Thursday, January 31, 2008

I began reading The Far Side cartoons by Gary Larson in the mid-late 1980's in the local paper. Attracted to the efficient line drawings and how eloquently they visually communicated their ideas, I became a devoted follower. Never much of a collector of anything, over the next few years I gathered Larson's books and calendars like a miser. Only in the last few days have I considered what influence this exposure may have had on my development as an artist.

Considering a cartoon's influence on the intellectual and creative development of a fine artist almost feels silly to say out loud. Interesting.

I'm beginning to see connections.

"One of the most common reactions Larson has gotten to his work over the years is "I get it -- I love it -- but I can't believe anybody else gets it." This is one of "The Far Side's" charms. Larson trusts us to know things. He trusts us to know what a microscope cover slip is, feels confident we will not be thrown by references to spitting cobras and assumes we understand why young Bobby Snake has to jiggle Grandpa Snake's rat so that it looks alive. He figures we've heard about spiders that disperse by ballooning on pieces of silk, and will be amused by the idea of bison doing the same thing. Of course, Larson's drawings are so enticing that even if we have no idea what's going on with the ballooning bison, there's still a goofy pleasure to be gotten from the picture."
Excerpt from online article by Susan McCarthy –

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