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

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. I concur that most of them brought a smile to my face, and in a few cases an out right laugh.

Gary Larson succeeds in thinking outside the box, something that he does with great regularity. I suspect that he would be great at inventing. Of course, he is a self-described nerd, and I believe it. He also seems quite pleased that his comics find substantial popularity amongst scientists. Probably engineers too. If you think "The Far Side" is one of the greatest comics ever created, you will love this collection for its explanations. I recommend this collection highly for Far Side fans.

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Scott Adams
Always postpone meetings with time-wasting morons
Stephen Arnott, Mike Haskins
Man Walks Into a Bar: The Ultimate Collection of Jokes and One-Liners
Gary Larson
The PreHistory of The Far Side: A 10th Anniversary Exhibit
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