Gary Larson

Gary Larson (born August 14, 1950) is the creator of The Far Side, a single-panel cartoon series that was syndicated internationally to newspapers for 15 years. The series ended with Larson's retirement on January 1, 1995. His 23 books of collected cartoons have combined sales of more than 45 million copies.

Larson grew up in University Place, Washington, in suburban Tacoma. His parents are Verner, a car salesman, and Doris, a secretary.[2] He is a graduate of Curtis Senior High School in University Place. He graduated from Washington State University in Pullman with a degree in communications.

Larson credits his older brother, Dan, for his "paranoid" sense of humor.

an pulled countless pranks on Gary, taking advantage of his phobia of monsters under the bed by waiting in the closet for the right moment to pounce. He is also credited for nurturing Gary's love of science. They caught animals in Puget Sound and placed them in terrariums in the basement, even making a small desert ecosystem.

Dan Larson died of a myocardial infarction in 1989.

According to Larson in his anthology, The Prehistory of the Far Side, he was working in a music store when he took a few days off, after finally realizing how much he hated his job. During that time, he decided to try cartooning and drew six cartoons and submitted them to Pacific Search (now Pacific Northwest Magazine), a Seattle-based magazine. After contributing to another local Seattle paper, in 1979 Larson submitted his work to The Seattle Times. Under the title Nature’s Way, his work was published weekly next to the Junior Jumble.

To supplement his income, Larson worked for the Humane Society. Larson soon decided he could increase his income from cartooning by selling his strip to another newspaper. Taking his vacation in San Francisco, Larson pitched his work to the San Francisco Chronicle. To Larson’s surprise, the Chronicle bought the strip and promoted it for syndication, renaming it The Far Side. This occurred a week before The Seattle Times dropped Nature’s Way.

In The Complete Far Side,[4] Larson says that his greatest disappointment in life occurred when he was at a luncheon and sat across from cartoonist Charles Addams, creator of The Addams Family. Larson was not able to think of a single thing to say to him, and deeply regretted the missed opportunity.

Since retiring from the Far Side, Larson has occasionally done some cartooning work, such as magazine illustrations and promotional artwork for Far Side merchandise.

In 1998 Larson published his first post-Far Side book, There's a Hair in My Dirt!: A Worm's Story, an illustrated story with the Far Side mindset.

Larson's Best Books:

The Complete Far Side (1266 pages hardcover)
The Far Side Gallery
The Far Side Gallery 2
The Far Side Gallery 3
The Far Side Gallery 4
Bride of The Far Side
The Curse of Madame 'C'
Beyond the Far Side
It Came From The Far Side
The Chickens are Restless
Hound of The Far Side
Cows of Our Planet
Last Chapter and Worse

Larson has also completed two animated films, "Gary Larson's Tales From The Far Side" I and II, which were completed in 1994 and 1997, and were screened at international film festivals.

Gary Larson lives in Seattle, Washington.