“So glad to see you back at the drawing board! Well a digital one,” said another fan, who signed his name as Roger. “Thank you for the years of laughter and also the dark warped lens with which I currently view the world.”
“The Far Side” became a phenomenon after it first appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle on Jan. 1, 1980. The single-panel comic, which often featured men, women, children, animals and insects in peculiar situations, ran until Mr. Larson’s retirement in 1995. One of the most confusing “Far Side” cartoons, “Cow Tools,” which showed a cow standing next to a work bench covered with an odd assortment of implements, continues to be a topic of conversation to this day.
In an interview in December, Mr. Larson said his own benchmark for success was “pretty basic.”
“I just wanted to be able to pay my rent,” he said. “Beyond reaching that goal I really didn’t care much. I was doing something I loved, getting by, and that’s what mattered.”
At the time, he had also relaunched a website that would feature classic “Far Side” cartoons. “I’m looking forward to slipping in some new things every so often,” he said.
Visitors to the website were greeted with “The Daily Dose,” a random selection of past cartoons, along with a weekly set of cartoons arranged by theme. Still, fans had an ever-growing appetite for new material.
“Again, please remember, I’m just exploring, experimenting, and trying stuff. New Stuff,” Mr. Larson said on his website. “I have just one last thing to say before I go: thank you, clogged pen.”