If you ever took pleasure in perusing the funny pages of a newspaper, you may have decided that Gary Larson’s legendary cartoon The Far Side was your favorite.
Over the course of his 15-year career, Larson’s iconic single-panel comics, which featured wacky views of life often through the eyes of animals, were published in more than 1,900 newspapers, forever solidifying him as a beloved addition to the funny pages prior to his retirement in 1995.
Now, Far Side fans are rejoicing after Larson published his first cartoon in 25 years.
Although the artwork is slightly different from the familiar sketch style that Larson used for his newspaper strips, he’s been adding fresh and colorful content to the “New Stuff” section of his website for The Far Side comics.
According to an open letter he published to the site earlier this week, the new content is thanks to the artist’s recent exposure to digital illustration.
“I don’t want to mislead anyone here,” wrote Larson. “This corner of the website … is not a resurrection of The Far Side daily cartoons. (Well, not exactly, anyway—like the proverbial tiger and its stripes, I’m pretty much stuck with my sense of humor. Aren’t we all?)
“Despite my retirement, I still had intermittent connections to cartooning, including my wife’s and my personal Christmas card. Once a year, I’d sit myself down to take on Santa, and every year it began with the same ritual: me cursing at, and then cleaning out, my clogged pen.
“So a few years ago—finally fed up with my once-loyal but now reliably traitorous pen—I decided to try a digital tablet. I knew nothing about these devices but hoped it would just get me through my annual Christmas card ordeal. I got one, fired it up, and lo and behold, something totally unexpected happened: within moments, I was having fun drawing again.
“I was stunned at all the tools the thing offered, all the creative potential it contained. I simply had no idea how far these things had evolved. Perhaps fittingly, the first thing I drew was a caveman,” he concluded. “The ‘New Stuff’ that you’ll see here is the result of my journey into the world of digital art.”
Since announcing the news on his website this week, Larson has posted three new comics depicting an urbanite hailing a “taxi-dermist” cab, a team of alien hunters discussing their “probe and release” tactics for humans, and a family of bears politely sitting down to a dinner of Cub Scouts.