Your move, Bill Watterson. A quarter century after publishing his last comic strip, Gary Larson may be heading back to The Far Side. At least, that seems to be the message of a semi-cryptic note and accompanying cartoon posted at the beloved comic’s official website. Underneath the image of a cow — one of Larson’s favorite subjects — being unfrozen from an ice block reads the following announcement: “Uncommon, unreal, and (soon-to-be) unfrozen. A new online era of The Far Side is coming!”
Gary Larson's official website for The Far Side stayed virtually untouched since July 2000, a time capsule of the early web—until yesterday, when it got its first redesign in 19 years. https://t.co/u34YeMZI4H pic.twitter.com/JC775vOwfp— Andy Baio (@waxpancake) September 15, 2019
While it’s possible that Larson is merely planning to re-release previously published material online, we’re not alone in hoping that this is a declaration of un-retirement. Along with Calvin & Hobbes and Bloom County, The Far Side is one of the all-time great newspaper comic strips and came to define an entire era of cartooning during its 1980 to 1995 run. Just as Bloom County’s Berkeley Breathed revived his long-defunct strip on Facebook several years ago, Larson appears to be bypassing physical media for a digital re-launch. That’s a pronounced change from the cartoonist’s past attitudes about comics in the computer age: as The New York Times noted, Larson once sent a cease-and-desist to a website that ran one of his classic single-panel strips without his approval.
Now that Larson appears all-in on digital comics, Twitter is awash in classic Far Side strips as social media celebrates his hoped-for return.
Now that The Far Side is coming back it’s a good time to remember that Gary Larson actually predicted Twitter pic.twitter.com/1aul5aGiPw— Layla Halfhill ✍️🕯️🦇 (@laylamarie) September 15, 2019
With news that The Far Side is coming back, I give you Gary Larson's finest ever panel. pic.twitter.com/gXfdfL7saS— Mike Beauvais (@MikeBeauvais) September 16, 2019
Looking forward to the return of Far Side, and Larsen trying to make sense of a world that he sarcastically predicted. pic.twitter.com/QxBDwztz0F— Nick LS Whelan ☭ (@linkskywalker) September 15, 2019
So excited for return of The Far Side. I still think about this cartoon every day of my life. pic.twitter.com/9kIQjQfgLV— Timothy J. Reynolds (@turnislefthome) September 16, 2019
Of course, there’s always a little bit of concern whenever a franchise returns from a long break. In the case of The Far Side, fans are specifically worried how Larson’s social and political views may have evolved — or, depending on your point of view, devolved — over the past 25 years.
What if The Far Side comes back and we find out Gary Larson is a Big Time Trump Guy?— Juggalocialism (@UweBollocks) September 16, 2019
Broke: Gary Larson comes to save this broken world— PearlRiverFlow (@PearlRiverFlow) September 16, 2019
Woke: Gary Larson returns to judge us. He shall thagomize the wheat from the chaff.
So the Far Side is maybe updating again and I'm holding my breath desperately hoping that Gary Larson turns out to be one of the good boomers and we're not going to see two cows whining about cancel culture— Talen Lee (@Talen_Lee) September 15, 2019
The Far Side is brilliant and if Gary Larson comes back acting like Sc*tt *d*ms I’m gonna be so upset https://t.co/vDgVe2MA0C— Thot Hashira (@LatinAlbert) September 17, 2019
everyone is worried that Gary Larson is going to come back to make Attack Helicopter stuff but I’m betting he’s into a bizarre ideology. the new Far Side will have technocarlist leanings— making parents listen to 21 Guns (@ByYourLogic) September 16, 2019
We’re just hoping that the return of The Far Side comic means that the 1994 TV special gets the Blu-ray release it deserves.
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