Following a reference I made to a cartoon on Tore's personal introduction thread (http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php?topic=271.0
), I tried to trace that particular cartoon (depicting two bears contemplating picnickers) on Internet, with a view to pasting it here, but have drawn a blank. I did, however, come across the following open letter attributed to the cartoonist on various sites:
A NOTE FROM GARY LARSON
RE: Online Use of Far Side Cartoons
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:
I'm walking a fine line here.
On the one hand, I confess to finding it quite flattering that some of my fans have created web sites displaying and/or distributing my work on the Internet. And, on the other, I'm struggling to find the words that convincingly but sensitively persuade these Far Side enthusiasts to "cease and desist" before they have to read these words from some lawyer.
What impact this unauthorized use has had (and is having) in tangible terms is, naturally, of great concern to my publishers and therefore to me -- but it's not the focus of this letter. My effort here is to try and speak to the intangible impact, the emotional cost to me, personally, of seeing my work collected, digitized, and offered up in cyberspace beyond my control.
Years ago I was having lunch one day with the cartoonist Richard Guindon, and the subject came up how neither one of us ever solicited or accepted ideas from others. But, until Richard summed it up quite neatly, I never really understood my own aversions to doing this: "It's like having someone else write in your diary," he said. And how true that statement rang with me. In effect, we drew cartoons that we hoped would be entertaining or, at the very least, not boring; but regardless, they would always come from an intensely personal, and therefore original perspective.
To attempt to be "funny" is a very scary, risk-laden proposition. (Ask any stand-up comic who has ever "bombed" on stage.) But if there was ever an axiom to follow in this business, it would be this: be honest to yourself and -- most important -- respect your audience.
So, in a nutshell (probably an unfortunate choice of words for me), I only ask that this respect be returned, and the way for anyone to do that is to please, please refrain from putting The Far Side out on the Internet. These cartoons are my "children," of sorts, and like a parent, I'm concerned about where they go at night without telling me. And, seeing them at someone's web site is like getting the call at 2:00 a.m. that goes, "Uh, Dad, you're not going to like this much, but guess where I am."
I hope my explanation helps you to understand the importance this has for me, personally, and why I'm making this request.
Please send my "kids" home. I'll be eternally grateful.
Most respectfully, Gary Larson
Given that I have not found any reference to him disclaiming authorship, I personally have decided to respect his request. Just remembered another great one depicting two bears as seen through the telescopic sights of a rifle, in which one of the bears is pointing to the other bear, suggesting that the hunter shoot the other bear. Classic Larson!
While I realise that this topic bears
little relationship to the Ib. Pen. as such, it does reflect a recurring concern I have 'bout pasting material on the forum. Complicated issue.
Notwithstanding the above, for those of you who do not know them, the cartoon strips are great if you have the opportunity to find 'em in a recompliation album, etc.