Gary Larson is an American cartoonist. He is the creator of The Far Side, a surreal single-panel cartoon series that was syndicated internationally to over 900 newspapers for 15 years. The series ended with Larson’s retirement on January 1, 1995. His 23 books of collected cartoons have combined sales of more than 45 million copies. In an open letter, Larson famously asked his fans not to distribute his cartoons (which he called his “kids”) illegally on the Internet. He was born on this day in 1950.
I have depicted 8-bit Gary Larson as the red-haired fat kid from his The Far Side cartoons, though Larson is neither overweight nor has red hair. The Fat Kid was one of the many unnamed stock characters that regularly appeared in Larson’s comic, perhaps most famously in the Midvale School for the Gifted strip. When I was in junior high school in the early 1990s, I expressed my appreciation of The Far Side by making a pretty great (if I do say so myself) papier-mâché head of the Fat Kid for a Mardi Gras art project.