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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on November 13, 2003
In terms of content, this is *nearly* the ultimate collection of Gary Larson's wonderful Far Side comics (why do all the good cartoonists like Larson and Watterson retire early, while banal ones like Jim Davis [Garfield] go on ad nauseum?).
Books are very well made, like good art history volumes, with thoughtful notes included between each section (divided by years), and the paper and ink quality is excellent.
However, while this collection features all of the Far Side comics published since inception (and a few more never before seen by the public), it leaves out Larson's hilarious Farsidian take on classic art pieces as featured in the superb "Weiner Dog Art" collection from the 90's. Also, and I suppose this would have made what are already two massive tomes even more unruly to handle, it leaves out all of "Prehistory of the Far Side" material.
So just make sure you get "Weiner Dog Art" and "Prehistory", and then with this collection you'll have the ultimate Far Side opus.
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on December 17, 2003
Here we have the COMPLETE syndicated run of the Far Side Comic series. It was ground breaking for many as one can see from the letters to the editor from newspapers which appear on some pages.
The only thin I didn't like was the fact that they didn't have a major bonus section like the book "Prehistory of the Far Side" had. That one had some which were rejected by his editor as being too racy, I would have loved to see more of those in this release. Still This item is well worth the price.
I hope that Dan Piraro does this type of book If and when his "Bizarro" series ends. If you like "Far Side" you will like probably like "Bizarro"
A few of the "Far Side" comics slightly offend me as a Christian, but almost all of them don't.
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on July 6, 2004
While the price tag may seem hefty, it's easily worth the money.
This "Complete" collection is far more than I ever expected. Since I had so many of the older collections, I made the assumption that this was just a cool way to put all the stuff in one place. Not so... It's not just convenience, it simply better than any combination of older volumes you will ever find.
Here are some observations:
1. The collection includes a ton of cartoons that have NEVER been published in book form. These classics have not been seen anywhere since their original newspaper publication.
2. Even though the original cartoons were in black and white, a large percentage of these classics have been colorized! The color versions are seemlessly sprinkled into the pages, keeping the flow. Both older and newer cartoons are equally colorized.
3. The quality of the package itself is top-notch. They use high quality paper, printing, binding and packaging.
4. The set is very large and VERY HEAVY. You may have trouble lifting it.
5. The cartoons are layed out in a variety of sizes. Some are expanded to the entire page, where others are mixed in about the same size as they were in the original newspapers.
6. Lastly... These cartoons are FUNNY!!!!!! All the fancy packaging and quality are just gravy. The bottom line is that these cartoons will have you laughing for years to come.
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on October 28, 2003
This is the Holy Grail for Far Side fans; a two-volume, leatherbound, slipcase edition of every single Far Side strip ever produced, including ones that were never anthologized. It carries a hefty price tag, but this should not be an issue for a true Larson fan; the price of admission pales in comparison to the endless amount of humor and satisfaction that one will get time and time again. The Far Side never gets old, and it's like having a long-lost friend come back.
The pages are thick and glossy and extremely well-bound; it's like an encyclopedia, only with a lot more relevant information and more interesting pictures. Organized chronologically and with a two-page cartoon introducing the year, the Complete Far Side shows the progression of Larson's humor and the transformation of the public reaction to his cartoons (this is done with various letters from editors and such, though not in a way that mimics The Pre-History of the Far Side). Some of the strips are presented in color, something that will perhaps be seen as a disappointment to some, but to the majority it is nothing short of a bonus; most of these that are in color have been previously anthologized in black and white.
I personally find Steve Martin's introduction to be a brilliant homage to Gary Larson, and the comments from Larson's editor prove to be tongue-in-cheek moments where one who truly "gets" The Far Side can laugh at the ignorant masses.
This is the centerpiece of my library now, and while it is somewhat bulky, when it's in your lap or on the table, the ten pounds per book seems irrelevant when you realize the sheer scope of what you have in your hands.
And if you ever visit the Midvale School for the Gifted...pull, don't push.
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on December 28, 2014
How could a complete Far Side collection ever be given less than five stars? An awesome trip down memory lane, and the comics still have an edge, even in this modern world (cripes, 20 years have passed?). My only wish, one that would make this a 5.5 or 6 star review, were that possible, is that instead of three volumes it should be broken up into 6, or even 9. Smaller volumes would make for better casual reading, and they'd be easier to hold for those of us with arthritis, carpal tunnel, etc (and if you're old enough to remember reading The Far Side in the newspapers, you're probably either already experiencing this, or you will be soon).
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on June 25, 2004
Remember the first time you saw one of Gary Larson's cartoons? Me either. But I can guarantee my reaction was something along the lines of, "What the f--k is this?", before passing it onto a bunch of friends to check out. "The Far Side" virtually redefined the cartoon, trasnporting us to a hilariously surreal cosmos that always held a firm foundation in Truth. That's probably why it's always so funny.
Kind of a tenuous jump here, but if you're a Larson fan, then there's a new writer you should check out: Greg Ippolito. His new novel, "Zero Station," is absolutely terrific...a brilliantly warped literary journey...and an excerpt is available for FREE. He's still a relative unknown (a friend turned me onto his work) -- but this is a must-read. You can check him out and read the excerpt at: [...] Don't miss it!
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on July 12, 2004
First of all, you'll need to take steriods just to lift this collection. But it's worth every pound. The quality is remarkable, with color cartoons and brilliant and witty comments every now and then. The detractors who've written into the papers over the years also make an appearance, looking more foolish than ever. If you're one for great humor (think Sedaris in his "Me Talk Pretty" or McCrae in his "Bark of the Dogwood"), humor that is sometimes dark and multi-layered, then you'll love Gary Larson. This, of course, if you've never been exposed to him, in which case you're probably fodder for one of his cartoons. A++++++ material and presentation on this one.
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on August 27, 2004
I've been reading The Far Side for as long as I can remember. When I was in school, our teacher asked us to take one of our favorite cartoons and redraw it. I chose one with cavemen fleeing a flaming building with the words "Research and Development" posted on a giant sign above the building. Below, the caption read "Fire is Invented". To this day every time I read that cartoon I laugh. Who cares how much it costs, that you can strain your back trying to lift it, or if the majority of the cartoons have been published already, this anthology is definetly worth every penny, even if just for the cartoons previously not put into books.
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on October 1, 2013
This comes in two, heavy, beautifully bound, tall volumes in an illustrated slipcase; heavy paper, heavy, heavy books. That's the only drawback. It includes every Larson cartoon produced including unpublished cartoons. They are bound in sequential order so one can observe how Larson's drawing improved over the years. Some letters to the editor and comments from Larson are included.
If someone likes Larson's cartoons, than this is a marvelous gift. My wife had each volume on the table reading them at every meal time, and in between. Now we can look up ' a discouraging word', or 'there for three points, Rex ' etc. Wonderful fun!
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Where BILL WATTERSON is philosophical and whimsical, GARRY LARSON is absurdly surprising and devilishly creative! He will come at your funny bone from all directions - including the ones you knew not they existed.

I remember ordering his large sized collections one by one from the Book-Of-The-Month-Club and then laughing out loud all weekend!
Animals and humans never have existed so harmoniously. This is the universe of the absurd, the weird, the what-if, the I-know-this-is-not-possible-but-then-why-does-it-feel-so-familiar?

Own all his cartoons in 2 beautifully bound volumes.

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