It had been 25 years since Gary Larson stopped releasing new “The Far Side” cartoons. But hey, 2020 is full of surprises.
Larson, who released new “Far Side” cartoons every week from 1980 to 1995, stated on his website’s “New Stuff” section that these new panels are not some large-scale resurrection of his beloved comic. Rather, they’re the results of his foray into digital art.
“Believe me, this has been a bit of a learning curve for me,” Larson wrote. “I hail from a world of pen and ink, and suddenly I was feeling like I was sitting at the controls of a 747.”
According to The Verge, these three new comics “feel more volumetric and vibrant than the original full-color cartoons. … The end result is images that evoke the feel of the old comics but are somehow a little less cartoony.”
Rolling Stone described the new pieces as “high-definition ‘Far Side’ comics, with each of the three single-panel comics given a more paintbrush feel than his previous work; thankfully, even with the richer palette, ‘The Far Side’s’ offbeat humor is preserved.”
Larson began republishing old “Far Side” cartoons on his website last December, which included a weekly set of old strips arranged by theme, the New York Times reported. At the time, Larson wrote that he was “looking forward to slipping in some new things every so often.” That day has finally come.
Larson’s quirky, subversive humor and unique drawing style made “The Far Side” one of his generation’s most successful and beloved comic strips. On his website, Larson likened his work to what a jazz teacher once told him about improvisation: “You want to try and take people somewhere where they might not have been before.”
Added Larson, “I think that my approach to cartooning was similar — I’m just not sure if even I knew where I was going.”
And, it seems, neither do we. “Far Side” fans will surely be checking Larson’s website a lot more now.