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The PreHistory of The Far Side:: A 10th Anniversary Exhibit Paperback – September 1, 1989

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The PreHistory of The Far Side:: A 10th Anniversary Exhibit + The Far Side Gallery + The Far Side Gallery 3
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Product Details

  • Series: Far Side
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Andrews and McMeel Publishing; 1st edition (September 1, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0836218515
  • ISBN-13: 978-0836218510
  • Product Dimensions: 11.9 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #268,772 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


I find his cartoons extremely funny... I confidently recommend this book for more than it's excellent idea. SUNDAY TELEGRAPH Fans will love this book. ABERDEEN EVENING EXPRESS I cannot imagine a nicer way of digesting the Christmas lunch than by going through this hilarious book- something I inted to do even though I've already read it three times. JERSEY EVENING POST Gary Lawson carries the macabre to hilarious lengths. WALL STREET JOURNAL --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

The Far Side was syndicated in more than 1,900 daily newspapers from 1980 to 1995, when Gary Larson retired. During its run, the cartoon spawned 22 books from AMP, which were translated into a total of 17 different languages. For his work with The Far Side, Larson was awarded the Reuben Award for Outstanding Cartoonist from the National Cartoonists Society in 1991 and 1994. The group also named The Far Side Best Syndicated Panel in both 1985 and 1987.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 73 customer reviews
Gary Larson's Far Side comic was a work of genius.
John Middleton
In all, the overall design and look of this book is great (not surprising, considering it's the 10th Anniversary Edition).
If you'd like to own one book but aren't sure which to buy or where to start, start with this.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Lonnie E. Holder HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 25, 2004
Format: Paperback
If you have ever wondered how Gary Larson started coming up with ideas for "The Far Side," this book offers a retrospective back to Gary's childhood days. The book is divided into five portions. The first portion takes Gary's past from his first drawings to syndication of "The Far Side." Along the path was a pre-Far Side comic called "Nature's Way."

In the second part of the book Gary offers his original sketches and captions in comparison to how the comics actually came out. In most cases the final version was better, but not always. At the end of this portion of the book is a short section titled "stories" that is what it says, comics with a lengthy caption that is at the very least a short story. In some cases the caption could be a novel, if you think about the concept very long, which I do not recommend. You might suffer further brain damage.

The third part is really interesting. It shows how Gary or newspapers made mistakes. The mistakes were often subtle, sometimes blatant. Some of the more interesting mistakes happened when the caption of adjacent comic was switched with that of "The Far Side."

The fourth portion of the book was humorous independent of the comics. Gary offers comments from various people offended by his art. Considering the art and the comments offered, I suggest that in many cases people saw something that was not there, which makes me wonder where THEIR mind was at. In other cases, people need to remember that Gary is offering a perspective on the world, in comparison to how people see things. It does not mean that Gary is interested in actually seeing the things in his comics happening; usually.

The fifth and last portion of the book offers Gary's favorites.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Mazza HALL OF FAME on December 25, 2001
Format: Paperback
"The Prehistory of the Far Side: A Tenth Anniversary Exhibit," by Gary Larson, is a slightly different volume in the "Far Side" book series. This book collects Larson's cartoons, but there's more: according to the foreword, the purpose of the book is "to reveal some of the background, anecdotes, foibles, and 'behind-the-scenes' experiences related to this cartoon panel." Part of the book's fun is figuring out what parts of this "behind-the-scenes" material are for real and what parts are just further jokes on Larson's part.
Material in the book includes Larson's childhood drawings; early, rough versions of some of his cartoons, along with the versions ultimately used; stories of the personal experiences behind certain panels; and more. One hilarious section records an editor's mistaken switch of a "Far Side" caption with a "Dennis the Menace" caption (Dennis has never been more menacing). And there's much more.
And of course, there's a straightforward gallery of some of Larson's twisted cartoons. Among the sights the reader will encounter are dog hell; the Secret Chipmunk Burial Grounds; a screening of an amoeba porn flick; and an encounter with the sinister Professor DeArmond -- "the epitome of evil amongst butterfly collectors!".
Larson's "Far Side" cartooons are a unique blend of satire, horror, science fiction, and surreal hilarity. If you're a fan, don't miss this collection.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Guybert on August 6, 2000
Format: Paperback
What an unbelievable book! This is a dream come true for fans of The Far Side! In it, you will witness: 1. Gary Larson's strange childhood. 2. Nature's Way, a sort of early version of The Far Side that appeared in The Seattle Times. 3. Gary Larson's creative process, which is very creative indeed! 4. A sketchbook of drawings and ideas that never made it past the initial stage, including some that would definitely have been winners. 5. Background stories on certain panels and random ideas. 6. Mistakes that either Gary or the newspaper editors made. Some of these are unbelieveable! Prepare to bust a gut! 7. Subtleties which make him wonder why he did certain things. Things he wished he wouldn't have done and things he wished he would have done. 8. Public responses to some of his more controversial and/or confusing panels. This features a very cool reply to all of his critics. 9. Rejected cartoons; the weirdest of the weird and the grossest of the gross. Some were obviously not going to be printed and some will make you wonder why they weren't. The times are definitely a-changin'! 10. The Exibit: some of Gary's personal favorites. Interesting choices. As I stated earlier, this is an ABSOLUTE MUST OWN for anyone who is a fan or can appreciate a little weirdness now and then. Your Far Side collection is not even close to being complete if you don't buy this book!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 6, 2004
Format: Paperback
Larson writes in his introduction: "What the reader will find herein is a collection of the Far Side's birth and evolution". He proves that by first showing us some of his drawings as a kid that even then show Larson as the warped genius he would become albeit without the subtlety his best work would display (IE: One of his childhood cartoon is of a boy being fangled over an alligator pit at the zoo by his father).
From there, we fast forward to Larson's early adult life where he is working at a retail music store. One day he came to realize that his job was the pits and so he decided to try to break into the world of cartooning. He started out by drawing strips for small regional publications in the Pacific Northwest. Until 1979, when he began drawing Nature's Way for the Seattle Times. Nature's Way was the precursor to the Far Side and Larson feared that there might be trouble early on when he discovered that his strip, with its decidedly adult oriented humor, was placed next to Junior Jumble.
A year later, Larson decided to try to expand his strip beyond one newspaper and went to San Francisco where he succeeded in placing it with the Chronicle. Ironically, one day after the strip was accepted, the Seattle times axed Nature's Way ("I knew it shouldn't have been next to Junior Jumble" Larson grouses). The strip is re-christened the Far Side and makes its debut a week later. Before long it appears in other newspapers. When Larson's contract expired in 1984, he moved to Universal Press Syndicate.
From there, Larson proceeds to take us inside his creative process and show us what was going on in his mind when he drew his comics.
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More About the Author

Gary Larson lives in Oregon with his wife and a Big dog. Although retired from his job as a daily syndicated cartoonist, he is now turning his graphical talent to new forms of technology.

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