Books & Music

The Popular ‘Far Side’ Comic Is Online, And Gary Larson Will Publish Some New Art, Too

Were you a fan of 'The Far Side?'

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The cows and the women with beehive hairdos of “The Far Side” are finally officially online! Gary Larson, the creator of the beloved comic strip that ran in newspapers from 1980 to 1995, recently announced the creation of a new website for his popular work — which the artist had kept off the internet until now.

Larson’s quirky work has long been available in books (such as “The Far Side Gallery,” which published in 1984), but fans who wanted to send a friend one of his single-panel comics electronically have been out of luck. The best you could do was snap a photo from one of his book collections, or an old calendar.

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While comic fans could catch up with other favorite strips online such as “Calvin and Hobbes” and “Peanuts,” Larson deliberately kept his work offline — until he decided to create an online archive for his art.

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.

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“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,” Larson wrote in his letter.

However, despite his hesitation about online security, the advancements in digital graphics lured Larson to dip his toe into the internet ocean. The official “Far Side” website launched this year, and earlier this month, the site started a Daily Dose — a single random comic from Larson’s extensive library.

And, not only can enjoy classic strips from Larson’s “The Far Side” collection beyond the Daily Dose and his gallery books, but the artist will even create some new work for 2020.

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Larson told The New York Times he plans on “slipping in some new things every so often” now that he has a website, which is only showcasing previously released strips right now. “I’m not ‘back,’ at least in the sense I think you’re asking,” Larson said. “Returning to the world of deadlines isn’t exactly on my to-do list.”

The first new content will be found in early 2020 according to the official website, which said, it “really has no idea what might show up. But, on the other hand, what’s changed?”