Ideas That Are Far Away From The Side

20 Jul

Every gag cartoonist has the same problem.  Here, let me just put it all out there quickly without a long, drawn-out introduction:  we try to not do Far Side cartoons.

Above:  Someone told me Far Side had a similar cartoon.  I dunno.

I am fortunate.  I’ve never been accused of ripping-off Gary Larson (for those that don’t know, Gary’s the cartoonist).  However, I still get mentions sometimes that “The Far Side did that” or “Wasn’t this in the Far Side?” and others.  And listen, I have no problem with those kind of comments, in fact, I welcome them.  It’s just every time I get one, I feel I have to explain myself.  Typically, this is the kind of thing I will write:

I had no clue this was a Far Side idea.  If it was, I unintentionally created one just like it, unbeknownst to me that it was done before.  I think every gag cartoonist has this happen.  I would never rip-off or steal any ones work.

It’s like a public apology speech.

Well, I’m done doing that.  In fact, I’m going to cherish any Far Side-ish cartoons I have even more.

I’ve decided that it just happens, it’s going to happen more.  And I can sleep well at night knowing that I didn’t rip-off Gary.  I picture it now as a complement.  Like, great mind think alike (although, I’m not too certain how great mine is).

But, to set the story straight.  It happens.  There, I said it again.

I’ve seen comments on other gag cartoonists’ pages that are brutal.  “You stole this idea!” reads one.  “I can’t believe you didn’t know this was a cartoon already!” reads another.  Absolutely horrendous bashing of the poor creator that did it.  I’d mention to the audience that, hey, listen – the cartoonist can read this!  Would you say that to his/her face if you were at an art museum?  Aah, probably not.  Because with the magic of the internet, you can hide behind your cushioned computer and relax knowing the cartoonist is far, far away.  (Not Far Side, Far Side away – just far.)

Like I mentioned, I guess I’m lucky I haven’t had one of these yet (I love my fans!), but I wouldn’t be surprised if I get one someday.

I love doing gag cartoons.  One thing about them I don’t like though is this fear of being too similar to Far Side or others.  It’s a tough playing field.  There are many premises, ideas and places to take things.  Each day I do my damnedest to make sure it’s my own.  And if somehow it’s not, well – again – it happens.  And I know I mentioned I don’t care, but still, when you see it’s been done before you can’t help but cringe regardless.

I’m just not going to explain myself ever again if this occurs.  Hopefully, I can just refer them to this blog post here.  And this covers everything.

You ever see remakes of movies that are just like the previous one?  There you go.  Same thing with cartooning.  Except remakes of movies is intentional!  Even worse!

Hopefully this will clear the air for anyone that ever has or will question others and my work.  I strive for originality and if I do something that someone else has, I’m going to take it as a complement from here on out.


All I can say to that is:  Cheers!  Viva La Similarities!


Be sure to read Nate’s gag cartoon series, Break of Day, daily!  CLICK HERE


11 Responses to “Ideas That Are Far Away From The Side”

  1. gardenfreshtomatoes July 21, 2012 at 3:31 am #

    I know another online cartoonist who is constantly being accused of ripping off XKCD, because she draws stick figures. Nothing remotely associated with science in her strip, but some people are just…well…you know.
    Larson’s a Master…take it as a compliment.

    • w101njf July 22, 2012 at 5:21 am #

      I could imagine that if you draw stick figures, some people would assume that. Like XKCD patented stick figures. WAIT A SECOND….I think I was the first to draw those! I drew stick figures when I was, like, two!

  2. bearmancartoons July 21, 2012 at 8:53 am #

    Get that with editorial cartoons at times.

    • w101njf July 22, 2012 at 5:22 am #

      If you want, you can copy and paste this blog to show people. Just remove all the gag cartoon references and replace them with editorial. Bada-bing!

  3. Sandra July 21, 2012 at 3:39 pm #

    It just goes to show you that great minds think alike! Keep up the awesome work!!!

    • w101njf July 22, 2012 at 5:23 am #

      Thanks! I imagine Gary’s mind is great and mine might be acting like it is at moments.

      • Sandra July 22, 2012 at 9:14 am #

        Don’t sell yourself short. You gotta believe it to be it!
        (hey, I should follow my own advice)

  4. Samuli Lintula July 21, 2012 at 11:25 pm #

    Gary Larson has written a blog post about these things already!


    • w101njf July 22, 2012 at 5:24 am #

      Drat! I knew it! I’ll have to do a blog about that next. ‘Blogs That Are Far Away From Gary Larson of The Far Side’.

  5. Betty Grogan Hatfield August 17, 2012 at 6:12 pm #

    I sometimes read 2 or 3 comics in one day with a similar theme which I always find surprising. I get a big kick out of it when it happens. Years ago, I read where a cartoonist said that’s pretty common.

    • w101njf August 21, 2012 at 3:59 pm #

      Yes, it’s a constant. I compare it to similar themes on televisions, movies, music, etc. I think every medium of entertainment has the same issue (well, it’s not really an ‘issue’, but situation).

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