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Gary Larson had classic comic strip fans buzzing after launching The Far Side's website last fall, promising “a new online era of The Far Side" after hanging up the cavemen, farm animals, and various other strange characters from the comic when he retired in 1995. Today, Larson resumed artistic activity, posting three new entries into The Far Side's legendarily strange canon — this time with digital artwork.
In a section titled "New Stuff," Larson asked fans to be patient with him — this doesn't mean that the strip is coming back in its daily form, and it'll feature Larson working out fun new concepts and styles. "Again, please remember, I’m just exploring, experimenting, and trying stuff," Larson writes.
The three comics that went up today — named via URL as "taxidermist," "probe-release," and "cub scouts" — immediately recall classic Larson gags, albeit with a new coat of digital paint. There's some solid weirdo wordplay as a man hails a taxi...dermist; dark humor as bears spread honey on (and prepare to devour) cub scouts; and deliciously strange alien antics as an extraterrestrial hunter advises his child on how best to blast an unsuspecting human. "Remember, this is probe and release," the alien tells Zorky.
The character designs should be immediately familiar to The Far Side fans, as should the idiosyncratic punchlines. While the new era of the strip has kicked off with only a handful of new comics, after a 25-year absence, fans should stay glued to the website for whenever Larson posts a new batch of work.