The cartoon above has been on the wall of my office for decades. Suffice to say I have long been a big fan of cartoonist Gary Larson, author of the wildly-popular Far Side comics. From 1980 to 1995, Larson’s single-panel comics appeared in newspapers around the country. They could also be found printed (with permission) on everything from books and cartoon-a-day calendars and mugs to boxed holiday cards.
“[Y]ears ago, when I slowly started realizing I had a second publisher and distributor of my work, known as Anyone With a Scanner & Associates, I did find it unsettling enough to write an open letter to “whom it may concern,” explaining — best as I could — why I preferred that the people doing this would kindly refrain. I won’t rehash it all here, but my powers of persuasion had at least some impact, and many of my fans were very understanding and responsive. Maybe it takes a warped mind to understand a warped mind. (No, seriously, my thanks to those who removed my cartoons willingly, or even begrudgingly.)”-A Letter from Gary Larson
(Note: I do realize that by including the image at the top of this post, I’m now part of the problem, but maybe I’m just hoping for a letter from GL himself…)
After playing internet wack-a-mole with fans who posted his work without permission, Larson was understandably reticent to put his cartoons online, expecting they would only add to the intellectual property piracy. However, with the advent of improved image security, the artist has decided to finally make the leap.
“I hope all the reasons I’ve given here help explain why I’m so late to this party. But I’m finally here. And I could use a drink..”
The best part of all this is that as part of his internet experiment, Larson is also publishing new comics every day! Three cheers for Gary Larson!
Since the only Instagram and other social media posts I could find were part of the internet piracy problem, you will have to go to the new website to see all the wonderful vintage Far Side cartoons alongside Gary Larson’s new works.