by Jason Snell
Going digital draws Gary Larson back to ‘The Far Side’
Legendary cartoonist Gary Larson is back, and it’s all due to digital drawing tools and a clogged pen:
Despite my retirement, I still had intermittent connections to cartooning, including my wife’s and my personal Christmas card. Once a year, I’d sit myself down to take on Santa, and every year it began with the same ritual: me cursing at, and then cleaning out, my clogged pen…
So a few years ago—finally fed up with my once-loyal but now reliably traitorous pen—I decided to try a digital tablet. I knew nothing about these devices but hoped it would just get me through my annual Christmas card ordeal. I got one, fired it up, and lo and behold, something totally unexpected happened: within moments, I was having fun drawing again. I was stunned at all the tools the thing offered, all the creative potential it contained. I simply had no idea how far these things had evolved. Perhaps fittingly, the first thing I drew was a caveman.
Larson’s first three new cartoons that he’s drawing just for fun are recognizably The Far Side—but it’s impossible not to notice the details and textures that are a product of his new set of digital drawing tools. Also, this one keeps making me laugh out loud, and I can’t figure out quite why.
That’s The Far Side at its best, if you ask me.