."
You can check out the new images, plus daily selections of past cartoons, on his website.