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. However, (1) . 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 commercials. However,
upon graduation he formed a jazz duo with himself on guitar and banjo(2) . 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(3) . This comic, called
"Nature's Way" is described by Larson as a "Mesozoic Far Side".
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 (4) . "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.
Slowly taken up by more and more newspapers, The Far Side (5)
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. (6) including the Reuben Award for
Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year, and the Max & Moritz Price for Best International
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.