Night Of The Crash-Test Dummies: A Fair Side Collection, by Gary Larson
This book, published in 1988, demonstrates that for years and years Larson’s ability to coax humorous cartoons out of sled chickens and animals trying to camouflage themselves in the cities and alien cacti demonstrates that he was still able to make compelling and creative artwork out of a consistent bit of humorous references that he repeated over and over again to great effect. This book is a short one at about 100 pages with a cartoon or two per page, and the result is an entertaining collection of books. As is the case in general with Far Side books, there are jokes about nerds, puns where bears have deer guts instead of beer guts, humorous torture chambers, entertaining dogs, and quite a few glimpses of the old west as it never was. Again, though, as I have said repeatedly, if you are reading this book or any of the many other Far Side compilations that exist (many of which I have read and reviewed, it must be admitted), you know what you like and you know you are going to like this. Considering how hard it is to say something new about these collections without commenting on the content of the cartoons themselves and spoiling them a bit, it is remarkable how long Larson was able to do it.