Comic strips tend to run for decades and decades, even outliving their original artists, or their artists cut them off in their prime, leaving fans hoping that some day, they will return. Very high on the list of the latter is The Far Side, which ended in January of 1995 at the height of its popularity when its cartoonist, Gary Larson, retired.

Larson was sick of the pressure of drawing on a deadline and so he walked away from his wildly popular strip and never looked back. Then, this week, for the first time in 25 years, he’s unveiled new cartoons. They’re not The Far Side — but they are unmistakably the product of the same guy’s twisted sense of humor. And they’re really funny.

You can look at the new cartoons at his website, where he explains why he stopped drawing — and why he started again. In his words, it all started after he got sick of unclogging his old pen to draw his family’s annual Christmas card...

So a few years ago ... I decided to try a digital tablet. 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. Perhaps fittingly, the first thing I drew was a caveman.

You’ll have to go to Larson’s site to see all the new cartoons, but here’s one brilliant example:

2020 is one misery after another, so anything to brighten our mornings are very welcome. Given his disdain for deadlines, we shouldn’t expect new comics from Larson too regularly. Whenever he posts new ones, though, I’ll be reading.

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