Set in rough chronological order, the comics share pages with occasional letters from fans, detractors, editors, folks made famous by a particular cartoon, and those begging for explanations. Though few explanations are provided (Larson personally supplies merely one, plus a single apology), this collection helps answer the inevitable "how do you think up these things" conundrum. Before each year's cartoons, Larson provides insight with essays about his childhood, various travels, occupational hazards, and his official rules for dealing with bedtime monsters (which often turned out to be his older brother). Most wonderful is the first essay on how the comic started. (His longtime editor Jake Morrissey's long introduction is a must read on The Far Side's story).
Despite no central characters, it's easy to spot patterns in Larson's wild and wacky cartoons. Animals, insects, and inanimate objects often exhibit all-too-human impulses. Larson's subjects are often in scenes of peril--disasters, visits to hell, and perhaps a hundred cartoons set on a one-palm tree deserted island. It is what Larson's fertile imagination mined from those situations that created fans and enemies for 14 years. (Larson retired at his peak and then went into jazz music). The comics are not indexed (how could they be--first lines? listings of cartoons with cows?); finding a favorite requires a great memory for its publication date. Best simply to peruse the pages of this beautiful collection in which you will certainly find more than a few new chuckles before landing on your beloved Larson sketch. --Doug Thomas
always funny and now I have the whole collection....yay!!Published 22 days ago by Hemorrhaging Orifice
This two-book collection is large and heavy like a library atlas because Larson was prolific and the cartoons are reprinted at original newspaper size. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Darik Horn
gary Larson has always been one of my absolute favorites...from the quirky to the odd to the downright plain weird...absolutely love them all... Read morePublished 18 months ago by hobbes
This comes in two, heavy, beautifully bound, tall volumes in an illustrated slipcase; heavy paper, heavy, heavy books. That's the only drawback. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Joseph Barry Garner
I love Gary Larson and the Far Side. Recently bought the complete works in hard cover. Two huge and heavy volumes. However, both books were Volume I. Hello, where is Volume 2? Read morePublished 23 months ago by Pella
This is a set of two volumes. It's absolutely hilarious. I totally recommend this book for anyone who needs a pick-me-up. Read morePublished on April 30 2013 by Mil