Gary Larson is (almost) returning

“The Far Side” was an excellent comic series that ran every week for 15 years. Each week between 1980 and 1995, readers got another comic that within one image would contain an exploration of anything, from a joke to politics to an impactful event in history. With these ingenious illustrations, Gary Larson could paint whole realities about the human race in one image. 

Although “The Far Side” officially ended 26 years ago, the artist recently started posting new comics on his website. Along with the “Daily Dose” of old comics posted every morning, Larson has been producing about one new comic per month. The new comics are in full color, as opposed to the old ones, which are mostly in black and white.

The reason “The Far Side” initially ended was due to a loss of interest on Larson’s part. He even went so far as to explain his loss of love with the profession in a letter to his fans which explained the end of the old run and the start of the new collection. This new collection, titled “New Stuff,” is a series of comics in full color that resulted from the cartoonist’s experimentation with a tablet and digital art. 

Now, armed with this newfound love for the craft and no deadlines to meet, he can make comics as freely and as often as he wants without having to fall into the bottomless hole that creatives call burnout.

But the “New Stuff” is no different with him having drawn seven comics up to this point, each one using a different ink style and different shading. It looks like Larson has been having fun experimenting with different colors, shading and tools that easily lay at his fingertips. The comics seem to have the same depth as Larson’s others but only one wants to outright tackle something while the rest are small scale.

While it is unlikely Larson will ever create “The Far Side” comics in the capacity he once did, he still has more stories to tell. We may no longer be in the golden age of “The Far Side,” but its legacy is far from over. It is likely that little bits of interesting ideas and funny phrasing will be rediscovered by people unfamiliar with the comic for years to come.

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