Posted: May 30, 2015 in Chat

We all can recognise a Gary Larson cartoon straight away; it’s the style of the drawing, the chummy animals, the stereotypical people, their styles referring back to 1950’s America, and the droll yet witty caption. There can be a lot of travelling in a Gary Larson cartoon; he can take you out on the flip side of our middle-of-the-road comfortable sensibilities. They are predominantly single panel cartoons with punch line.
Gay Larsen decided to call his Far Side series to a halt in 1995. He had run the series in various guises from 1976, now was time, he concluded to focus on environmental issues, always very close to his main concerns.
You will not find any Far Side cartoons on the net except as images:

He has withdrawn them all, and requests fans not to post any, either. They are still available in book form, and the royalties of his 2007 calendar went to Conservation International.
He was born in 1950; his Nature’s way series came out in 1979 based in Seattle. It was replaced by the now famous Far Side series in 1980. The San Francisco Chronicle was instrumental in kicking off his Far Side career.
There was a problem along the way, with the Jane Goodall Foundation. One of his panels referencing the work of Jane Goodall resulted in a backlash which took time and negotiation to come to an amicable agreement.

Who remembers ‘Hap’ Kliban? Known mostly as B Kliban (he hated the ‘Hap’) he hit pay-dirt, as the saying goes, with a regular feature in Playboy magazine. This was 1962. His Cats became famous, appearing in book form in 1975.
Other than cats though, his range of styles and subject was wide, intelligent, wry, satirical, at times whimsical. He pioneered the Instruction Manual cartoon, closely modeled on the absurdities of flat-pack furniture.
Born in 1935, he was an art-school drop out. He died tragically young of a brain hemorrhage, in 1990. He lived most of his adult life around the Marin county area of California.


There is a strong overlap between these two cartoonists. Both come from very different backgrounds, with very a different range of interests and concerns, and yet….
So, if you see a single panel cartoon of a ‘regular guy’ walking through an office, wearing a regular suit, glasses… but the suit is extra thick material. And two women, one older, one young, the older with horned glasses, is saying “I really go for a man in a thick suit!”
Who was the cartoonist? Which of the two above?

Have a look at the range of Kliban cartoons:


  1. Jeannie Wells says:

    Another delightful discovery – thank you

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