While Gary Larson’s legendary comic strip The Far Side has long been celebrated for its inventive and thought-provoking storytelling, the artist and writer once pointed out how fans caught several mistakes he totally missed. While reflecting on his storied career, Larson wrote he heard from numerous readers after some of his comics went to print with errors in them – showing that even someone as talented as the cartoonist is capable of making mistakes.
In The Prehistory of The Far Side: A 10th Anniversary Exhibit by Gary Larson, he discussed some of the mistakes he made throughout his career, saying he made a few errors in his comics that he was made aware of after they were published. Included among them is from his Far Side comic strip, “Sled Chickens of the North,” which featured chickens pulling a man on a sled. Larson noted the minor flaw in the comic: the chickens weren’t connected to harnesses, meaning nothing attached them to the sled.
Gary Larson’s Far Side Strip Made Several Errors That Were Pointed Out To Him
Some mistakes in Far Side weren’t as obvious, as Gary Larson wrote that a reader pointed out one of his comics featuring gorillas picking bananas had an error with the fruits on a tree. The fan reminded Larson that bananas didn’t grow like the way he drew them, as they were flipped upside down in his work. While Larson admitted he wanted to forget the minor mistake, the “truth” was it did bug him when he made errors like how he drew the bananas.
Since Gary Larson was passionate about biology and science, the Far Side cartoonist using animals in his strips meant he sometimes received messages about making mistakes from actual scientists. For example, in a comic featuring a polar bear and penguins on a piece of ice, Larson got letters from several scientists who told him polar bears were strictly an arctic species, while penguins are antarctic, meaning they don’t coexist in nature. It’s not the only time those passionate about wildlife wrote to Larson about inaccuracies, as a strip featuring two mosquitos was called out as male mosquitos didn’t bite as the comic suggested.
Ultimately, mistakes happen, even for someone as acclaimed as Gary Larson. Thankfully, none of the errors listed above in Far Side were significant enough to cause any problems besides readers’ confusion. Still, getting letters from readers pointing out the mistakes had to be slightly annoying for the Far Side creator as so many of the comic strips were fantastical, farfetched situations starring animals – even if the notes were accurate.