‘The Far Side‘ is a single-panel comic created by Gary Larson and syndicated by Universal Press Syndicate, which ran from January 1, 1980, to January 1, 1995. Its surrealistic humor is often based on uncomfortable social situations, improbable events, an anthropomorphic view of the world, logical fallacies, impending bizarre disasters, (often twisted) references to proverbs, or the search for meaning in life. Larson’s frequent use of animals and nature in the comic is popularly attributed to his background in biology. The series was preceded by a similar panel called ‘Nature’s Way,’ also by Larson.
Most of Larson’s comics relied on some combination of a visual and verbal gag, rather than just one or the other. Some recurring themes in the comic include people being stranded on desert islands, aliens, heaven, hell, and the life of cavemen. Many cartoons focused on animals, especially cows, bears, dogs, flies, and ducks. Notably, virtually all characters portrayed in the comic were overweight or obese, and usually wearing glasses. In addition, unless needed for a facial or comic expression, eyes are almost never drawn and characters usually show only a brow ridge.