NEW YORK • Just shy of 25 years since its last original instalment, wacky comic strip The Far Side has returned.
"I'm not 'back', at least in the sense I think you're asking," Gary Larson, the cartoonist who created it, said last week ahead of a website revival.
"Returning to the world of deadlines isn't exactly on my to-do list."
The Far Side site will provide visitors with The Daily Dose, a random selection of past cartoons, along with a weekly set of strips arranged by theme.
There will also be a look at doodles from the sketchbooks of Larson, who said: "I'm looking forward to slipping in some new things every so often."
The Far Side became a cultural phenomenon after it appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle on Jan 1, 1980.
The single-panel comic, which ran until Larson, now 69, retired in 1995, featured men, women, children, animals and insects in often wacky and sometimes inscrutable situations.
There were occasional controversies. A chimp once described primatologist Jane Goodall as a tramp.
After stepping away from his daily deadline 24 years ago, Larson said he rarely drew, except for Christmas cards.
But even that was not easy. It "had turned into an annual pain because I seemed to always be dealing with clogged pens, dried-up markers or something else related to lack of use", he said.
That changed when he tried working on a digital tablet. "Lo and behold, within moments, I found myself having fun drawing again," he said.
Here are excerpts from an e-mail interview.
What was your inspiration for The Far Side?
It probably all started with Alley Oop. I had always liked to draw as a kid and I remember being grabbed visually by that strip.
I was especially fascinated with the dinosaurs and that was when I started drawing my own, along with other animals.
Later came a major influence from Mad magazine, especially the style and humour of Don Martin. I think that was the first time I laughed at a cartoon.
Still later, I was taken with the cartoons of Gahan Wilson, B. Kliban and George Booth. All these cartoonists seemed to attach a lot of importance to nuance and composition.
There was something almost organic going on between the humour and the art that conveyed it.
Did any cartoons provoke controversy?
Controversy never seemed too far away from me, especially during my first year of syndication. I truly thought my career may have ended a number of times.
I remember one I did of a couple of dogs that were playing this game, in which they were smacking around a cat hanging from a long rope attached to a pole.
To me, and I assume my editor, it did not cross any line because this was just a game dogs might play.
But that one got people stirred up. Especially cat peoRead More – Source