I have read that laughter is considered to be healthy. Tea, with it's flavonoids is good for the heart. What is not healthy however is to drink tea and read this book. I took a gulp of tea and made the mistake of reading the cartoon on page 160 (you'll have to take my word for it). I laughed so hard I nearly choked and tea came through my nostrils all over this book. Anyway now that I've recovered all I can say is buy this book. You'll spend hours reading the cartoons and laughing while trying to work out who is crazier - Larson or the people who write in to complain.
If you already have the Huge complete far side, your collection is still not complete, without this book. Containing behind the scenes info, as well as strips too offensive to be released, contaversial cartoons, misunderstood cartoons. This is a must for all far side fans. Even if you don't have any other far side books, this is well worth getting. It has a selection of Gary Larson's favourite strips, which should serve as an introduction to the Twisted Humour of the Far Side.
The PreHistory of the Farside makes you see the Farside in another way. Its brilliance is outstanding. Never before have I seen such comical brilliance in extrodinary, simple cartoons. The book contains in sights on Gary's progress and how, from a simple man, became the world's best cartooner. The book is 2.5cm thick (approx) The book has 288 pages (may I add of pure genius)
Gary Larson's Far Side comic was a work of genius. I loved his Far Side cartoons in the 1980's, and even today miss that Far Side greeting cards appear to now be a thing of the past. His work in a single panel - just a handful of square inches - was always excellent. The joke might be obvious, or subtle (or both). Reality and absurdity juxtaposed together. I'd love to say that the Far Side was a thinking man's (or woman's) comic, but in fact it was everyman's comic.
This is the 22-year old 10th anniversary exhibit, dating from 1989, when there were still 5 or so years left in the run. It is a mixture of behind the scenes, a little about the craft of cartooning, some errors along the way (the title mixups with Dennis the Menace are hilarious), reader complaints, and a short best of collection. There is some material here that is nowhere else to my knowledge: not in any of the 5 Far Side Galleries, and not in the 2-volume hardbound complete collection.
I am amazed, whenever I read Far Side, how I had forgotten that a particular phrase or joke I had always thought was "public domain" is in fact from the Far Side. This is excellent stuff: every home should have a copy.
The writer and artist of the bizarre comics comments and raises issues from his own wry observations on the unusual things in life. Both the cartoons and the comments are great but there is also food for thought.
I was first introduced to Gary Larson's cartoons by a colleague - to whom I shall be forever grateful - back in the mid 90's. His warped view of things, or more possibly just an alternative view, seemed to suit me perfectly. (Not quite sure that was entirely complimentary looking back on it! hehe) I thoroughly enjoyed this trip into his memories, his early works, his favourites and - especially - the ones that never made it and the ones that caused a lot of feedback. It's great to see the ones that were rejected by editors, on the grounds of taste, or we would have missed some real gems. I can see why some of the controversial ones drew so much flak, but the degree of some of the letters is simply bizarre. Hey ho, enjoy them for what they are. It's not like they actually suggest trying them out.
For fans of the Far Side, and there are many I know, this book makes essential reading. That is an overused and often distracting expression but, in this case, I assure you it's fitting.
This is basically Larson's explanation of how it started, the things that went wrong, and then right, and the hiccups along the way. With lots of absolute classic Far Side strips explained and exposed, and plenty more you won't have seen, with pretty funny explanations of why, this is a veritable treasure trove.
Buy it and give yourself not only a great read, but also a fine reason to go back and read the rest of the books and galleries again.