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The Far Side Gallery by Gary Larson

by Felicity Banks (follow)
My book and short stories are available at www.smashwords.com/profile/view/LouiseCurtis
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Photo by Felicity Banks

This old-school comic is a collection of single-frame cartoons rather than a story. There is absolutely no plot development or character - and precious little art.

The pictures are - not to put too fine a point on it - ugly. Larson's characters are purely comedic, and the deceptively simple drawings are just right for his off-beat, cynical, and often macabre humour.

Humour varies tremendously from person to person, and no two people on the planet match exactly. Because there's no beautiful art or story to keep a reader entertained, Larson's comedy has to hold the entire weight of the collection. It does so extremely well - but it certainly won't suit everyone, and it won't suit anyone absolutely all the time.

On the other hand, it's one of those rare books that is okay for most kids as well as funny for adults. The more I think about this work, the more I admire it.

One panel shows Santa on a typewriter in a dark room, writing an article entitled, "Nine Ways to Serve Venison". Another has two men flying a plane through clouds, with a goat immediately in front of them. The line beneath the picture reads, "Say. . . What's a mountain goat doing way up here in a cloud bank?" Immediately above that is a slide with a spiderweb strung across the base. Two spiders stand on one side, saying, "If we pull this off, we'll eat like kings."

If those made you giggle, welcome to The Far Side.

Rating: ★★★☆☆
Published: 1989

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