Classic Comic Strips: A Quiz Deck
Sample Card Text
Which cartoonist has had insects named after him? And what’s the name of his famous strip, which originally was called Nature’s Way? [1980–1995]
Answer The Far Side, created by Gary Larson
The louse Strigiphilus garylarsoni and the butterfly Serratoterga larsoni are both named for Gary Larson, whom Natural History magazine once called “the unofficial cartoonist laureate of the scientific community.” In The Far Side, Larson’s twisted humor frequently involved anthropomorphic bugs and other creatures that were more interesting—and often more intelligent—than humans. Larson’s interest in animals began in childhood, when he loved exploring a local swamp brimming with lizards and salamanders. Later he worked for the Humane Society. As a cartoonist, Larson found cows to be a particularly rich source of humor—“the quintessentially absurd animal” he called them. And the term he once invented for the tail spikes of a stegosaurus (“thagomizer,” in honor of the late caveman Thag Simmons) has since become accepted slang among paleontologists. Though Larson retired The Far Side on January 1, 1995, you’ll still find the strip taped to walls in science labs and classrooms worldwide.