Fans of daily desk calendars everywhere rejoice: Gary Larson has made a surprise return to the much beloved, surreal, cow-heavy Far Side universe. Earlier this week, Larson quietly posted a handful of new, single-frame comics on his website—his first new public work within the series in over two-and-a-half decades—and they thankfully seem just as oddball as ever.
Larson’s last entries in the series came back in 1995 after a fifteen-year syndicated newspaper run, although according to a post on his site, he never entirely gave up drawing weird-ass shit for friends and family. “Despite my retirement, I still had intermittent connections to cartooning, including my wife’s and my personal Christmas card...Once a year, I’d sit myself down to take on Santa, and every year it began with the same ritual: me cursing at, and then cleaning out, my clogged pen.”
That clogged pen led Larson to purchase a digital drawing tablet a few years back, a transition that felt to him like, “sitting at the controls of a 747.” After some practice with the new medium, Larson recently felt confident enough to share some new pieces with fans, and unlike so many unnecessary reboots of 80’s and 90’s franchises, Far Side looks to be as enjoyably strange as ever.
Unfortunately, for now this looks to be simply an intermittent thing from Larson, with no official plans to reboot the series on a regular schedule anytime soon. “Again, please remember, I’m just exploring, experimenting, and trying stuff. New Stuff. I have just one last thing to say before I go: thank you, clogged pen,” wrote Larson.
Thank you, clogged pen. And thank you, Gary Larson.