I grew up reading comic strips, rather than comic books, and two in particular were my favorites The Far Side and Calvin and Hobbes. I still go back and reread my collections of both, and they serve as inspiration for my own comics. I’ll save Calvin and Hobbes for another time and discuss The Far Side today.
(Sorry, I was asked by Mr. Larson’s representative’s to remove these images.)
Those should give you a pretty good idea of the hilarious genius that was Gary Larson’s The Far Side. In my humble opinion, and many others, The Far Side was the epitome of a comic strip. You can see evidence of this by all the high profile, gushing forwards at the beginnings his compilation books. You can see it by the sheer amount of imitators and wannabes that have come since. You can also see this in the fact that Far Side merchandise still sells like crazy even though it ended over 15 years ago.
For those not familiar with the Far Side, well here’s what the great authority Wikipedia:
The Far Side is a popular single-panel comic created by Gary Larson and syndicated by Universal Press Syndicate, which ran from January 1, 1980, to January 1, 1995. Its surrealistic humor is often based on uncomfortable social situations, improbable events, an anthropomorphic view of the world, logical fallacies, impending bizarre disasters, or the search for meaning in life. Larson’s frequent use of animals and nature in the comic is popularly attributed to his background in biology. Reruns are still printed in many newspapers.
The Far Side was carried by more than 1,900 daily newspapers, translated into 17 languages, and collected into calendars and 22 compilation books.
The series was preceded by a similar panel called Nature’s Way, also by Larson.