Gary Larson’s Far Side is now online, beginning first with classic material, and then it appears there will be newer material available this coming year.
In a letter to fans on Sept. 26, 2019, Larson surprised the world with the news which came nearly 25 years after his retirement from drawing “The Far Side.” The artist admitted he had some reservations about the decision to release his work on the internet. In the letter, he explains how he learned to tolerate the Internet…
Welcome to The Far Side website! Guess I’ve got some ’splainin’ to do.
Truthfully, I still have some ambivalence about officially entering the online world — I previously equated it to a rabbit hole, although “black hole” sometimes seems more apropos — but my change of heart on this has been due not only to some evolution in my own thinking, but also in two areas I’ve always cared about when it comes to this computer/Internet “stuff”: security and graphics.
Okay, so better security is, of course, just better security. But it helps. If they wanted to, I’m sure the Russians could get inside this thing and start messing with my captions. (I know they’re thinking about it!) But the other one — the advancements in graphics — has been a big incentive for me. Man, did those old computer screens suck when it came to visual nuances. I’ll make up an example: Let’s say I’m going to draw a group of vultures who are scavenging the remains of some poor soul who got lost in the desert, and one of them has encountered a glass eye. (You can see the potential already.) This could probably go several ways, but I’m thinking the bird is excited about his discovery and is telling his buddies he wants to take it home and show his kids. Whatever, I already know there’s a lot to capture in this scene, while trying not to overcomplicate it. Some things have a bit of leeway, but that glass eye? That has to be juuuuuust right, or this thing is damaged goods, if not blown. As for seeing it on an old computer screen? Fuhgeddaboudit. But things have changed. On today’s computers and devices, voilà! — you’re definitely going to see that small, dispossessed eye. I could even add a hint of blue. Ah, yes. Nice eye. (I apologize to anyone who either doesn’t appreciate glass-eye humor or has lost a loved one in the desert, but I’ve got to finish this thing and that’s what jumped in my head.)
Finally, I also concede I’m a little exhausted. Trying to exert some control over my cartoons has always been an uphill slog, and I’ve sometimes wondered if my absence from the web may have inadvertently fueled someone’s belief my cartoons were up for grabs. They’re not. But it’s always been inherently awkward to chase down a Far Side–festooned website when the person behind it is often simply a fan. (Although not everyone is quite so uncomplicated in their motives; my cartoons have been taken and used to help sell everything from doughnuts to rodent control. At least I offer range.) So I’m hopeful this official website will help temper the impulses of the infringement-inclined. Please, whoever you are, taketh down my cartoons and let this website become your place to stop by for a smile, a laugh, or a good ol’ fashioned recoiling. And I won’t have to release the Krakencow.
So here we go. I hope you enjoy TheFarSide.com. I’m very grateful to the digital team at AMU, my longtime publisher, for all their input and hard work on this project. And for those of you who are familiar with The Far Side, and perhaps wishing it had been online before now (as opposed to those who are familiar with my work and have an opposing view), thank you for your patience. I hope all the reasons I’ve given here help explain why I’m so late to this party. But I’m finally here. And I could use a drink.
— Gary Larson
Check out the website here.