Born in Tacoma, Washington in 1950, cartoonist and author of The Far Side Gary Larson was an avid reader of comics himself from a young age.
Art wasn't his first love, however, when he was young. It was science, and more especially, biology.
Larson graduated from Washington State University in 1972 with a degree in communications. He had planned to pursue a career in the field of writing television commericals. However, upon graduation he formed a jazz duo with himself on guitar and banjo while a friend played trombone and keyboard. His duo folded after three years and then he found a job at a music store in Lynwood, Washington. He soon realized that this job wasn't meant for him, and decided to concentrate on drawing.
He took some samples of his work to the editor of a magazine called Pacific Search in Seattle. The editor loved them, and Larson quit his job at the music store to begin writing comics for a living. This comic, called "Nature's Way" is described by Larson as a "Mesozoic Far Side".
Larson's Best Books:
- The Complete Far Side (1266 pages hardcover)
- The Far Side Gallery
- The Far Side Gallery 2
- The Far Side Gallery 3
- The Far Side Gallery 4
- Bride of The Far Side
- The Curse of Madame 'C'
- Beyond the Far Side
- It Came From The Far Side
- The Chickens are Restless
- Hound of The Far Side
- Cows of Our Planet
- Last Chapter and Worse
Drawing didn't earn much at first, so Larson got a job as an investigator for the local Humane Society. Then a reporter who Larson met showed his work to an editor at the Seattle Times. "Nature's Way" began to be published in the Seattle Times' Saturday paper in the children's section.
During a vacation, Larson drove down to San Francisco with his portfolio of comics. In 1979 he approached the San Francisco Chronicle's office to show off his work. This soon led to a syndication contract for his cartoon, "Nature's Way". The editors changed its name to "The Far Side". On January 1, 1980, "The Far Side" debuted in the San Francisco Chronicle.It turned out to be just in time, as the Seattle Times dropped "Nature's Way" on his return to Washington state.
Slowly taken up by more and more newspapers, The Far Side thrived for fourteen years until Larson retired from daily panels on January 1, 1995. At that time, the panel was appearing in more than 1,900 daily and Sunday newspapers worldwide. Quite a number of "Far Side" books were produced which topped best seller lists. Larson also received many awards including the Reuben Award for Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year, and the Max & Moritz Price for Best International Comic Strip/Panel.
Larson has also completed two animated films, "Gary Larson's Tales From The Far Side" I and II, which were completed in 1994 and 1997, and were screened at international film festivals.
Gary Larson lives in Seattle, Washington.