Creator of The Far Side, the best, most wonderfully bizarre cartoon ever:Gary Larson
In high school, Larson abandoned drawing and concentrated on music, principally playing jazz guitar, though there are sinister hints of an affair with the banjo. In college — Washington State University — he majored in communication, thinking he’d get a job writing ad copy for television and “save the world from inane advertising,” as he told interviewer Al Young. He also crammed every biology and natural history course possible into his schedule.
After graduating in 1972, Larson inexplicably delayed his plunge into advertising reform, forming a jazz duo and then working in a music store. “I’ve always considered music stores to be the graveyards of musicians,” he told Robert Cross of the Chicago Tribune. Out of the blue, the fed-up Larson sat down one day in 1976 and drew six cartoons, which he submitted to a local magazine, Pacific Search. They bought them for $90, and Larson was thrilled by the easy money. Next, a weekly paper, the Sumner News Review, paid him a lavish $3 a pop for a weekly cartoon. It wasn’t until 1979 that he persuaded the Seattle Times to give him a weekly panel, “Nature’s Way.”