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25 Years Later, Famous Cartoon Is Back—With a Twist

Gary Larson debuts new 'Far Side' panels, this time drawn on a digital tablet
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 9, 2020 7:04 AM CDT

(Newser) – Late last year, Gary Larson suggested we'd soon be seeing some new samples of his famous comic strip, "The Far Side." That day came this week, a quarter century after Larson officially retired the quirky cartoon, the New York Times reports. On TheFarSide.com website, fans are treated to a handful of signature single-panel Larsons (we don't want to give too much away, but they involve a taxidermist, bears, aliens, and Cub Scouts, among other things), but with a twist: Larson created the new cartoons in an entirely different way than he used to. "The 'New Stuff' that you'll see here is the result of my journey into the world of digital art," he says on his site, explaining that a clogged pen that was frustrating him while penning Christmas cards a few years ago led to him experimenting with a digital tablet.

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"I hail from a world of pen and ink, and suddenly I was feeling like I was sitting at the controls of a 747," he says of his digital experience. Larson—who launched the strip on Jan. 1, 1980, in the San Francisco Chronicle and kept inking it until he retired in 1995—had recently rebooted his website, featuring classic "Far Side" strips that CNET describes as "[depicting] the ludicrous sides of humanity, as well as the secret lives of animals—often cows." He hinted in December that "I'm looking forward to slipping in some new things every so often." Fans are loving the return to his bizarre world. "By far one of the best days of my adult life!" one raves in the comments. New Larson cartoons won't be a completely regular thing, though. "I don't want to mislead," Larson writes. "This corner of the website—'New Stuff'—is not a resurrection of 'The Far Side' daily cartoons." (Read more cartoonist stories.)

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