The world of reasonable smiles was shaken this summer when the far site’s official website was updated for the first time in several decades. A cryptic picture – a polar explorer thawing one of Gary Larson’s distinctive bipeds out of an iceberg – promised that “a new online era is coming from The Far Side!”
That era is here. The Far Side.com is now an online home for the beloved cartoon and possibly a place for new parts of it. The page will contain a selection of Far Side cartoons that will be updated daily, as well as a look at Larson’s sketchbooks. And Larson told The New York Times that he “looks forward to adding new things every now and then”.
Larson’s The Far Side was published daily in more than 1,900 newspapers from 1979 to 1995. Unlike most of its kind, the one-panel flick avoided recurring characters and provided a plethora of topics, readers could engage in word play on one day, the scientific topic on another, and utter absurdity the next.
In a letter on the new site’s About page, Larson explains his initial caution about the growing power of the Internet, which he had never really associated with his own print cartoons.
“When I slowly realized that I had a second publisher and distributor for my work,” he writes, “I found it unsettling enough to write an open letter to” whoever it concerns. “I have – as best I can – explains why I preferred that people who do so reject it (…) It was always inherently awkward to hunt a counterparty website when the person behind it is often just a fan (Although not all are so easily motivated, my cartoons were taken and used to sell everything from donuts to rodent control. At least I offer range.) ”
Larson says his feelings have changed as both online security and digital art tools have improved. After retiring, he told the New York Times, he rarely drew until he discovered digital tablet drawing. The Times article contains some recent Larson images.