Fans of the cartoon "The Far Side" were blessed with a series of new comics released by Gary Larson on Tuesday.
A man hailing a "taxidermist," bears eating Cub Scouts, and aliens preparing for a human abduction while promising to practice "probe and release," were all new frames appearing on the comic's website.
But fans will notice there's something different about the new work. Unlike the pen and paper method, Larson has broken into the field of digital art panels.
"So a few years ago — finally fed up with my once-loyal but now reliably traitorous pen — I decided to try a digital tablet," Larson wrote on his website . "I knew nothing about these devices but hoped it would just get me through my annual Christmas card ordeal. I got one, fired it up, and lo and behold, something totally unexpected happened: Within moments, I was having fun drawing again. 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's single-panel "Far Side" cartoons dominated newspaper comic sections for years, before the humorist retired in 1995. In recent months, Larson has teased on his website that he was contemplating the release of new content.
Still, the cartoonist was careful to point out that he was not coming out of retirement or bringing "The Far Side" back.
"I don't want to mislead anyone here," Larson wrote. "This corner of the website — New Stuff — is not a resurrection of The Far Side daily cartoons. The New Stuff that you'll see here is the result of my journey into the world of digital art. I'm just exploring, experimenting, and trying stuff."