Earlier this week, a section called “New Stuff” appeared on Larson’s recently relaunched website, the New York Times reported. Contained within were three new single-panel comics from Larson, his first Far Side comics since retiring from the long-running syndicated series on December 31st, 1994.
Larson also wrote a letter to fans detailing how a “clogged pen” resulted in his first comics in 25 years; when his website relaunched in December, Larson similarly credited drawing apps on a digital tablet with inspiring him to draw again.
“So a few years ago — finally fed up with my once-loyal but now reliably traitorous pen — I decided to try a digital tablet,” Larson wrote this week. “I got one, fired it up, and lo and behold, something totally unexpected happened: Within moments, I was having fun drawing again. I was stunned at all the tools the thing offered, all the creative potential it contained. I simply had no idea how far these things had evolved. Perhaps fittingly, the first thing I drew was a caveman.”
Compared to his beloved hand-drawn work, Larson’s “New Stuff” are like high-definition Far Side comics, with each of the three single-panel comics given a more paintbrush feel than his previous work; thankfully, even with the richer palette, The Far Side’s offbeat humor is preserved.
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Larson continued: “I hail from a world of pen and ink, and suddenly I was feeling like I was sitting at the controls of a 747. (True, I don’t get out much.) But as overwhelmed as I was, there was still something familiar there — a sense of adventure. That had always been at the core of what I enjoyed most when I was drawing The Far Side, that sense of exploring, reaching for something, taking some risks, sometimes hitting a home run and sometimes coming up with ‘Cow tools.'”
The cartoonist also said that his “New Stuff” isn’t “a resurrection of The Far Side daily cartoons,” but he plans to populate the space with “my journey into the world of digital art.”