web stats

CSBG Archive

365 Reasons to Love Comics #224

First order of business: A cool chap by the name of Christopher Mills sent me an e-mail in reply to Friday’s entry, informing me about his upcoming mini-series from Ape Entertainment, “Perils of Planet X.” It seems like it will be a snazzy sci-fi swashbuckling adventure tale. It also shortens to an awesome acronym: POPX. Look for it.

Second order of business: Archive link.

Third order of business: For the next few days, I’m going to talk about a slightly different form of sequential art: the newspaper comic strip. Entries have appeared before on cartoonists like Robb Armstrong and Bill Watterson, and I’m going to continue to extol the virtues of syndicated greatness and whatnot. Today’s featured strip is one of the most popular of all time.

Fourth order of business: The actual post.


224. The Far Side

For sequential art, The Far Side isn’t very… you know, sequential. It is, however, brilliant. Gary Larson’s mad genius appeared for fifteen years in “Far Side” form before ending its run, and can now be found in roughly ten zillion collections, including a massive Complete Edition. And there’s also the plethora of calendars. I’m pretty sure the one-day-at-a-time calendar was invented so that someone could put Far Side cartoons on it.

The panel-gag-strip relies on surreal and absurd humor, mostly, as Larson uses his simple cartooning style to showcase bizarre jokes ranging from the ridiculous to the morbid, including the ridiculously morbid and the morbidly ridiculous. He’s also a fan of the inherent hilarity of the animal kingdom, especially cows and ducks. He also enjoys pointing out the blatant stupidity of man.

My favorite Far Side panel is probably the “murder at a butler convention” one, but I can’t find the dang thing to share it with you. And lawyergators would eat me if I did.

Anyway, for more on the strip, hit up the Wiki or perhaps the Official Far Side Website.

Larson and his lawyers seem to particularly dislike the sharing of Far Side panels online. Hence, I’m wary of actually posting any, though I’ve got over a dozen sitting on my hard drive. To truly showcase the wonder that is the Far Side, though, it must be experienced. Seek out the collections. There were also two animated specials produced, which is neat. I’ve never seen them. Wonder how it translated into a different medium.


I vaguely remember seeing one of the animated specials a ways back. My impression was that the cartoons didn’t really translate. Maybe something to do with the pacing or the delivery.

But the Far Side has definitely had some great gags, and will surely be remembered for a long time.

Second only to CALVIN AND HOBBES, in my opinion, but then I was at just the right age to be blown away by it during its original run.

Man, I’d love to have that COMPLETE set …

As far as newspaper strips Calvin & Hobbes, along with the Far Side are 2 of my all time favorites (I’d also include Bloom County, BC, and Peanuts in my top 5).

There’s nothing like these currently, except perhaps for Bizarro (which would be #6), although currently I also enjoy Pearls before Swine & Pooch Cafe. Get Fuzzy can be amusing at times, as well.

No love for Hi & Lois?

My dad gave me the Complete Far Side for Christmas the year it came out. Aside from it being totally awesome, you can kill a burglar with it quite easily.

The Comics Curmudgeon is a good place to go for why you won’t see any love for Hi & Lois.

After all these years, I still remember the one about the Donner Party Snowglobe… that was so tastelessly bad it was freaking hysterical :)

I did watch the animated specials. I was disappointed in them for two reasons. First, the pacing was slow. Far Side jokes are of the ‘get it or don’t’ variety, and slowing them down won’t improve comprehension in the ‘don’t people, and will just annoy the rest of us.

Secondly, they only animated existing gags. It would have been much better if he’d written gags just for the animation. Those of us well versed in the Far Side universe would have been more entertained than just seeing Thag move.

Man, what a great panel the Far Side was. Larson was amazing, as were his 80s cohorts Watterson and Breathed. I was sad to see them retire, although Breathed’s return with Opus made me realize that they all made the right choice.

I have absolute faith that you will include little nemo from winsor Mccay.

The Far Side is definitely one of the all-time greats; to realise that all you have to do is be hanging out w/friends, as I was recently, and start a round of ‘favourite Far Side’. Twenty or thirty classics later…

As for the rest of the selections…well, you will of course be including Peanuts. :) I’d also suggest Pogo, Krazy Kat and – as one of the best of more recent strips – Get Fuzzy.

The far side was and is my favorite from the newspapers. Gary Larson made science and history and biology fin.

In San Francisco the CA Acadamy of Scenice had a Run to the Far Side for about 15 years, many of which featured special Gary Larson art on the t-shirts (long sleeves, way to go!)

And yes, I am looking athte page a day calandar with full color Mondays right now.

fin=fun. I guessm y biology memories affected my typing.

Lorin: I was actually joking about Hi & Lois. It is one of my least favourite strips, if not the worst thing ever.
I will check the CC though.


I really love I CAN HAS CHEESBURGERS….. Check it out


Leave a Comment



Review Copies

Comics Should Be Good accepts review copies. Anything sent to us will (for better or for worse) end up reviewed on the blog. See where to send the review copies.

Browse the Archives