A Letter from Gary Larson

Gary Larson posted a lengthy letter to fans dated September 2019 on the newly launched TheFarSide.com. In the letter, he outlines his reasons for finally bringing The Far Side to the web in a Larson-sanctioned way. He briefly mentions “better security” as one reason, before addressing the visual presentation of The Far Side now possible:

But the other one — the advancements in graphics — has been a big incentive for me. Man, did those old computer screens suck when it came to visual nuances. I’ll make up an example: Let’s say I’m going to draw a group of vultures who are scavenging the remains of some poor soul who got lost in the desert, and one of them has encountered a glass eye. (You can see the potential already.) This could probably go several ways, but I’m thinking the bird is excited about his discovery and is telling his buddies he wants to take it home and show his kids. Whatever, I already know there’s a lot to capture in this scene, while trying not to overcomplicate it. Some things have a bit of leeway, but that glass eye? That has to be juuuuuust right, or this thing is damaged goods, if not blown. As for seeing it on an old computer screen? Fuhgeddaboudit. But things have changed. On today’s computers and devices, voilà! — you’re definitely going to see that small, dispossessed eye. I could even add a hint of blue. Ah, yes. Nice eye.

It’s of course not really “advancements in graphics,” but Larson nails it later when he compares today’s displays to “an old computer screen.” Scans of line art always looked like shit on 96 dpi screens. Looking through smallish collection of cartoons up on TheFarSide.com, it makes complete sense that a pixel-doubled or -tripled presentation of The Far Side really is a necessity.

Just nobody tell him that you can still look at those works on old 96dpi screens, too.