Gary Larson’s The Far Side Comes Alive in Series of Animated Cartoons

It used to be that you could­n’t go into a book­store this time of year with­out being lit­er­al­ly sur­round­ed by Gary Lar­son­’s The Far Side. His cal­en­dars and books were mas­sive best sell­ers and his sin­gle-pan­el comics seemed to be every­where, taped to cubi­cle walls and pinned to bul­letin boards. Lar­son­’s hilar­i­ous­ly sub­ver­sive sense of empathy–his way of ren­der­ing peo­ple with the detach­ment of an ento­mol­o­gist while invest­ing his ani­mal char­ac­ters with the most sym­pa­thet­ic of human traits–endeared him to mil­lions.

But in 1995, after 15 years of strug­gle against grind­ing dead­lines, Lar­son called it quits. Since then he’s been about as reclu­sive as Gre­ta Gar­bo or J.D. Salinger. And while Lar­son­’s cal­en­dars and books con­tin­ued to appear for some years after his retire­ment, The Far Side is not much in evi­dence these days. Which is sad. You can’t buy your friends a 2013 Far Side desk cal­en­dar this hol­i­day sea­son, but per­haps you can share this: a few twist­ed scenes from Lar­son­’s 1994 ani­mat­ed film, Tales From the Far Side. The film was orig­i­nal­ly aired as a Hal­loween spe­cial on CBS. The clip above begins on a fit­ting­ly nos­tal­gic note.

Relat­ed con­tent:

Jazz Toons: Allen Mezquida’s Jour­ney from Bebop to Smigly

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