New Gary Larson cartoons!

July 7, 2020 • 12:00 pm

Gary Larson published his wonderful The Far Side cartoons from 1980-1995. And was there a biologist during that period who didn’t have at least one on their office door? (My favorite is this one.)

And then, after 15 years of belly laughs and in-joke humor, Larson retired at only 45.

That was a major bummer. Why, many of us asked, couldn’t he produce at least one cartoon a week, or one a month, just to feed our Far Side jones? Sadly, nada, zilch, and bupkes, though he started a new Far Side site with colorized old cartoons and the promise that there may be some new ones. But again, bupkes. Nothing new, though we could peruse the old cartoons and once again see the man’s genius.

Larson explains the new cartoons on the “New Stuff” page of his website, noting that he didn’t start drawing again because his cartooning pen got clogged:

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.

The “New Stuff” that you’ll see here is the result of my journey into the world of digital art. Believe me, this has been a bit of a learning curve for me. I hail from a world of pen and ink, and suddenly I was feeling like I was sitting at the controls of a 747. (True, I don’t get out much.) But as overwhelmed as I was, there was still something familiar there—a sense of adventure. That had always been at the core of what I enjoyed most when I was drawing The Far Side, that sense of exploring, reaching for something, taking some risks, sometimes hitting a home run and sometimes coming up with “Cow tools.” (Let’s not get into that.) But as a jazz teacher once said to me about improvisation, “You want to try and take people somewhere where they might not have been before.” I think that my approach to cartooning was similar—I’m just not sure if even I knew where I was going. But I was having fun.

So here goes. I’ve got my coffee, I’ve got this cool gizmo, and I’ve got no deadlines. And—to borrow from Sherlock Holmes—the game is afoot.

It is indeed! And there’s a new cartoon.

Out of respect for Larson’s request that his cartoons not be reproduced by others, I won’t show it here. But if you click on the screenshot below, you’ll see it. I have to say that although it’s okay, he’s still got a way to go before he attains the achievements of his glory days:

h/t: Matthew Cobb

32 thoughts on “New Gary Larson cartoons!

  1. My favorite still remains the three doors in hell marked “Murderers”, “Rapists”, and “People who drove slow in the left lane.”

    1. Or, as George Carlin used to say: Everyone who drives slower than you is an idiot and everyone who drives faster than you is a maniac. 🙂

      1. As Dave Barry said of South Florida motorists, they follow but one rule of the road: No driver may ever remain behind another driver. 🙂

    1. That’s pretty nearly my favourite too. You might like the Einstein one below. My scatological tendencies place the “specialized breed of dog” higher than most.
      Maybe the “signing” is my top one. Read the backwards business window sign and note the pic on the wall.

      Anyway, sorry it’s maybe too long:

      “Unbeknownst to most historians, Einstein started down the road of professional basketball before an ankle injury diverted him into science.”

      “Faraway, on a hillside, a very specialized breed of dog heard the cry of distress.”

      “Those snakes? Oh, they’re just signing, honey.”

      “Every August, the fleas would test their endurance in the grueling Tour de Frank.”
      “And in addition, Mrs. Khan, little Genghis disrupts the class, fights with other children, and completely lacks any leadership ability.”

      “And another thing! … I want you to be more assertive! I’m tired of everyone calling you Alexander the Pretty-Good!”
      “You know, boys, sometimes I stare up at the stars like this and I wonder … I wonder wonder who … who wrote The Book of Love?”

      “An instant later, both Professor Waxman and his time machine are obliterated, leaving the cold-blooded/warm-blooded dinosaur debate still unresolved.”

      “Well, shoot … I can never tell whether these things are done or not.”

      “Luposlipaphobia: The fear of being pursued by timber wolves around a kitchen table while wearing socks on a newly waxed floor.”

      “Don’t listen to him, George. He didn’t catch it … the stupid thing swerved to miss him and ran into a tree.

      “oh please, oh please… ” In ballon, no text, not nice to cats, sorry folks.

      1. After basketball:
        “Now that desk looks better. Everything’s squared away, yessir, squaaaaaared away.”

  2. Described as a new cartoon, there are actually three. Triple fun. I love the new drawing style. Fat and smooth. 🐻

  3. My favorite was a drawing from the back of a small house with a large constrictor crawling out the window with 7 lumps and a frumpy old gal walking to the front door. Way in the corner was a mail box with “S. White” on it.

  4. Two of the three…ho-hum. But Bears Eating Cub Scouts, I laughed out loud. Batting .333 is good enough for the Hall of Fame. Can’t wait for more.

  5. I still own every single one of the books from his collection. I grew up with his cartoons, Calvin and Hobbes, and, in the lowbrow section, Garfield (hey, I really liked Garfield when I was a kid!).

    1. Jesus, BJ, we can still be second-best internet buddies, but Garfield? Really?

      Some things are better left unconfessed in public fora, my friend. 🙂

  6. I used to collect all his 365 day tear-off-a-day calendars but would buy them at 1/2 price or so when the next year calendar came out. My thought was to attach the individual pages to the walls of a game room(which unfortunately was never built).

  7. I think that would be “did start drawing” – the reason he had stopped were deadline pressures.

    [Ironically, the new comics were posted against a deadline.]

  8. Part of my routine when I get up at 3am or so, after reading WEIT “religiously” – HHAHAHHA- I always go to Larson’s new website next. It has been up for a few months now and is always worth one’s time.
    D.A., NYC

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