Gary Larson has released new comics for the The Far Side, the first strips since January 1995. Larson does however caution that this is “not a resurrection of The Far Side daily cartoons.” He adds: “I’m just exploring, experimenting, and trying stuff.” The Verge reports: The first of the new comics features bears, aliens, and taxidermy (all staples of The Far Side). The style is comfortably familiar, with two large exceptions: instead of watercolor, the new comics are done in digital brushstrokes that make the images feel more volumetric and vibrant than the original full-color cartoons. Also, the penned outlines, which exist in both the watercolor and black-and-white original comics, are almost entirely gone. The end result is images that evoke the feel of the old comics but are somehow a little less cartoony. The characters and elements all feel unified in the scene together.
Both the style changes and the comic’s return are due to the fact that Larson is now using a digital tablet. After years of frustration dealing with clogged pens and dried-up markers, Larson decided to give going digital a chance. “I was stunned at all the tools the thing offered, all the creative potential it contained. I simply had no idea how far these things had evolved,” Larson writes in an opening letter for New Stuff, the title for his new works. “Perhaps fittingly, the first thing I drew was a caveman.”