Author Topic: Gary Larson's The Far Side - An open letter  (Read 8034 times)

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Offline Technopat

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Gary Larson's The Far Side - An open letter
« on: May 13, 2007, 01:36 AM »
Greetings All,
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:

Quote
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.

Regs.
Technopat

Ps.
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.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2007, 00:36 AM by Technopat »
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266

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Gary Larson's The Far Side - An open letter
« on: May 13, 2007, 01:36 AM »

Offline lisa

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Re: Gary Larson's The Far Side - An open letter
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2007, 08:38 AM »
Hi Technopat, that's a lovely, polite letter in tune with his gentle but provoking sense of humour. I empathise (in my own small, humble way) with him, having once found one of my photos somewhere else on the net and feeling as if I'd been robbed. I sent the person concerned an email wondering why she hadn't asked (yes, I'm very naive) permission and haven't had a reply. Personally, I always ask if I'd like to use a photo from another site and if I don't receive a reply (rarely), I don't use it. Basically, it's just plain, old-fashioned politeness that some people, such as yourself, still possess.
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Offline lisa

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Re: Gary Larson's The Far Side - An open letter
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2007, 08:42 AM »
Forgot to put this (safe) link on for anyone that doesn't know his work, wishing I'd seen it earlier in the year.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Far-Side-Gallery-Wall-Calendar/dp/0740759248/ref=pd_sim_b_2/202-5459662-2082247
www.picos-accommodation.co.uk
Accommodation, ski touring, snowshoeing, walking and info on the flora and fauna of the Picos de Europa.
SAVE SPANISH BEARS!
And now,
The Picos de Europa
Your complete English guide to these beautiful mountains of Northern Spain.

Offline Technopat

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Re: Gary Larson's The Far Side - An open letter
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2007, 12:38 PM »
Greetings Lisa,
Thanx for that - it hadn't occurred to me to use stuff from Amazon - nice way round a dilemma  ;).
egs.
Technopat
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266

Offline Technopat

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Re: Gary Larson's The Far Side - An open letter
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2007, 23:50 PM »
Greetings All,
This guy seems just too nice! Or am I getting soft in my old age? I've just seen on the Amazon link that the author's royalties for the calendar will go to fund Conservation International. Does anyone know anythin' 'bout said organisation? Is it a tax-haven-located fund to conserve retired authors, etc., or is it pukka?
Regs.
Technopat
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266

Offline lisa

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Re: Gary Larson's The Far Side - An open letter
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2007, 09:01 AM »
http://www.conservation.org/xp/CIWEB/

Nice diversion creation Nick.
www.picos-accommodation.co.uk
Accommodation, ski touring, snowshoeing, walking and info on the flora and fauna of the Picos de Europa.
SAVE SPANISH BEARS!
And now,
The Picos de Europa
Your complete English guide to these beautiful mountains of Northern Spain.

Offline Technopat

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Re: Gary Larson's The Far Side - An open letter
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2007, 15:08 PM »
greetings Lisa,
thanx for the link - the web site is nice - but does anyone know if the org. is legit. or a Mickey Mouse? >:D
Regs.
Technopat
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266