Cartoon by Gary Larson

Gary Larson graduated in Communications at Washington State University in 1973, after which he moved to Seattle. He ranks Al Jaffee among his graphic influences. Larson worked as a music store clerk, before submitting some animal cartoons to the nature magazine Pacific Search in 1976. They were published under the title 'Nature's Way' and were soon picked up by the Seattle Times. When this paper canceled the cartoon after two years, Gary Larson submitted it at the San Francisco Chronicle, where it got its permanent title, 'The Far Side'.

comic art by Gary Larsoncomic art by Gary Larson

The twisted and funny cartoon became famous all over the US, and was soon merchandized in many different ways, including animated projects by Gary Larson's company, FarWorks. Larson stopped doing 'The Far Side' in 1995, to devote himself to new projects, such as studying jazz guitar and writing a children's book, 'There's a Hair in my Dirt!'. However, there's enough great old material to publish amusing new collections, such as the 2003 Far Side 'Just Plain Stupid!' desk calendar. In Norway 'The Far Side' was popular enough to inspire a 1996-1999 comic magazine: Larsons Gale Verden. Larson was special guest voice in Matt Groening's 'The Simpsons', namely the episode 'Once Upon a Time in Springfield' (2010). 

Gary Larson has had a strong impact on many artists. In the United States alone he influenced Ali Fitzgerald, Steve Langille, Steve Moore, Dan Reynolds, Danny Shanahan and Andy Singer. Veteran artist Jack Davis expressed admiration for Larson, while Seth MacFarlane directly based the cutaway gags and pop culture jokes in 'Family Guy' on 'The Far Side'. In the United Kingdom Larson was an inspiration to Tom Gauld. In the Netherlands he ranks Michiel Van de Pol, Mark Retera and Marijn van der Waa among his disciples. In Belgium Larson influenced Philippe Geluck and Steve Michiels, AKA Steve. In Brazil he was an influence on Raquel Gompy, in China on Alphonso Wong and in Australia on Martin Brown. Another notable celebrity fan is the Belgian prince Laurent. According to cartoonist Marec in his book 'De Keuze van Marec' (2019), the prince once showed him his 'Far Side' collection and recommended it strongly. 

Cartoon by Gary Larson
Perhaps Larson's best-known cartoon. The 2011 Simpsons episode 'The Book Job' even referred to it!

Series and books by Gary Larson you can order today:


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