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Book details of 'The Complete Far Side'

Cover of The Complete Far Side
TitleThe Complete Far Side
Author(s)Gary Larson, Steve Martin
ISBN0740721135
LanguageEnglish
PublishedOctober 2003
PublisherAndrews McMeel Publishing
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The Virtual Bookcase Reviews of 'The Complete Far Side':

Reviewer amazon.com wrote:
Gary Larson calls The Complete Far Side, the massive two-volume collection of his Far Side cartoons, an "18-pound hernia giver." Sure to give any coffee table a solid workout, the handsome and heavy 1,250-page "legacy book" is a must for fervent fans; over 4,300 single-panel comics with more than half in color and 1,100 that have not appeared in any book form before (the popular--and far less weighty--paperback collections). 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.

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Book description:

A masterpiece of comic brilliance, The Complete Far Side contains every Far Side ever syndicated--over 4,000 if you must know--presented in (more or less) chronological order by year of publication, with more than 1,100 that have never before appeared in a book. Also included are additional Far Side cartoons Larson created after retirement: 13 that appeared in the last Far Side book, Last Chapter and Worse, and six cartoons that periodically ran as a special feature in The New York Times' Science Times section as The Far Side of Science. Creator Gary Larson offers a rare glimpse into the mind of The Far Side in quirky and thoughtful introductions to each of the 14 chapters. Complaint letters, fan letters, and queries from puzzled readers appear alongside some of the more provocative or elusive panels. Actor, author and comedian Steve Martin offers his pithy thoughts in a forward and Gary Larson's former editor describes what it was like to be "the guy who could explain every Far Side cartoon."

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