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I've always wondered about this.

Do all of Gary Larson's Far Side comics take place in the same universe?

(Note that I self-answered the question, as I finally purchased 'The Complete Far Side'. If anyone has any comics that disprove my conclusion, please share them.)

  • 14
    Seems to me that a definitive answer to this might be some combination of nonexistent and meaningless. Gary Larson himself could have answered this with "yes" at one point and "no" at another point and there'd be no way to argue with either of those answers. Beyond that, I'm not sure it's edifying one way or the other. The universe(s) in question is/are so absurd and surreal that we can't expect any logic or consistency to be present in either case. – Todd Wilcox Apr 17 '18 at 18:15
  • I'd go with probably - just not Our universe! Never see any talking animals around, like the bears that come across an old deserted car, and one of them says "Man, if this thing had wheels, we could be the grizzlies from hell!", or a deer with a bullseye target on his chest, and his buddy that says "Bummer of a birthmark Hal". (or maybe not Hal, that just sticks in my head). – CrossRoads Apr 17 '18 at 18:53
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    There was a two part animated Tales from the Far Side which had lots of the cartoons as individual animated 'sketches' but loosely joined by the framework of being one world - Hal (the deer with the bummer of a birthmark) being hunted by the same hunters who hit a bug-plane, and who end up strapped to the UFO as a trophy later. It's an interesting watch if you can find it - youtu.be/FIYLKh2wLdk seems to have bits. – Imperator Helvetica Apr 19 '18 at 0:24
  • @ImperatorHelvetica That would make a great answer! Thanks for introducing me to them, I was not aware that they existed! – TheAsh Apr 19 '18 at 12:01
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Yes. This was confirmed in the final Far Side comic:

The universe is apparently Gary Larson's brain.

enter image description here

This is also heavily implied by the 'Tales From The Far Side' TV shorts.

As far as the quote mentioned in the other answer, I procured a copy of 'Prehistory' and can confirm it doesn't exist.

  • 22
    "...and there were monsters and stupid-looking things and animals could talk and some of it was confusing..." A national treasure, it is. – iamnotmaynard Apr 17 '18 at 18:24
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    There are some internal inconsistencies with The Far Side being a single universe. For example, sixty-five million years ago, when cows ruled the Earth is incompatible with Cretaceous era imagery of (reptile) dinosaurs appearing in many other Far Side Strips, the nuclear holocaust in some strips is incompatible with civilization as normal thereafter, and so on. – Lexible Apr 17 '18 at 20:55
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    @Lexible you have no imagination if you think those things must be incompatible. – Nacht Apr 17 '18 at 22:55
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    If we assume that all the comics are independent/in their own universe then this comic strip does not provide a contradiction so it doesn't really prove anything. – Chris Apr 18 '18 at 9:51
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    inconsistency and surreality are accounted for by "and some of it was confusing", and you can only understand this strip in the context of all that came before, so I think this is both a meaningful and accurate answer! – david.libremone Apr 18 '18 at 14:15
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No. In The Prehistory of The Far Side, Larson mentions the trickiness of writing a comic in which there is never any "after.". There can be no running plot line, almost never even multiple panels to show progression in time. Each comic, he points out, has to be a universe all on its own.

  • 3
    He uses those specific words? Or is that merely your interpretation? – TheAsh Apr 17 '18 at 17:54
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    If this had the exact quote, I would definitely upvote it. – Thunderforge Apr 17 '18 at 18:13
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    Despite the accepted answer, I think this is most accurate. There is absolutely no continuity in TFS, so it makes the most sense to view each comic as its own universe. – ell Apr 17 '18 at 19:39
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    I think this 1986 Gary Larson interviewon YouTube makes it pretty obvious that each comic is it's own universe. – ashleedawg Apr 18 '18 at 15:48
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    @ashleedawg Would you consider creating your own answer for that or editing this answer to include it? – Thunderforge Apr 18 '18 at 21:52

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