The Far Side comic strip by Gary Larson made fans laugh for years. However, Larson revealed that one strip had him fear for the comic’s future.
The Creator of one of the most famous comic strips of all time, Gary Larsonjust revealed that he feared one of his The Far Side Comics would bring an end to his career.
The Far Side was a one panel comic series that focused on surreal and outlandish humor. Creator Gary Larson’s cow-centric humor would explore various plays on words and visual Jokes to make one of the Funniest Comics people would find in the newspaper. It was so famous in fact that scientists named the tail of the Stegosaurus after an old Far Side comic. Of course, with fame came mixed reactions to certain comics. Not everyone Far Side comic was met with critical acclaim from fans. Due to Larson’s surreal sense of humor, not every joke would land perfectly. One of the most infamous Comics in fact was “Cow Tools,” which showed one of Larson’s signature cows standing in front of a series of oddly shaped tools. That’s it. Larson even needed to explain the joke after years of fan confusion. Even after all of that though, Larson admitted that there was one Far Side Strip that he originally believed was going to lead to his downfall.
According to a 2019 interview with Larson in the New York Times, Larson Revealed that he had numerous Moments where he was going to be pulled from Newspapers by controversy, but one stuck out in his mind the most. The comic was titled “Tethercat” and Featured two dogs hitting a cat around like a tetherball. “That’s us,” Larson told the Times“and I assume my editor, it didn’t cross any line because this was just a game dogs might play. But that one got people stirred up. Especially cat people.” Despite all the controversial strips he wrote in his early days, it was a pretty straightforward joke that drew the most attention.
When looking at the comic itself, it’s silly in hindsight to see why it got so much controversy. It’s a common stereotype for dogs to hate cats, so seeing what a game for dogs would look like involving a cat would likely look something like Larson depicted. His humor is rooted in Surrealism and was even proven as such in a caption swap between The Far Side and Dennis the Menace. This is no different. The thing is though that he never meant ill-intent by it either. When talking to the TimesLarson mentioned “doing something controversial was never my intention. This was just my sense of humor, and the kind of humor in my family. I never drew anything my mom wouldn’t have laughed at.” Taking what he said into account, it’s clear that he was just putting his own spin on a classic stereotype on the animosity between cats and dogs.
Regardless of the controversy though, Larson has still stood the test of time. They started posting new The Far Side Comics online back in 2020 and continues to make people laugh to this day. When closing out his thoughts on the controversial side of The Far Side, Gary Larson had this to say to his readers: “I’ll forever be grateful to fans, who in those early days rescued “The Far Side” from cancellation, or campaigned to get it reinstated.” Even with all the controversy that could have ended his career, it was the fans that kept The Far Side alive and strong.
Source: The New York Times