View Full Version : Far Side

10-05-2003, 06:38 PM
You've all heard of it. If you haven't you are truly sick and need a real life, not one of those fake ones with friends and parties and stuff.

Now, to thos eof you who have heard of and at least seen some of his cartoons, who here actually finds some of hi stuff offensive despite the fact that they are cartoons?

I recently bought a book called 'The PreHistory of The Far Side, A 10th Anniversary Exhibit' which was written by gary Larson himself which had some hilarious pictures in there and explanations to how and why he came up with them (which is equally as funny).

One section of the very large thick book is a collection of contraversial cartoons and the accompanying complaint letters, some of which are funnier that the cartoon and most of which seem to miss the point of the cartoon altogether. larson also explains how un offensive the cartoon was meant to be and so on.

So basically, two dogs playing tetherball with a cat, is that offensive?

Lemon Head
10-05-2003, 06:48 PM
I've read that book a number of times as it is, quite frankly, superb.

I've been a Larson fan for many years now so maybe I'm biased but I've never found any of his cartoons offensive. Dark, yes, but never offensive.

I seem to remember there was a lot of controversy over a woman who had nailed the pet flap of her door shut and was calling to her dog to run inside as fast as possible. Quite frankly I thought it was superb.

If I had to accuse Larson of a weak point, it would have to be that some of his cartoons are obviously manifestations of ideas that were funny at the time but ended up just kinda stupid.

But what the hell. I still love him.

10-05-2003, 06:55 PM
Originally posted by Lemon Head
I seem to remember there was a lot of controversy over a woman who had nailed the pet flap of her door shut and was calling to her dog to run inside as fast as possible. Quite frankly I thought it was superb.

I was going to quote that, but it would have taken too long to explain (as apose to the explanation you gave which seemed to do the exact same thing in less time, I don't know).

What are actually brilliantly funny are the cartoons that never made the cut, including the one of an unusually fat python in a babys crib and an absense of baby. At this point in the book, Larson tells us to move on and forget we saw the picture. probably for the best.

Lemon Head
10-05-2003, 07:03 PM
that was quite spectacularly funny...you know maybe we should be scanning these for the people without The Knowledge, i feel kinda geeky being able to describe Larson cartoons. Actually it would probably infringe some law or other, curse it.

Did anyone ever see the Far Side TV shorts? those were...bizarre to say the least. Actually, now i come to think about it, those were really disturbing.

10-05-2003, 07:12 PM
Almost exactly why I didn't scan them. it's extremely hard to find scans of his work because larson has sent personal messages to all websites kindly asking them to stop before his publishers take legal action (of course, not his choice if they do, so he's kind of warning them, what a nice guy). I never saw the cartoons and don't really plan to, the whole point of far side is that so much can be interpreted from a single picture.

Lemon Head
10-05-2003, 07:18 PM
I seem to remember that they weren't all that good.

There was one though which i think could only have worked as an animation:

You see a figure turning and fidgeting underneath the sheets of a bed in the throes of a nightmare. This nightmare consists of a woman walking with her baby along a street to the corner, little knowing that a lorry has lost control and is screaming down the road towards her. Oblivious of her impending doom, the woman starts to cross the road with hir baby and you see this huge truck hurtle straight at her. She turns, sees the truck, starts to scream but suddenly the truck swerves out of the way and carries on down the hill.
At this point, the figure in the bed sits up and screams with horror and fear. It's Death. He even has he little scythe up against the wall.

I just really liked the idea that if we can be scared by things that we see as negative and a danger to our lives/livlihood, would someone/thing who depended on those actions by scared at the possibility of them not occuring.

What a man.

10-06-2003, 01:17 AM
Gary Larson is my hero, I know pretty much all the strips by memory.

10-06-2003, 07:57 AM
That sounds good Lemon Head, I'm going to have to find some. :)

10-12-2003, 11:03 PM
On October 21, 2003, "The Complete Far Side: 1980-1994" will be released with every single Far Side cartoon ever! For $135 bucks.

10-13-2003, 10:03 AM
Or UK eqivilent of 81.26. Of course, I'd just go to Amazon and get it for 73.14. But yeah, sounds good.

10-16-2003, 10:38 PM
Ha ha! That collection sounds great! (I'll just have to wait 5 years till it turns up at Ollie's for $15.95...)

I never thought his cartoons were all that controversial, or even too dark...some of them were, admittedly, but from what I've seen he was always really great.

If you want a controversial cartoon mostly seen in papers today, go for "Doonsbury" or "Non Sequitor." Both of them frequently make liberal statements and tend to be much more controversial than The Far Side ever was. (Admittedly, Non Sequitor used to be OK, but as of late it's kind of degraded into a Republican-bashing opinion.) Doonsbury was always political, and it's just plain good sense that my local paper runs it on the Editorials page.

I think one of my favorite "never-ran cartoons" was the one where the two old cowboys are roasting a horse. The caption goes something like, "Well, I said I was, and Jim said, whaddya know, so am I, and one thing just sort of led to another." (One of my favorite all-time Far Side panels is the one where the cowboy is saying something like, "Well, there it goes again...every time we bed down, that confounded harmonica starts up.":D)

I wish the Far Side was still in the papers, as I think it's a lot better than some of the comics today.

Orca Wail
10-19-2003, 12:51 AM
Anger! I wish it were still in the papers too!
But he retired.

I wish Calvin and Hobbes was still in the paper. That was strange and offensive too.

10-19-2003, 04:35 AM
Originally posted by Orca Wail
Anger! I wish it were still in the papers too!
But he retired.

I wish Calvin and Hobbes was still in the paper. That was strange and offensive too.

Strange, yes. But offensive? I don't know about that. I don't recall ever being offended by it.

Calvin and Hobbes and the Far Side are definately the best two syndicated comics of all time. I have every single C&H book ever published, and ever single far side book ever published. They come in handy on long trips and nights when I can't sleep.

Good times.

10-21-2003, 02:06 AM
If Bill Watterson hadn't been pushed to go for syndication, he would have continued drawing his comic. That is another old favorite of mine, and I find it pretty disappointing that they "pushed him to the limit", so to speak, so he just eventually decided to quit.

As for now...what do you guys think of today's comics? I think Get Fuzzy would have to be one of my current favorites. (I also like "Dilbert.")

Orca Wail
10-21-2003, 06:38 PM
Get Fuzzy rocks my socks.;) They even did a Hitchhiker's Guide Tribute. Unfortunately, my parents are...uninformed...and get Newsday(:mad: ) but I have a few books.

Dilbert's okay. Wasn't there a Far Side "rip-off" called "Cornered" once? Am i a moocow?

10-22-2003, 02:16 AM
there are a lot of extremely unfunny comics these days... garfield doesn't really make me laugh but i used to love it when i was really little so if it got canned that would probably make me sad, then there's this one called JumpStart that honest to god has never brought so much as a smirk to my face. Same goes for 'pearls before swine' 'pardon my planet' and countless others. Liberty meadows was awesome but now you can only get it in comic book form - at least it hasn't stopped entirely.

I do really like Get Fuzzy though. Also I like foxtrot even if it doesn't always make me laugh - get fuzzy is probably the funniest, but foxtrot has a kind of charm to it. I'm the coolest dude ever for having written a post this long on comic strips.

10-22-2003, 04:49 PM
The oldies are always funny, hargar still does it for me, although not as much anymore, it used to be funnier way back when. Garfield, now that's a certain type of humor, I just love it. Of course, Calvin and Hobbs is just funny as is Dilbert, but that's basically because they're different. Calvin and Hobbs manage to pull off the whole invisible friend thing and Dilbert is the dead end job thing we always see but never learn to laught to (I'm thinking of getting the 2004 page a day dilbert desk calander.) I'm not too sure about the short lived TV show of dilbert though, it had it's funny bits, but in the end, not as good as funny as the strip.

11-07-2003, 05:07 PM
Some of the old comics are great. I also love FoxTrot. (I have a calender of that for '03...some of the comics, at least, are from '01, because there are 9/11 references...ie, Jason smashes Halloween pumpkins after writing OSAMA on them.)

FoxTrot also reminds me of my own family, so I find it funny.

I also don't care much for JumpStart. (Is that the one with the black family?) I am not being racist: I wouldn't like it no matter what type of people were portrayed. It's just crummy. I have the same thing to say about Grand Avenue; while both strips have a good premise, they aren't done as well as they can be, in my opinion.

A comic strip I really hated was the short-lived (no pun intended) Shirley & Son. I found it decidedly un-funny with terrible jokes. It would build and build, and then have the most horrible punchline EVER. I literally found myself groaning at a couple of them, they were that bad.
The other thing I didn't care for was the situation it portrayed. I mean, I think, don't glorify a divorced-family situation! I personally know someone from a broken family who was offended by it. (It might be going a little far there, but still...I don't think it's appropriate to portray it they way he did. Comics are supposed to be funny, not pity parties.)

Some of the older comic strips are getting tired, so to speak. Peanuts is still being run in our paper, and I'm getting a bit tired of it; they're all the same, not to mention they are all reruns from earlier strips. Garfield isn't near as funny as it used to be, in my opinion. Funky Winkerbean is getting old and too soap-opera-ish. A few comics, such as Beetle Baily and Hagar the Horrible, are still nice, but a bunch have gone downhill.

11-08-2003, 10:00 PM
I only read Blondie. She is one tasty dish. :hearteye:

11-13-2003, 10:29 PM
I love offensive comics.

I also love offensive cartoons. (Can anybody say South Park?)

Calvin and Hobbes and The Far Side are what I consider to be the two best comics ever.

11-15-2003, 12:58 AM
Originally posted by Shivermetimbers
I also love offensive cartoons. (Can anybody say South Park?)

Here, let me see. Um "Total Crap". Oh I guess I can't.

Sorry, I just strongly dislike South Park.

11-15-2003, 03:06 PM

I can understand why people dislike it and I accept that. It is a very offensive and crude show. But you don't have to dis it.

11-15-2003, 03:41 PM
It's only seen as good to some people because it is offensive, and "some" people like that. Apart from the fact that it gets it very mediochre comedy from being offensive, it really has nothing else going for it and if you actually think it's funny then you have the sense of humour of a five year old in the body of an (allegedly) 18 year old, which is sure to have you end up working/living in a parking lot.

I'm sorry, but those are my views on The Rugrats.

11-15-2003, 11:51 PM
I've never met a five year old capable of comprehending South Park. Frankly, the people who don't like South Park tend to be the kind of people it makes fun of.

I wasn't trying to start a big evil argument here. Geeze. No need to be rude.

11-16-2003, 03:09 PM
Originally posted by Joshi
I'm sorry, but those are my views on The Rugrats.
Hmm, now let's hear your opinion on South Park.

Shiver, I agree with you on South Park kicking some serious ass and I wanted to tell you and the others that I agree with Carl, STTCT, you and RemiO regarding the Love and Hate (http://www.lucasforums.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=117371) thread.

11-18-2003, 08:15 PM
Alien you are awesome.

11-19-2003, 07:28 AM
Originally posted by Shivermetimbers
I've never met a five year old capable of comprehending South Park. Frankly, the people who don't like South Park tend to be the kind of people it makes fun of.

I wasn't trying to start a big evil argument here. Geeze. No need to be rude.

Dude, it was a joke, didn't you read my closing line? My views on south park are much worse :p

And yes, it does seem to effect the people it's making fun of, but you don't seem to realise that these people are actually taking offense from this stuff, just because you're not, doesn't make it right. I'm not jewish, but I do feel sory for them because of the way southpark portrays them.

11-19-2003, 02:33 PM
So you have sympathy for the entire jewish population? I know if I were jewish, that remark would offend me more than the average South Park episode.

The whole point of South Park is to point out how some people are completely stupid, and it does it pretty well. I can understand why people don't like it, but a show that's been on the air for seven seasons doesn't get by on just being "offensive and mediocre".

Besides, stereotypes are excellent.

11-19-2003, 02:40 PM
South Park is best evar. Also, Matt Stone is Jewish, so if he's making fun of the Jews, he's making fun of himself. It's obviously satire, but I guess some people don't see that point.

11-19-2003, 11:01 PM
South Park makes fun of EVERYBODY (yes including me!). Seriously. Thats why it's awesome.

I do understand why it is disliked by some, but I think its being overly sensitive to be really offended.

I am happy Joshi doesn't hate me as much as I though he did for a bit there...

11-22-2003, 03:23 PM
NO I don't have complete sympathy for the jewish population, I just think it's wrong to make fun of people because of something they can't help being or have chosen to be (like jewish). Now I know there are shows out there that do a lot worse, but then again, there are shows out there that do a lot better, at least in my eyes. If you think southpark is brilliant, I won't look down on you for it, everyone's entitled to there opinion. I just think it's a crap show. And yes, it has been going for seven seasons, but big brother is slowly catching up. what does that tell you about the quality of tv out there, simple, it doesn't matter if it's good or not, as long as it gets the big ratings.

11-22-2003, 10:10 PM
Each to his own.