Thursday, December 19, 2019
A Great Day for America - The Far Side is Back!
The overwhelming majority of Americans can agree that the return of Gary Larsen's "The Far Side" comics is great news. I read about this yesterday on CNN's website though it was not headline news for some reason. In the CNN article, Larsen explains that he decided to make an official Far Side site because so much of his work was posted online without his permission - fan sites, but more irritatingly, sites exploiting his work to promote their own products or services. His new site will feature the old strips, but promises some new stuff to come.
I first saw The Far Side in 1982, in the Atlantic City Press. They were totally different from everything else in the funny pages in that they were actually funny; not wry funny, or smile funny, but laugh out loud funny. It had that "sick humor" as my mom called it.
When I went to CalArts for my sophomore year, Mom sent batches of them cut from the paper. In the pre-internet world, this is how you shared things. Finding these packets of Far Sides in my school mailbox BH-17 made my day. I would pass them to classmates in the animation room - Kirk Wise, Kevin Lima, Dan Jeup, Fred Cline, Rob Minkoff - and we'd laugh and howl like goofs over them.
I was shocked when Larsen retired in 1995, but he went out on top just as cringe-worthy Far Side knock-offs came sidling along his hallowed space in the LA Times. Now that he's back, can the knock-offs retire?