The PreHistory of the Far Side (Fall River Press Edition)

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Welcome to the exhibit: a spectacular retrospective of more than 300 Far Side cartoons—in both black and white and color. The exhibit is not just Gary Larson's most popular cartoons; it is his own personal favorites. And indeed, this is the first glimpse Larson's millions of fans worldwide have ever had of the personal side of Gary Larson. As he says in his foreword, "This may or may not be of particular interest to anyone, but my therapist says it should do me a lot of good."

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Overview

Welcome to the exhibit: a spectacular retrospective of more than 300 Far Side cartoons—in both black and white and color. The exhibit is not just Gary Larson's most popular cartoons; it is his own personal favorites. And indeed, this is the first glimpse Larson's millions of fans worldwide have ever had of the personal side of Gary Larson. As he says in his foreword, "This may or may not be of particular interest to anyone, but my therapist says it should do me a lot of good."

As with all great exhibits, it begins by putting The Far Side, and Gary Larson, in context. In the first section, "The Origin of the Species," we see Gary's childhood drawings, such as the one done in black crayon, of little Gary sitting on top of a tire, his earliest memory of riding in the car on vacation. The next documented section, "Evolution of the Species," gives the view the first insights into the creative process of Gary Larson. (He admits, for example, that "off days" are a part of life, whether you're a cartoonist, a neurosurgeon, or an air-traffic controller.) In this section we see cartoons that worked—and often, surprisingly, how he made them work better. Then there is the section called "Mutations," the ones that didn't work because somebody (no names here) goofed up. And finally, leading up to the exhibit itself, the section "Stimulus/Response," in which Gary shares some of his fan mail: "You should be severely reprimanded by animal protection authorities, in newspaper publication, and, if possible... you should be fined at least $1,000 for each such cruel cartoon." And Larson's defense: Complaints are "usually from people who misinterpreted the cartoon and were angered by a cartoon they didn't 'get.' Well, hell—I don't understand all my cartoons." We also see never-before-published cartoons that landed on the editorial cutting-room floor.

So here's the whole history of The Far Side, some ten odd years—from Mesozoic to Modern, from Early Weird to Late Weird. Only Larson thinks it may not be very interesting, but as he says, once "you've got it in your brain cells you're stuck with it."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780740789939
  • Publisher: Sterling
  • Publication date: 9/11/2009
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 10.92 (w) x 8.58 (h) x 0.72 (d)

Meet the Author

Gary Larson lives in Oregon with his wife and a big dog. Although retired from his job as a daily syndicated cartoonist, he is now turning his graphical talent to new forms of technology.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 20, 2010

    One of Larson's finest!

    I have always been a Gary Larson fan and was sad when he retired!
    In the PreHistory of the Far Side, Larson explains how he got his start, using the humor you would expect from him. He also explains the inspirations for some of the cartoons and lets you into his mind, an ingenuous scary place, indeed! Some cartoons, even HE cannot explain!
    He also includes several cartoons that never made it to publication!

    Gary, you are a sick, sick man and I just LOVE your humor!
    PLEASE come out of retirement, please!!!!! I work with raptors and finding a Strigiphilus garylarsoni on an owl, would make my day!

    If you enjoy Larson's humor, than this is the book to pick up when you wish to put a cramping smile on your face! I suggest taping your ribs, as they will surely ache after reading this book!

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  • Posted February 15, 2010

    How does he come up with this stuff?

    If you enjoy The Far Side, you will be looking for someone to read this one aloud to. Has narrative and history from Gary Larson, and is insanely funny.

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  • Posted February 6, 2010

    Your Sick!

    This is what Gary Larson was told by the first major publisher he ventured out to show his work to. I guess sick was what they were looking for because it worked!

    I am just finishing this book and I love it.

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