Geek Of The Week: Gary Larson

Geek Of The Week: Gary Larson

Following GOTW articles about Bill Waterson and Berkley Breathed, this week continues with another iconic cartoonist. Gary Larson is the creator of The Far Side, a single-panel cartoon series that was syndicated internationally to over 1,900 newspapers for fifteen years. The series ended with Larson’s retirement on January 1, 1995. Larson was awarded the Newspaper Panel Cartoon Award by the National Cartoonists Society in 1985 and 1988. Larson earned the society‚Äôs Reuben Award for 1990 and 1994. Larson has been recognized for various individual strips by the National Cartoonist Society in 1989, 1990, 1991, 1993 and 1995.

On March 15, 1989, a newly discovered insect species was named after Larson by Dale H. Clayton, head of the Committee of Evolutionary Biology at the University of Chicago. The Strigiphilus garylarsoni is a chewing louse of a genus only found on owls. Wrote Larson: “I considered this an extreme honor. Besides, I knew no one was going to write and ask to name a new species of swan after me. You have to grab these opportunities when they come along.” Similarly, an Ecuadorian rainforest butterfly was named after him; Serratoterga larsoni. The Garylarsonus beetle carries his name. The term “thagomizer”, a feature of stegosaurus anatomy, was coined in a Far Side cartoon. I know of no other cartoonist to have such honors bestowed on him or her. The Far Side is one of the greatest cartoons every drawn…I have many of them posted prominently in my office, and I have the two volume Complete Far Side in my collection. Gary Larson, truly a legend and now a Geek of the Week.

About the Author

avatar MIKE: A geek who currently works as a Biologist and has an extensive science background. He is an avid user of HPC systems used for scientific research in the Washington DC area. Mike's working knowledge of using computers to solve problems brings a unique viewpoint to the podcast.