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What a pathetic way to make a living………..

Creators Syndicate, an international newspaper syndicate, handles all reprint permissions requests for use of Gary Larson’s The Far Side® cartoons following guidelines long established by Mr. Larson and his company FarWorks, Inc. (copyright owner to all Far Side images). In short, we approve or disapprove requests to reproduce Mr. Larson’s cartoons, and carefully monitor the ways in which they appear.

We are writing on behalf of FarWorks, Inc. and Gary Larson about the The Far Side cartoon that appears on your website, https://bigrab.wordpress.com/

The cartoon we are referencing can be found here:




FarWorks has a serious problem with unauthorized uses of The Far Side worldwide. As a result, it does not allow online publication of works from The Far Side. No matter how insignificant a few uses may seem, it still amounts to making versions of the cartoons available in digital form for anyone to download, which makes it virtually impossible for Mr. Larson to control future uses, something that is very important to him.

Mr. Larson has tried to express his feelings about the digitization and reproduction of his cartoons online and why he asks that people not post his work on the Internet in an “open letter” he wrote some time ago. This letter is posted on our website (http://www.creators.com/a-note-from-gary-larson.html) and I have also included a copy of it here.

We ask that you please read the letter from Mr. Larson below, and respect his wishes by removing the cartoon from your website. Many thanks in advance for your cooperation.


Simone Slykhous

Permissions Department

Creators Syndicate

737 3rd Street

Hermosa Beach, CA 90254

(310) 337-7003


A Note From Gary Larson

RE: Online Use of The Far Side® Cartoons


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


4 Responses

  1. Gary, I appreciate how difficult it must be for you to sell your children when your photos are published in books and magazines. You have no idea what people do to them here in Scotland. Lets just say that inappropriate behaviour doesn’t begin to cover it. I’ve heard reports of them being left in attics unloved for years.
    In my case I considered your request to murder them by deletion to be rather extreme, but they’re your kids so that’s what I’ve done.
    I’ve also removed the images from my walls (bought and paid for) as I hadn’t realised I was involved in trafficking.

  2. If someone buys a copy of a recorded song it doesn’t give them the right to play it in public, only private use

    Similarly, you can view a movie at home, but not public performance

    I think the artist’s rights, and wishes, should be respected … whether or not I would do the same with my own work, or not

    Seems to me, he made a polite reasonable request

    What’s the issue?

  3. He has indeed made a polite request and I have complied with it by taking down the pics whose publication have so bugged Mr Larson and his lawyer. It is worth noting however that Mr Larson syndicated his Farside series to nearly 1000 newspapers over a period of of fifteen years.

    He also sold more than 45 million books of his collected cartoons.
    Does he I wonder fret about where they all are at a given time?

    If he doesn’t want his cartoons shared on a crummy wee blog from Scotland then that’s fair enough. However I’d rather he’d spared me the bollocks about his ‘children’. If he’s worried about where his cartoons are and who might be looking at them, I’d suggest a perfect remedy for that would be not to sell them in the first place.

    I made no money or profit from sharing the cartoons and many, many people visited this site and enjoyed and commented on them – perhaps then went and bought a Gary Larson collection.

    Mr Larson retired in 1995.

    However he’ll be kept busy for a while because there are literally tens of thousands of his kids out there on the net getting mad with it on the bucky.

    See also https://bigrab.wordpress.com/2008/03/17/van-morrison-keep-it-simple-released-today/

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