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Comics

The Far Side could be back from extinction, and the timing's so right

Looks like Gary Larson's popular syndicated comic is making a comeback after 24 years.

comic
Andrews McMeel Universal

Everyone in the US who read the newspaper funny pages from 1980-1995 will likely remember the witty, single-panel comic The Far Side by Gary Larson. Well, good news. According to the official Far Side website, more Far Side comics are on the way.

The website, run by Andrews McMeel Universal, posted a Far Side comic illustration with the sentence "Uncommon, unreal, and (soon-to-be) unfrozen. A new online era of The Far Side is coming!" The website didn't provide any additional information on when or how Larson's comic will return, and Andrews McMeel Universal didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

But at a time when tragedy and cruelty seem to dominate headlines, one this is certain: We could use Larson's oddball humor now more than ever. The Far Side pointed out the ludicrous side of being human, and the secret genius of animals. Cows drove cars when farmers weren't looking. Scientists played hilarious tricks on one another.

My personal favorite was the one with a kid pushing hard on the door to the School for the Gifted when there's a sign printed on the door that clearly says "pull." 

Fans reacted to the possible return of The Far Side with their own excitement and humor. 

"Hey kids, if you're checking Twitter and are confused by all the adults going nuts for something called Far Side, it was a comic that shaped the humor of a whole jaded, sarcastic, weird generation," fan Andrew G. Davis tweeted over the weekend. 

"Looking forward to the return of Far Side, and Larson trying to make sense of a world that he sarcastically predicted," Nick LS Whelan tweeted

"If Gary Larson returns with The Far Side and opens up on some joke about a cow identifying as a combine harvester I swear to God I will break someone," It's Freyjaween tweeted

The Far Side was first published in 1980 and ran until 1995, when Larson retired. In 1999, Larson wrote an open letter to fans asking them not to post his Far Side cartoons on the internet. 

"My effort here is to try and speak to the intangible impact, the emotional cost to me, personally, of seeing my work collected, digitized and offered up in cyberspace beyond my control," Larson wrote. 

"These cartoons are my 'children,' of sorts, and like a parent, I'm concerned about where they go at night without telling me," Larson wrote. "Seeing them at someone's web site is like getting the call at 2 a.m. that goes, 'Uh, Dad, you're not going to like this much, but guess where I am.'"

But now it seems his "children" will be finally allowed to officially dwell online. And I couldn't be happier.