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The PreHistory of The Far Side: A 10th Anniversary Exhibit

4.52  ·  Rating details ·  8,052 ratings  ·  163 reviews
A Far Side retrospective, celebrating its tenth anniversary.
Paperback, 288 pages
Published September 1989 by Andrews McMeel Publishing (first published 1989)
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4.52  · 
Rating details
 ·  8,052 ratings  ·  163 reviews

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Nicolo Yu
May 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: collected-strips
I admit that I was waiting for this book to go on clearance before I pulled the trigger on it. I waited for it for almost a year and it was worth the wait!

The Far Side was a slice of life cartoon that showcased Gary Larson often twisted humor. I always wondered how he made those cartoons and why cows and dogs?

This book answers that question. It's not so much a collection of strips so much so as it is Larson's thoughts and views on how the strips came about. It has a lot of strips and he also in
A. Dawes
Apr 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Not only hilarious galleries, but a fantastic and very personal insight into the evolution of The Farside. This includes the banned comics, the failed ones, the successes too, along with Larson's earlier pieces prior to The Farside.

For me, The Farside is one of the all-time great comics (along with Calvin & Hobbes).

Larson's work is dry, witty and original. And this book is highly recommended for any lover of Larson, along with those interested in the creative mind of comic book artists.
David Sarkies
Jan 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comedy
Inside Larson’s Head
2 January 2019 – Adelaide

And here we are, my first review of 2019, though I’m not entirely sure why it is that would make this review any different to the thousand odd other reviews that I have written over the years I have been lurking here on Goodreads. I guess it has something to do with that rather strange tradition that we humans like to do where we all gather around with our friends, drink copious amounts of alcohol, and fire rockets into the air simply because we have
Nov 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Why, why on earth would I list a comic book as a five-star? How could I dare to put this book on an equal level with the greatest literature that man has ever put to page?

Firstly, let me say that I reviewed this book for what it is: a simple history, description, and exploration of a popular one-panel comic strip mysteriously called "The Far Side". It's not deep, it's not emotionally moving, and it doesn't aspire to be any of these things. It simply does its job perfectly.

This book is enterta
Mike (the Paladin)
Nov 24, 2009 rated it really liked it
Larson goes into some of the back story of his famous cartoons. These are funny and some are, oddly disturbing. He gives us a look at a few that were deemed a little too, iffy for publication (the snake crawling through the playpen and unable to get between the bars due to the "swelling" in it's middle is very wonder it didn't make general publication). There are also stories of misplaced captions, art that looked different to the "readers" than it did to Larson, and some editori ...more
David Caldwell
Oct 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
When I was working in any of the many bookstores where I was employed and I did not want (or have the time) to read my current book, I would grab one of these collections to read on my too short break. I slowly but surely worked my way through several series. These are great time killers and will usually improve your mood no matter how hectic the day. Laughter can be the best solution to dealing with the public.

Far Side was always interesting. Many would make you laugh out loud. Others would mak
Feb 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
High-larious. Read this on the couch in just about one sitting. The Far Side is full of classics. This one has some background bio information on Larson, some early sketches and the evolution of several cartoons along with the creative process. Included are a number of never-made-it rejects, and the worst received attempts. For the record *I* think "cow tools" was funny.

Probably the funniest thing in the whole book is on page 127. The accidental switching of captions between The Far Side and Den
Sep 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
I have know of the far side for many years - and I must admit their own strange sense of humour matches mine often being the epitome of witty observation. This book is a collection of his early works along with a narrative of his Gary Larsons early years and how he got in to illustrations and the current phenomena which is the "Far Side". The books is both funny and informative - acting as a cross between humour and autobiography - great read and I will admit fascinating to see how some of his s ...more
Feb 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: humor
The Far Side, Calvin and Hobbes, and Bloom County were my three all time favorite comic strips. They probably still are. In this collection, Adams treats fans to early sketches, changes, and angry letters he's gotten over the years. He showcases fabulous mistakes that have been made (like the caption for Dennis the Menace being put under his cartoon instead- with hilarious results), and his favorite cartoons . . .which happen to be mine as well! A must for any Far Side fan!
Michael Finocchiaro
Oct 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
One of the greatest absurdist cartoons ever, the Far Side ages extremely well! This collection from oh so long ago is precious archeological evidence of the brilliance of Gary Larson's addictive humor.
Good times!!
Love these comics.
Always chuckling to myself when reading them.
Jan 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: humour, far-side, comics
A stand-out collection, gathering cartoons from the first ten years. I love Larson's work so I'm biased, but this is very highly recommended!
Michael P.
Jan 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Say, what? I don't give 5 stars to mere comic strip books. Ah, but this one has a difference. The book has the conceit of pretending to be a museum exhibit, and it works beautifully. Gary Larson is the curator, and in different part of the exhibit we see the origin of THE FAR SIDE, ways the panel evolved, some fascinating mistakes Larson made along the way and great panels that were published before some dunderheads in the world were ready to accept them, and finally Larson's own favorite cartoo ...more
Dec 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I don't give out 5 stars lightly and yes, this is a comic collection, but it definitely deserves the stars. I've owned this book for years, and I pull it out at least once a year and just sit back and laugh out loud. You either "get" the Far Side, or you don't. I've had people ask me to explain the humour, and you just can't. (One of my fears when I had children was that they wouldn't get this type of humour but, thank goodness, my fears were unfounded). Larson's humour is bizarre, demented, twi ...more
I loved this comic when it was a daily in the local paper. Some of them were a bit risque, and some were protested due to differing views. Gary Larson always made me laugh, even though occasionally there was a eww at the end due to the creatures used in that days comic, never been a huge fan of bugs. I wish he was still writing/drawing this comic. The book shows his early comic called "Nature Way" and continues on to the more popular Far Side. He shows some concept art for a few of the finished ...more
Oct 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful look into The Far Side, the history of Gary Larson, and his creative process.

It often seems that Larson's The Far Side was a bit overshadowed by Watterson's Calvin and Hobbes. I consider both amazing comics, but Watterson was clearly the better artist, and tended to be a little more accessible, with consistent characters and philosophical ideas. Larson's comics tended to be a bit more off-the-wall, sometimes venturing into rather cryptic scientific jokes.

Nevertheless, The Far Side
Jan 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A must for fans of Larson's idiosyncratic humour, and it contains cartoons he thought better of publishing - such as one featuring a snake with a suspiciously large lump who is slithering its way through a baby's crib - YIKES!

He also talks about his infamous 'Cow Tools' cartoon, which reminded me of what someone once said about comedy being like gossamer wings *or perhaps butterfly wings*: once you start to dissect it, it loses its humour. In the case of 'Cow Tools," I didn't really have a prob
May 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Gary Larson's humor is, in my book, unparalleled. I miss him emensely, and wish he would make a comeback. I could (and might) easily rate all of his compilations 5 stars - but I want to start with this one, probably because it has a bunch of little tidbits that are just fun things to know about Larson. Many of the cartoons never hit the newspapers for one reason or another, so I'd never seen a lot of them. He also provides commentary that I think is just priceless, on stuff there's no way you'd ...more
Jul 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
While 100 pages of this book are simply reprints of (albeit extremely funny) cartoons also contained in the famous Far Side Gallery books, the 180 other pages are the interesting part. Here Gary Larson shows us several shades of how his mind works, including very early unpublished works, rejected cartoons and sketches of unfinished cartoons, as well as misprints and reader feedback – all accompanied by charismatic explanations and annotations.

Quite simply: indispensable.
Sep 24, 2016 rated it liked it
I started reading Far Side comics when I was still in grade school, even though I really had no idea what half of them meant (a problem that still persists for a select few panels). It was formative to my sense of humour (for better or worse), and I still get a kick out of it. Second only to Calvin and Hobbes.
Kaethe Douglas
Mar 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I love me some Far Side, it's my favorite single-frame comic. Well, XKCD ties with it now.
Jun 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: far side fans, obviously.
I've always wanted to know the story behind The Far Side, the process behind Larson creating specific panels. And now I do. Yay!
Nov 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The collection of his childhood drawings were a rare inside look to Mr.Larson's past, and very cute. The commentary was funny, especially about his bad reviews.
Vel Veeter
Jul 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cbr-9
I was worried when I found this in the Little Free Library
The Pre-History of the Far Side by Gary Larson
So I was both excited and scared when I saw this in the Little Free Library. I grew up LOVING the Far Side. I had t-shirts, I had wall calendars, I had a bunch of the books, and I used to basically just examine them to try to work out the jokes, try to catch the references, try to figure out what was going on both in terms of the jokes.

So when I saw this, the problem was that this was potentia
Nov 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Finished this roughly around 330-430am. Sometimes having insomnia is nice (for reading/getting things done).

This was a fun overview of The Far Side, and was interesting to see early pre-Far Side cartoons, sketches, rejected cartoons, and other tidbits throughout the first 10years of The Far Side's 'life'. Fun, entertaining, and good for a fair number of laughs.
Dec 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Far Side's creator Gary Larson gives some interesting background on how the comics got started, takes us through some of his process and sketches, and finished with a gallery of his favourite work. It's well worth the time of fans, though I wish it contained more detail.
Benjamin Barnes
May 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love going through each of the little panels! And seeing what comedy look like before political correctness! This book was witty and I really enjoyed looking over each of them a lot it's definitely good for laughs! I especially like the varying people and animals in hell
Yrag Notsew
Jan 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Gary Larson's "Far Side" cartoons are legendary and I think rightly so. Here is a big book that combines those cartoons with some of his prose. Definitely fun to read!
Bookworm Erica
Nov 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Who doesn't love the far side? Dummies that's who
Aug 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Even if you own every Far Side comic written, this is worth getting because of all the bonus material, rejected strips, sketches, and insight into the mind of the artist.
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Gary Larson was born and raised in Tacoma, Washington. His parents were Vern, a car salesman, and Doris, a secretary. He attended Curtis High School before attending Washington State University and graduated in 1972 with a degree in communications. In 1987, Larson married Toni Carmichael, an archaeologist.

Larson credits his older brother Dan for his "paranoid" sense of humor. Dan would pull countl