Comic Strip Review: The Far Side Gallery 2 by Gary Larson
The Far Side was a daily single-panel newspaper comic that ran from 1980 to 1995, although reruns are common in newspapers. Gary Larson’s offbeat comedy often features science fiction and horror concepts, as well as talking animals and cavemen. Honestly, it’s hard to describe without giving specific examples. This oversized volume contains the best cartoons from three smaller collections from the early Eighties.
As a “best of” collection, this does a good job, showcasing favorites from back in the day. For example, “the modern lion” shows lions using walkie-talkies to stalk their prey. Or the woman about to pet a cat, asking if it’s friendly, oblivious to the obvious injuries of the cat’s hosts. There’s an introduction by horror writer Stephen King that’s mildly funny.
Gary Larson’s art, like many single-panel cartoonists’, is more “distinctive” than “good.” You know right away that you’re looking at a The Far Side cartoon. He was smart enough to recognize when his material was getting stale, and retired the feature to work on other projects.
Being written in the 1980s, there are some outdated ethnic references, so parents may want to explain why those words are hurtful to children reading this collection.
Recommended to comics fans and those who enjoy offbeat humor.